By Jess Bidgood
Apr. 6, 2011
BOSTON — Boston baseball fans are starting to feel anxious after the Red Sox' much-heralded new lineup managed to lose five games in a row in its opening week.
But when the Sox take to Fenway for their opening home game, there will be at least one ever-welcoming supporter: The public address announcer. Every single batter that steps to the plate at Fenway this year will be announced by Carl Beane, just as they have been for the last eight seasons.
Beane isn't worried about the Sox' losing record so far. "In the course of 162 games, you're going to lose a whole bunch of games in a row. You're gonna lost one third of your games, it's going to happen," Beane told WGBH's Emily Rooney on Wednesday.
Still the man whose voice guides Sox fans and players through their home games has a critical eye. "In the first games, Buchholz, Lackey, Lester did not pitch well at all," Beane said.
In a way, it's strange to hear the Voice Of The Sox say anything but his regular announcments, let alone offering the team constructive criticism. Beane knows it comes with the territory -- a territory he came to own as if by magic. He had covered the team as a radio reporter since 1977.
"I was literally sitting at my dinner table in my home, and I got this thing in my head to call the Red Sox," Beane said. He told the media relations director he'd heard a rumor they might be looking for a new PA announcer -- although he'd heard no such thing.
"They said, 'Busy Saturday? If not, we'll fly you down to Fort Meyers and we'll have you do a game on Sunday.' I thought I had the wrong number!" Beane recalled.
Beane had no PA experience at the time -- but he'd been at almost every single Red Sox game in the time he was a reporter. "I know the game, I've played the game, and being a reporter was familiar with the ins and outs of how the game worked," Beane said.
They asked him to do another game the next day, and soon brought him on permanently. "It is a dream come true," Beane said, still marveling at the course of events that led him into it.
Beane sits in a booth right underneath the 1903 banner. It's kind of the nerve center of the park, since the board operators and park producers are there, too. He tries to get to the park three hours early, so he can check in personally with players on the opposite team, should he not know how their names are pronounced.
But Beane doesn't parlay his constant presence into friendship with the players. "The reporter in me, I'm there to do my job and not to make friends. We're workmates and acquaintances, yes," Beane said.
In fact, Beane is still a reporter. "When the season ends, I go back to covering the Bruins, Celtics and Patriots," he said.
But that doesn't mean he ever stops being the Voice of the Sox. "I'm the caretaker of it, and I'll take care of it for as long as I can," Beane said.
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