For most of us, Christmas Day only comes once a year, but for Carl Beane, it happened 81
more times during the baseball season. If the Red Sox made the playoffs, he'd get a little
extra something in his stocking. You see, Beane was the public address announcer at Fenway
Park. It was a dream job which he landed close to the age of 50. Red Sox players making
millions to play a kids game, never took the field as happy as the man who was introducing
them. Nobody or anything could wipe the grin off the face of Beane, not even a meltdown
by his beloved team when they blew a 9-0 lead to the Yankees earlier this season. Beane had a
job that he waited almost a lifetime to get and after nine years behind the mic, he was firmly
entrenched in it.
On Wednesday morning, Beane died of a heart attack while driving in Sturbridge, Massachusetts.
He was just 59 years old. In a season that's been unfolding like a soap opera for the Red Sox,
the death of Beane is like a tragedy in a Greek play, except this is real. Beane was a beloved
figure around Fenway Park, a person who appeared to be an underdog all his life, finally
enjoying his greatest professional achievement. He was the Red Sox public address announcer.
In Boston, if you are employed by the Red Sox or have anything to do with them, (unless you're
John Lackey or Josh Beckett) you are looked upon in a very good light and envied by many
throughout Red Sox nation. No game started before Beane introduced the lineups and he took
an enormous amount of pride in doing it.
I first met Beane on my first tour of Boston in 1998. I'd always see him at Red Sox and Patriot
games where he'd be in the scrum of reporters holding some kind of microphone waiting
to record the same old, vanilla-flavored answers from the the athletes. He'd occasionally ask a
question or exchange small talk with a colleague, and I'd always say to myself, "That guy has
one helluva voice." After leaving Boston and coming back from Atlanta in 2004, I discovered
"that guy" was the public address announcer for the Red Sox. He had auditioned for the job a
year earlier and won the position over a number of other candidates. He wasn't just Carl Beane
anymore, he was Carl Beane, public address announcer of the Red Sox, and he loved every
minute of it. And Beane appeared to be a good luck charm for the Red Sox as they won the
World Series in 2004 and 2007.
Beane wore the two World Series rings presented to him by Red Sox ownership like the kid
who got the biggest present at Christmas. And why not? Can you imagine getting your dream
job at 50, then being considered part of not one, but two World Championship teams in Boston?
Boston is not Atlanta or Phoenix where they don't win anything, or even care about anything,
for that matter. Boston is the greatest sports city in the country with the most passionate fans
around and Beane was a part of it.
Life is cruel and it sure as heck isn't fair. Good people die way too young and bad ones get ahead
by lying, cheating, and throwing others under the bus. Carl Beane was a good guy who died
way too young. But he achieved his dream and he did things the right way. Red Sox nation will