I had the chance to meet and work alongside Carl Beane a decade ago, and always knew that the man's deep baritone was destined for greatness. Less than a year later, the man auditioned for the open position of Red Sox public address announcer and made it his own. Anybody who had heard his voice prior to that wasn't the least bit surprised.
Beane died yesterday after suffering a heart attack while driving. He was 59. The outpouring of memories and reflections on what the man meant to Red Sox fans today has been truly special, and the team will pay tribute to Beane during tonight's game against the Cleveland Indians by having no PA announcer in the booth.
It's a fitting gesture, and one that certainly won't go unnoticed. Beane followed in the footsteps of his idol Sherm Feller, who would have been more than supportive of the way Beane upheld his legacy at Fenway Park.
For a truly beautiful personal account of Beane the man, be sure and read Mike Petraglia's essay over on WEEI.com. It's a wonderful love letter to a man who was quite obviously a deep, personal friend.
Fenway won't be the same without Beane, who has left some enormous shoes to fill.