R.I.P. Carl Beane

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R.I.P. Carl Beane

I don't think I ever officially met Carl Beane, the longtime Fenway Park PA announcer who was tragically killed this afternoon in a one-car accident.

I saw him around all the time usually collecting sound at the Garden during Celtics playoff games and I certainly heard his voice whenever I made it over to Fenway. But sadly, I'm pretty sure we were never introduced, so I definitely can't pretend to know him as well as so many others who worked alongside him (in some capacity) over the last handful of years.

But I do have one random Carl Beane story that I tell from time-to-time, and this feels like it should be one of those times:

It was the summer of 2008, and I was driving back from spending the Fourth of July at a friend's house in New York State. My girlfriend and I had been up late the night before, got off to a late start that morning and basically just didn't feel like being in the car anymore, so we pulled off at an exit in The Berkshires.

We drove into one of those random little towns (I forget which one), and pulled up to the first visible hotel the parking lot of which was entirely empty except for one car.

An SUV with an enormous baseball on the back.

As we got closer, we could see that it was actually a novelty spare tire cover that had been embroidered with a big No. 26 in the middle, and the letters BEANE centered under that. I knew the name, and obviously made the connection. But if that wasn't enough, the car was also decorated with numerous bumper stickers and decals making reference to "Voice of the Red Sox" and pimping www.carlbeane.com. This thing wasn't a car. It was a Carl Beane machine!

And I have to admit, we thought it was hilarious. Over the next 24 hours, we probably walked by his car four or five times, and laughed every time. First, at the fact that it was the only other car in the lot. Second, because who does that? The guy had turned his car into a Facebook page.

At one point, I remember saying something like: "Man, Carl Beane sure loves being Carl Beane."

I was kind of joking, but it was entirely true.

Carl Beane loved being Carl Beane.

He took more pride in being "the voice of the Boston Red Sox" than most of us take in just about anything. Like I said, I never really knew him, but I can say this for sure.

He loved his job. He loved the Sox. He loved baseball.

And it was absolutely awful to click on that link this afternoon and see that same car, with that same crazy novelty baseball cover, slammed into a tree. It's an unbelievable tragedy. Like everyone else, I feel awful for his family. He was a great guy.

R.I.P.

Rich can be reached at rlevine@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Rich on Twitter at http:twitter.comrich_levine

Former Red Sox prospect Andy Marte killed in car crash in Dominican Republic

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Former Red Sox prospect Andy Marte killed in car crash in Dominican Republic

Former major leaguer Andy Marte, a one-time top prospect in the Red Sox organization, was killed in a car crash in the Dominican Republic on Sunday. He was 33.

Marte was killed the same day that Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura died in a separate car crash in the Dominican. Ventura was 25. Coincidentally, Ventura was the Royals starting pitcher in Marte's final major league game, for the Arizona Diamondbacks on Aug. 6, 2014.

Marte, drafted by the Braves in 2000, was ranked the No. 9 prospect in baseball in 2005 when the third baseman was traded to the Red Sox as part of the deal that sent shortstop Edgar Renteria to Atlanta and Marte became the top-ranked prospect in the Red Sox organization.  

Marte was traded by the Red Sox to the Indians in 2006 in the deal that sent Coco Crisp to Boston and spent five seasons with Cleveland. His best season was 2009 (.232, six home runs, 25 RBI in 47 games). After a six-game stint with Arizona in 2014, he played in South Korea the past two years.  

Metropolitan traffic authorities in the Dominican told the Associated Press that Marte died when a car he was driving his a house along the highway between San Francisco de Macoris and Pimentel, about 95 miles (150 kilometers) north of the capital.
 

Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura killed in car crash in Dominican Republic

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Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura killed in car crash in Dominican Republic

Kansas City Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura was killed in a car crash in in the Dominican Republic on Sunday morning, according to multiple reports. Ventura was 25 years old.

Highway patrol spokesman Jacobo Mateo told the Associated Press that Ventura died on a highway leading to the town of Juan Adrian, about 40 miles (70 kilometers) northwest of Santo Domingo. He says it's not clear if Ventura was driving.

Ventura was killed the same day former major leaguer Andy Marte died in a separate car crash in the Dominican. Coincidentally, Ventura was the starting pitcher in Marte's final MLB game, for the Arizona Diamondbacks on Aug. 6, 2014. 

Ventura was 13-8 with a 4.08 ERA for the Royals' 2015 World Series champions and 11-12 with a 4.45 ERA in 32 starts in 2016. The right-hander made his major league debut in 2013 and in 2014 went 14-10 with a 3.20 ERA for Kansas City's A.L. pennant winners. 

Ironically, Ventura paid tribute to his good friend and fellow Dominican, Oscar Tavares, who was also killed in a car crash in the D.R. in October 2014, by wearing Tavares' initials and R.I.P. on his cap before Ventura's start in Game 6 of the World Series in 2014. 

Ventura is the second current major league player to die in the past five months. Former Miami Marlins ace Jose Fernandez was killed in a boating accident in Miami on Sept. 25.