Friday, February 8, 2013

The voice - Red Sox held open auditions for Fenway's new public-address announcer

By Chris Jones | ESPN The Magazine
[Photo credit: Mark Matcho for ESPN]
THEY GATHERED ON Yawkey Way early on a frozen January morning, every version of a man you could imagine. They were tall and short, thin and fat, old and young. Some wore suits with ties; some wore Boston jackets and caps. All of them had answered an open call to become the new public-address announcer for the Red Sox, the new Voice of Fenway Park. These were the auditions to replace the beloved Carl Beane, who died last May and whose deep, deliberate narration had become so synonymous with this place that the Red Sox had put off finding a full-time substitute until now. How the hopefuls looked didn't matter. Only their voices did.

At last they were let inside, and a line formed at a table manned by John Carter, the director of Red Sox productions. He steeled himself for a long and sometimes literally monotonous day. All of the nearly 400 applicants, including invitees at an earlier, separate audition, were handed an identical script: 121 words that would dictate their fates and, in some small way, the game-day experiences of every fan for years to come. Think of Beane or Sherm Feller before him; think of Bob Sheppard at Yankee Stadium. "We have to get this right," Carter said. "This voice has to fit."

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