why do they sing sweet caroline at boston baseball games
Here is the latest in a series of examinations into urban legends about baseball and whether they are true or false. Click
to view an archive of the baseball urban legends featured so far. : The Red Sox began playing Sweet Caroline in honor of a Red Sox employee who named her newborn daughter Caroline in 1998. One of the coolest baseball musical traditions is the singing of the Neil Diamond hit Sweet Caroline during the 8th inning of Boston Red Sox games played at Fenway Park. WHY the song is played during the 8th inning of Boston Red Sox games played at Fenway Park is a whole other story. The song has nothing to do with Boston, so why the connection? The most common official explanation is that an unnamed Red Sox employee had the song played in honor of his newborn daughter, Caroline.
That was the one offered up by Megan Kaiser, the game day music programmer at Fenway from 2004-2007. Honestly, that might very well be true. It would not surprise me at all to learn that a guy got them to play the song that day. However, there is playing the song one day and there is the song becoming special. And Amy Tobey, the woman who had Kaiser s job from 1998-2004, is pretty clear in the song s origin at Fenway, and I could see where you d want to invent a story, since the actual one is fairly mundane. You see, the song has long been popular at sporting events because of its infectious positive vibe (and its extreme sing-along-ability) and when Tobey began using it, that was her inspiration. She saw it used at other games and she thought it would work well for the Red Sox, as well.
She would play in some time in the later innings (7th or later) if the Red Sox were ahead. She told the Boston Globe, I actually considered it like a good luck charm. Even if they were just one run [ahead], I might still do it. It was just a feel. When new ownership took over, they had Tobey make the song a regular occurrence, because it was so popular with the fans. When Kaiser took over, she added the twist of cutting the volume on the song to allow the fans to sing parts of the song, a very popular Fenway tradition to this day. So while other teams seemed to like using it is perhaps not the most attractive of answers, it also appears to be the correct one. Thanks to the Boston Globe s Stephanie Vosk and Tobey for their side of the tale, and thanks to MLB s Alyson Footer and Kaiser for their information.
Feel free (heck, I implore you! ) to write in with your suggestions for future installments! My e-mail address is Why is Sweet Caroline the Boston Red Sox Theme Song? by April 22, 2013 11:24 AM On Saturday night I was at the Binghamton Senators game and the song БSweet CarolineБ was played in honor of the victims of the Boston Marathon bombings. б 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 БSweet CarolineБ to the Red Sox fans at the game. Just another reason why I have a Бold enough to be my father, but I donБt careБ crush on Neil.
Bu thatБs beside the point. If youБre not a Red Sox fan, you probably have no clue why БSweet CarolineБ has special meaning to the people of Boston. I didnБt, so I decided to search for the answer and this is what I found: At every Red Sox home game, БSweet CarolineБ is played before the bottom of the 8th inning. б 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 thatБs 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. б She picked БSweet CarolineБ 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 7 innings and only if the Red Sox were ahead. Amy thought of the song as somewhat of a good luck charm and it stuck. б In 2002, БSweet CarolineБ became an official Fenway tradition and to this day is played before the bottom of the 8 inning at each home game. If you havenБt seen the video of Neil Diamond performing БSweet CarolineБ at Fenway this past weekend, this is a must see: Sources:,б
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