BOSTON — WGBH welcomed guest host Celeste Headlee from The Takeaway to our studios this morning. For the show's regular broadcast, she shared interviews with Boston locals, including 89.7FM senior reporter Philip Martin, who talked about the story he is reporting for the WGBH News Fenway Fridays series.
Listen to their conversation on the mixed feelings that Massachusettes communities of color have held towards Fenway park and the Red Sox over the decades, from offering their support to the Dodgers and the Yankees, to no love for A-Rod and what Major League Baseball must do to boost its fanbase.
Phillip Martin's full story will air next Friday, May 25th, on Morning Edition. Tune in at 89.7 FM, WGBH Boston.
By Elizabeth Deane | Thursday, May 17, 2012
May 18, 2012
From the WGBH Archives: Jean Shepherd visits Boston in 1969 and shares his grudging admiration for Fenway Park. View the video on OpenVault.
Hear the WGBH Radio Fenway Fridays series on Morning Edition
BOSTON — In the 1960s, New York radio icon and Midwest native Jean Shepherd — the man whose stories inspired the cinematic classic A Christmas Story — made a series of short films around Boston with producer Fred Barzyk.
Barzyk was 22 and working at WGBH, then a little station housed in a former roller skating rink in Cambridge. One Saturday afternoon, idly scanning the radio dial, he came upon Shepherd and fell under his storytelling spell. “He was like this jazz musician using words, taking riffs off his main idea but always returning back again,” Barzyk recalls. “I knew I had to work with him.”
BOSTON — Carl Beane, the public announcer for the Boston Red Sox since 2003, died this past Wednesday, experiencing a heart attack that caused him to swerve his car and collide with a tree, then a wall, while driving on Holland Road in Sturbridge, Mass.
When WGBH began our series called "Fenway Fridays", to recognize the significance of baseball history in Boston and the importance of our 100-year old park, the last thing we could imagine was the death of our friend. We all know Carl as that voice of the man behind the microphone of every Red Sox home game since 2003. Carl's voice also rang out in other venues, from the movie "Fever Pitch," to an exhibit at the baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown.
Carl Beane with WGBH News reporter Ibby Caputo, showing off his World Series rings during an interview in 2010.
When we heard of Carl's accident, everyone at WGBH Radio took a collective pause and shared stories about his enthusiasm, his baseball superstitions and how he stayed young by surrounding himself with the love of sports along the road to Fenway Park.
Listen to this WGBH broadcast of audio moments with Carl. Hear him recall what it was like to begin his first opening game with an unpopular parking announcement, hear about his childhood hope for a World Series ring and finally, listen to Fenway's moment of silence held for Carl this week.
Beane, 59, was a frequent contributor to WGBH Radio's sports coverage, and a friend to WGBH audio engineer Mike Wilkins, who talked with Morning Edition host Bob Seay about Beane's love for sports:
In a 2011 conversation with Emily Rooney, Beane said he began covering the Red Sox as a sports reporter in 1977 and got the unexpected opportunity to call Fenway games after a one-time audition during spring training.
"I'm sitting in the booth about a half an hour before the game, down in Florida, the place is full and I'm thinking to myself, 'What have I just talked myself into?', because my PA experience is zero," Beane said.
"It's kind of spooky talking to you," Rooney said during their interview. "That voice is just so familiar, and here you are talking like a regular person. We don't think of you as a regular person. You are that voice from the booth, like the voice of God."
Boston Bruins pose for a team photo on the ice at Fenway Park in Boston on Thursday, Dec. 31, 2009, before the New Years Day's Winter Classic NHL hockey game against the Philadelphia Flyers. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)
Klein said, "What most people don't realize about Fenway is that it was more than just a baseball stadium to the people who lived here. It really was a civic gathering spot." Both Boston College and Boston Univeristy held football games at Fenway, as did several professional football teams who got their start in Boston. Among other sporting events held at Fenway were the matches of the Boston Beacons, a 1960s Boston soccer team, and the Bruins hosted a Winter Classic match in Fenway against the Philadelphia Flyers in 2009. Even the Harlem Globetrotters have played a few basketball games in Fenway.
Not only did all kinds of sports teams get their moment of fame on Fenway's field. The park has also played host to numerous political rallies and performances. FDR gave his last campaign speech in Fenway in 1944, which was also broadcast on radio, and Fenway has offered music fans concerts over the decades, from John Philip Sousa in 1929 to Bruce Springsteen in 2003 and again this year.
Do you have a memory of attending a civic event at Fenway Park? Tell us about it in the comments below.
Ms. Zoubareva instructing the Good Morning America film crew at Fenway Park. (Photo: Elena Zoubareva)
Hear an excerpt of Zoubareva's conversation with Callie Crossley.
BOSTON — Elena Zoubareva, opera singer and voice expert, lives in close proximity to Fenway. She says she started offering vocal classes to baseball fans because she just couldn't bear to hear the damage they would do to their voices when cheering in a game.
When Red Sox Nation belts out the tune "Sweet Caroline," Zoubareva recommends fans should especially pay attention to their breathing. It may be hard to imagine when both teams are tied in the 7th inning, but one way to remember to breathe is to imagine sniffing roses. "And keep a tiny smile!" she says. Not even letting loose on the Yankees is condoned when your voice is at stake. "I have seen careers and marriages destroyed by damage done to voices," she said.
BOSTON — The Greater Boston team visited Fenway on the day of the ballpark's open house. Emily spoke with Boston Red Sox President and CEO Larry Lucchino about what makes Fenway is one of America’s most beloved ballparks.
In addition, Jared Bown shares interviews with Red Sox memorabilia collector Kurt Cerulli, author Glen Stout and ESPN's Howard Bryant about their unique views of the ballpark's history.
(Images courtesy of the Red Sox)
About Fenway at 100
WGBH News brings you local stories and historic moments from Fenway Park, home of the Boston Red Sox, as it marks a century in baseball history.
(Fenway photo courtesy of the Boston Red Sox.)
About the Authors
Elizabeth Deane Elizabeth Deane is a longtime producer and writer for WGBH Boston. Annie Shreffler Annie Shreffler is a digital features producer, writer and photographer for WGBH.org. She obtained an M.A. in Journalism from the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism and kicked off her second career as a digital projects producer for The Brian Lehrer Show on WNYC New York Public Radio.
WGBH News The WGBH News team comprises the WGBH radio newsroom, The Callie Crossley Show, The Emily Rooney Show and WGBH Channel 2 reporters and producers from Greater Boston and Basic Black.
Tune In for Fenway Fridays on 89.7 FM
WGBH Radio will air Fenway stories on Fridays throughout the baseball season. Listen for accounts of history, innovation, behind-the-scenes and how the arts were influenced by America's oldest ballpark.
Have a comment? Please share it with us! We welcome your Fenway stories and recollections.