Here's a feature article I wrote for that same COM 201 class on a Winchester, MA celebrity.
(Speaking of that class, a project my group made for it is a finalist in a national competition! Our public service announcement about cultural tolerance is one of eight clips chosen among many. If our clip wins the contest, it will become the basis of a television commercial that will be aired nationally! Our group needs your help to make sure we win! Here's the link:
The link on the bottom left, "Tolerance", is ours. Click on it to watch the 1 minute commercial. To vote, click the link at the bottom of the page, and rank Tolerance #1. The form only requires an email address so you can't vote twice. It won't send you anything. I really appreciate any and every vote I get. On behalf of my whole group, thanks in advance.)
Well, that was a long aside. Anyway, here's the article, which I submitted to the Winchester Star and hope to have published in the near future.
It was a starry night at
As a child living in
Ed joined the military after he graduated from
Marion Rogers was a neighbor to the Brickley family for eight years while they lived on
Ed’s favorite athletes have always been those who give their best effort. They play the game the same way Ed did as a kid. That is the reason he liked former Red Sox shortstop Nomar Garciaparra so much, as well as Ted Williams, his favorite player of all time. He loved Ted Williams so much that his daughter named one of her children after him. The passion Williams and Garciaparra showed and the effort they gave for their job were the same Ed would have for his jobs in sports.
Ed’s first sports-related job was with the New England Patriots. In 1966, Jack Dwyer, a childhood friend of Ed’s was down a man and needed an extra statistician for his team. He asked Ed to join, and Ed happily agreed. When Jack resigned in 1975, Ed became the head statistician. Ed remained in that role until 1985, when he retired. His official title was chief statistician and official scorer. As a statistician, he and his staff had to record all the stats during the game. As the official scorer, he used his knowledge of the rules of football to record stats and other game data such as the distance of field goals and length of penalties. Ed said his time with the Patriots was very enjoyable, but also very time consuming. “I left for church early in the morning, then headed to Foxboro [Stadium] before 10 am. I would finish the stat sheet late, and get home close to midnight after each game,” Ed stated. At the end of each game, the chief statistician had to announce the statistics to the media in the press box. Little did Ed know that the announcing experience from this job would be useful later in his career.
Ed did not work in sports again for another decade, but he continued to be the avid fan he always had been. He retired from his job at Polaroid in 1996, and got an important phone call just months later. In March of 1997, he received a call from another friend of his. His friend (who shall remain anonymous) worked in the Boston Red Sox front office. Ed had been trying for years to get a job with the Red Sox. Finally there was an opening. He was not told much about the job. Ed’s friend asked him to come in for an interview, in which the details of the job would be explained. That one interview turned into a series of sessions with various members of the Red Sox front office. At one of the later meetings, the interviewer asked Ed, “Have you ever considered a public address job?”
At first, Ed thought he was kidding. “My voice isn’t good enough,” he replied with a smirk.
Many other people were auditioning for the job, including a handful of radio broadcasters. The interviewer told Ed to read the script that had been prepared for all of the candidates. After frantically searching for a few minutes, the interviewer could not find the script.
Ed looked at the interviewer and asked, “Can I just give the 1949 Boston Red Sox starting lineup?” The interviewer allowed it, and Ed announced the lineup for a team that hadn’t played together in forty-eight years. His reason for choosing the 1949 squad was that “it has Ted Williams in it”.
Ed came back a few more times for follow up interviews. The Red Sox had found their man. Ed got a call in late March that determined his fate with the Red Sox Organization. His friend greeted him, then proclaimed, “I have good news and bad news.”
Ed answered, “I’ll take the good news first.” He waited for the caller’s response, anxious to hear the result.
“The good news is that you’ve got the job. You’re going to be our Public Address Announcer,” his friend replied.
“There can’t be any bad news then,” Ed joked.
“The bad news is that the pay stinks.”
“You’re going to pay me too?” Ed asked, chuckling.
Just weeks before the start of the 1997 season, Ed Brickley had a new job. He was working for his favorite sports team, something he had always wanted. On Ed’s first day as the Public Address Announcer, the Red Sox played the Seattle Mariners. It was opening day, 1997, and Nomar Garciaparra was the Sox’ leadoff hitter. Nomar was first Sox player he introduced, and he soon became his favorite. “Now batting for the Red Sox: the shortstop, number five, Nomar Garciaparrrrra!” Ed shouted, smiling. As the words left his mouth, he knew this was the job for him.
The greatest moment of Ed’s PA career came at the 1999 Major League Baseball All Star Game, the aforementioned scene that he will never forget. “That night was beyond description. It was great for me, but also for anybody that liked baseball and followed the Red Sox and the story of Ted Williams,” Ed recalled. “The pre-game ceremony was one of the greatest moments in
In 2002, the Boston Red Sox were sold to a group of investors led by John Henry and Tom Werner. With new ownership came new employees. Luckily for Ed, he was not laid off. However, he lost his position as the PA announcer. When Ed spoke of the PA job, he had nothing to say but positive remarks. “I loved everything about my job with the Red Sox. I had another three letter word for it: joy. The people I worked with-- I use “work” euphemistically-- were wonderful. It was a delightful atmosphere to be in. Some of the greatest moments of my life happened in the
Ed now works in the Legends Suite, which has many famous visitors. Since he got his new job, Ed has been able to talk to some of the Red Sox greats like Luis Tiant, Jim Rice, and Dennis Eckersley. He may not still have his favorite job, but he also loves the one he currently has. “It’s quite an honor to speak with those men. I really enjoy being in their company.”
One of Ed’s favorite aspects of the game of baseball and his job is the unpredictability involved in both. “That’s one thing that makes baseball so great because you never know. On a given day, anything could happen.” That unpredictability, the magic of baseball fuels Ed’s passion for the game. That magic was on the field that summer night in 1999. It was there at Ed’s first game as PA announcer. Ed Brickley truly enjoys what he does. Because of his passion and determination, Ed Brickley has experienced that magic, and got to live his dream.