Carl Beane, one of the most iconic and renowned public address (PA) announcers in major league baseball, died on Wednesday after suffering a heart attack while driving. He was 59 years old.
Beane originally earned his place on the microphone when he won a competition announcing lineups at Fenway Park after the 2002 season. One year into what was already a great experience, he got to preside over Boston’s 2004 World Series campaign – the one that ended the team’s cursed, 86-year championship-less drought.
Above all else, Beane was best known for his introduction to every single home game: "Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, welcome to Fenway Park."
Everyone involved, beginning with the Red Sox franchise and ending with Beane’s family, was hit hard by the news.
"We are filled with sadness at this tragic news," Red Sox president Larry Lucchino said in a statement issued by the team. "His legion of friends with the Red Sox and the media will miss him enormously, and all of Red Sox Nation will remember his presence, his warmth, and his voice."
David Ortiz also offered his condolences on Twitter:
My thoughts and prayers go out to the family of Carl Beane.Stepping up to the plate at Fenway won't be the same. #VoiceOfFenway
— David Ortiz (@davidortiz) May 9, 2012
While his heart attack is being cited as the reason that Beane ultimately crashed his car, it’s worth pointing out that details remain murky regarding what precisely killed him. We know he slammed his vehicle into a tree in Sturbridge, Mass., but so far nobody has confirmed that it was the accident and not the heart attack that in fact led to his death.
Via the Boston Globe:
Golfers from nearby Hemlock Ridge Golf Course called police at 12:39 p.m. to alert them to the crash, according to Worcester District Attorney Joseph D. Early.
A preliminary investigation showed that Beane’s 2004 Suzuki was traveling northbound when it crossed double solid lines, left the road, and hit a tree and a wall. There were no passengers in the car.
The Red Sox will pay tribute to Beane at this Friday's game.
He is survived by his wife, Lorraine and daughter, Nicole.