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Why is “Sweet Caroline” the Boston Red Sox Theme Song?

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On Saturday night I was at the Binghamton Senators game and the song “Sweet Caroline” was played in honor of the victims of the Boston Marathon bombings.  And then shortly after, I received word from a friend who lives in Boston that Neil Diamond showed up unannounced at Fenway that day and asked to sing “Sweet Caroline” to the Red Sox fans at the game.

Just another reason why I have a “old enough to be my father, but I don’t care” crush on Neil. Bu that’s beside the point.

If you’re not a Red Sox fan, you probably have no clue why “Sweet Caroline” has special meaning to the people of Boston. I didn’t, so I decided to search for the answer and this is what I found:

At every Red Sox home game, “Sweet Caroline” is played before the bottom of the 8th inning.  Legend has it the song was a request by former Red Sox announcer Ed Brickley who wanted the song to be played as tribute to the newborn baby girl of Billy Fitzpatrick who worked at Fenway Park for 20 years and that it just caught on from there. But that’s not truth.

In reality, the song became the unofficial theme song of the Boston Red Sox because someone liked the song, played it and it stuck.

Amy Toby was in charge of the music for Fenway from 1998 to 2004 and responsible for picking the music that played between innings.  She picked “Sweet Caroline” because she liked the song and had heard it played at other sporting events.

When the song was played the first couple of times at Fenway, it was only played at random games in the middle of the 7th and 9th innings and only if the Red Sox were ahead. Amy thought of the song as somewhat of a good luck charm and it stuck.  In 2002, “Sweet Caroline” became an official Fenway tradition and to this day is played before the bottom of the 8th inning at each home game.

If you haven’t seen the video of Neil Diamond performing “Sweet Caroline” at Fenway this past weekend, this is a must see:

Sources: Boston PastimeThe Boston Globe

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