Greenville, SC - Ed Jenson, the first play-by-play broadcaster in Greenville Drive franchise history, passed away yesterday evening at home, with his loving wife, Caroline, by his side. He was 69-years-old.
Ed joined the Drive organization during their Inaugural Season in 2006 as the team's play-by-play broadcaster. He did not miss a single home game from 2006 to 2015, until his battle with illnesses began. Ed officially stepped down as the Drive's play-by-play broadcaster prior to Opening Day this season.
"Ed was the first person that welcomed me to the Drive and Greenville when I came to the organization as the Media Relations Director in October of 2005," noted Drive General Manager, Eric Jarinko. "He told me on day one that he was going to be our broadcaster. There isn't anyone else that loved the Greenville Drive - our players, our coaches, our staff - or being at Fluor Field more than Ed did. I will truly miss my friend, as will everyone else that ever came in contact with him, and the ballpark will never be the same."
There are many memorable calls and broadcasts from Ed's tenure with the Drive, which culminated on September 15th, 2017, when the Drive captured their first South Atlantic League Championship. That offseason, Ed was presented with his very own Championship Ring.
"Ed was as passionate in the booth as we were on the field," stated former Drive Hitting Coach (2012) and Manager (2014-17), and current Red Sox Minor League Outfield & Baserunning Coordinator, Darren Fenster. "During my time in Greenville, we had countless exciting plays or thrilling finishes. I would always enjoy replaying the games online the next day just to hear how Ed called it, and he never disappointed."
Billy McMillon, current Pawtucket Red Sox Manager, and former Drive Hitting Coach (2008-09) and Manager (2010-2011), added, "I'm deeply saddened to hear of Ed's passing. I will always cherish the many times we were together talking about the Drive, and about the group of men that came through the organization. To his family, I want to say 'thank you' for sharing Ed with us, and my deepest condolences to you all in this difficult time."
Ed's love and passion for the Drive ran so deep, that the nuptials between he and Caroline were performed at Fluor Field, on Saturday, May 20th, 2017, prior to a Drive game - in which he then announced. Caroline regularly joined Ed in the broadcast booth.
"Spending the summers with Ed in the Fluor Field press box was a true pleasure," noted Drive Media Relations Manager (2011-2019), Cameron White. "His passion for Greenville Drive baseball was unmatched, and getting to share in the 2017 South Atlantic League Championship celebration with him was a very special moment for everyone in the Drive organization. He will be dearly missed."
Current Drive Manager Iggy Suarez added, "Ed was such an important part of the Greenville Community and I am very honored to have met the voice of the Drive. He was an absolute baseball fan who loved being around the game. He will truly be missed."
To honor Ed's tenure with the Drive, the players and coaches will wear patches on their jerseys for the remainder of the 2019 season, featuring Ed's initials - EJ - and the image of a retro microphone. During the Drive's upcoming homestand, there will be a Moment of Silence and celebration of Ed's life prior to Friday's game (May 3rd). In addition, the Drive's audio and MiLB.tv broadcasts will go silent in the bottom of the first inning of each game during that homestand, in remembrance of Ed.
The Drive will also be renaming the press box at Fluor Field in Ed's honor, with an official dedication to follow.
Drive Owner & President Craig Brown added, "We are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Ed Jenson, who for more than a decade dedicated his life to the Greenville Drive. His loyalty, care, and passion for the game of baseball and the Greenville Drive were an inspiration to us each day, and it is truly fitting to dedicate the press box in his honor - as it, and Fluor Field, were his second home for so many years. The Drive Family and the Greenville Community have lost a great man."
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.