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STURBRIDGE (CBS) – It’s an unmistakable voice that welcomed fans to Fenway Park. Carl Beane, always perched high above the ballpark, was the voice of the park with the familiar, “Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls.”
“His voice was the persona of Fenway Park,” said Red Sox fan Dan Gregorio.
The voice has now been silenced as Beane died in a single car crash on a Sturbridge road just a few miles from his home in neighboring Holland. He apparently suffered a heart attack before police say he crossed the double line and crashed his 2004 Suzuki into a tree and wall near a local golf course where they heard the crash.
“The window was broken and where I was standing on the other side of the wall I yelled, ‘Sir are you alright?’, but there was no response,” said Middy Marino, who works at the Hemlock Ridge Golf Course in Sturbridge.
Rescuers cleared the branches to get to him. “They put paddles on him and gave him CPR,” said Marino. But Beane didn’t survive the wreck.
Family members were too distraught to talk with WBZ-TV, but a neighbor says Beane talked often of his dream job. “He liked knowing the people, getting together with the players, he would come down and tell me about the players,” said Karen Horton.
Beane told WBZ-TV’s Lisa Hughes back in 2007, “This was the job I was put on earth to do, I really believe that”. His website has him showing off his World Series rings, relishing the fact he was able to announce the games.
“It’s hearing his voice, and now somebody has tough shoes to fill,” said Red Sox fan Ron Pulinski. Beane filled the shoes of the infamous Sherm Feller back in 2003, and paid tribute to him before every game.
“We are filled with sadness at this tragic news,” said Red Sox President/CEO Larry Lucchino. “No one loved his role with the Red Sox more than Carl did his. He adored the opportunity to pay homage each game to Sherm Feller, and to contribute to the culture of Fenway Park, a place he loved passionately. 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.
“On behalf of John Henry, Tom Werner, our partners, and our entire organization, we extend our deepest sympathies to his wife, Lorraine; his daughter, Nicole; and his granddaughters, Maddie and Gena.”
Listen: WBZ NewsRadio 1030′s Diane Stern spoke with Tom Cuddy about Beane’s passing:
Beane was born and raised in Agawam, MA. He graduated from Agawam High School in 1971 and the Career Academy School of Broadcasting in 1972, when he began his broadcasting career at WMAS in Springfield.
His voice is featured in “The Baseball Experience” at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, NY.
The Red Sox will pay tribute to him in pre-game ceremonies Thursday before their 7:10 p.m. home game versus the Cleveland Indians.
His family asks that contributions in his memory be donated to the Holland Congregational Church Building Fund (11 Sturbridge Road, Holland, MA 01521) and the American Diabetes Association.
In early April, Carl Beane joined Mel Simons and Jason Fernandez on WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s The Steve LeVeille Broadcast to take part in their baseball preview show. Listen to the show here:
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WBZ-TV’s Beth Germano contributed to this report