This is the photograph from when I first met Carl Beane. I was 12 years old. My step brother had died a couple days before. I was getting bullied severely in middle school for liking the wrong baseball team, the wrong type of music, and for wearing the wrong style of clothing.
I was completely obsessed with the Red Sox while growing up. I slept in Red Sox sheets, wore Red Sox jerseys/shirts every single day. I had my braces red and blue. I had the entire game season schedule handwritten in my agenda/planner at school including who was pitching. My room was covered with every newspaper article that the Red Sox were mentioned that I could find in New York. I watched them win the World Series in 2004, 2007. I memorized the dialogue in Fever Pitch. I was completely sunken in to them. They always took me away to a better place.
One day my Mom decided that she was going to take me down to Ft. Myers to City of Palms Park for Spring Training. I had never seen the Red Sox before. As our trip grew closer, tragedy had struck in New York. Mike had died. My brothers and I grew up with him. We were close like brothers. Our parents were basically married. Immediately, I swung into a deeper depression. My Mom still decided to take me on the trip.
We went on a tour of the ballpark. We dragged behind, lost in our own emotion. I could barely stand up straight from the sorrow that ached my bones. Then, a short little man with a very deep voice came out from one of the rooms. He said hello and recognized that I needed cheering up. By now, the tour was long before us. He put the 2004 World Series ring on my finer. It was gigantic compared to my little hand and extremely heavy. For the first time in weeks, I cracked a smile. That smile was caught on camera in the picture above. A couple seconds later I gave the ring back and my Mom and I caught up with the tour, leaving Carl Beane behind.
Later that day my Mom walked around the ballpark to find a bathroom and again, ran into Carl Beane. She thanked him, telling him that it was the first time she had seen me smile in a very long time. She began to tell him about the truma we had just gone through. They talked for minutes. Then they exchanged emails.
When I got back to NY I emailed Carl. He was very interested in my guitar playing and how much I loved the Red Sox. He began telling me inside stories of the Red Sox. I looked forward to his emails. I finally felt like I had a true friend.
When baseball season started we went up to Fenway Park. We got to see Carl again. We made dinner plans. Years and years went on like this. Every single time I saw him he let me wear the World Series ring, and eventually rings, when the Sox took 2007 as well. Every single time he brought a smile to my face.
Carl would let me walk on the field just before the games would start. He would bring my Mom and I into the ballpark before it even opened, allowing us to grasp how big it really is. He let me sit in the announcers booth. He let me see the Red Sox in ways that other fans never got the chance. He did so much for my entire family. He even got me my first gig in Florida!
Carl, was an amazing man. I am really going to miss him a lot. If there is a heaven, I know that Carl Beane is there. I hope he is hanging out with Ted Willians.
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- m0rpheus said: He sounds like he was a phenomenal friend, I am so sorry for your loss. :(
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