Of every the Johnny Pesky stories to come the end the previous week, one pointed out in an short article by Martine strength of the Boston world stood out. When Pesky saw the Perkins college for the Blind number of years back, strength relayed, students at the facility just exterior Boston had actually reportedly serenaded the lovely Red Sox legend with a tune that led to the old shortstop come tear up:

Sweet Caroline.

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OK, smart alecks, prior to you start in with snappy comebacks like, “He was crying due to the fact that he had actually to hear to those awful lyrics again,” just think because that a moment. Deserve to a track that reasons a wonderful old man to cry—let"s i think it to be for joy—and can get parents and children to placed their arms roughly each other and belt the end the words as they persuade side-to-side, yes, really be so bad?


According to part people, yes.

The bottom of the eighth inning in ~ Fenway Park has been came before by a record of Neil Diamond to sing his signature 1969 hit because that the past decade. It doesn"t matter if the Red Sox space winning 2-1, shedding 2-1 or shedding 12-1, Sweet Caroline always gets she airtime.

If you hear to the crowd reaction, the sounds like most people love this tradition; thousands sing along as strong and loud as they did as soon as Bruce Springsteen opened with Thunder roadway at Fenway last week, and with just as lot unabashed joy. Yet many sports radio hosts and also callers are passionately opposed to the ritual, i beg your pardon one can assume method there are numerous fans at the gamings who share your displeasure.


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Why together hatred? some pundits suggest to Sweet Caroline as a prime instance of Fenway"s “woosification” native an old-school ballpark of genuine fans into a fixed of “pink hat” idiots who understand nothing around baseball. These clueless ditzes jumped top top the Red Sox bandwagon after the 2004 World collection season, and will sing a silly song no matter what the score.

My girlfriend Nancy, a very sharp fan who has season ticket in left field, is squarely in this anti-Caroline camp. She to be so disgusted by the sing-along throughout a specifically dismal home performance by the Red Sox this summer the she leaped up and started berating the swaying masses around her. What would cause an otherwise lovely mrs to do this?

I inquiry her.


“How deserve to they be so happy with the Red Sox acquiring killed?” she called me. “Don"t lock care about the game at all?”

That"s decent logic, and also it"s common by plenty of of the various other fans i polled. Some said Sweet Caroline is OK yet shouldn"t be played as soon as the Red Sox are losing, while others think it has actually run its course altogether and should be scrapped. Some prefer Nancy think it"s the worst thing to hit at Fenway due to the fact that Bucky Dent.

The history behind the tune isn"t sufficient to sway these nay-singers. Neil Diamond revealed in 2007 the the Caroline he created it for ago in "69 was the 12-year-old daughter that President john Kennedy, that after the assassination the both her father and also beloved uncle Bobby had every reason to think the human being was an awful place. Diamond was motivated to create it, he said, after he witnessed a picture of Caroline and also her pony.

This seems very nice, the nay-singers will certainly exclaim, till you begin closely analyzing the lyrics. “Look in ~ the night... Currently it don"t seem for this reason lonely... Us fill it up with only two...Warm, touchin" warm...reaching out... Touchin" me, touchin" you.” There room actually anti-Sweet Caroline websites pondering what a grown man was doing thinking around a preteen girl in together a manner.

Yes, the words do seem a tiny weird due to the fact that Diamond revealed who Caroline was, yet you can spin it an additional way; perhaps he was thinking of a little girl gift lonely after she father"s death, and that storage of them with each other would aid her through the darkest times. If Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg was upset by the lyrics, she never ever made this feelings public. In fact, Diamond to be at she 50th date of birth party to sing it to her live.


I stopped short of questioning Diamond himself, however did walk to one more expert because that answers. Steve O"Neill has been a Red Sox season ticket holder because the 1990s and is additionally a social job-related manager in ~ Beth Israel Deaconess clinical Center. He help sick people and their love ones gain through their hardest hours, and also has had actually quite a couple of serious medical scares in his very own nuclear family. He additionally has a boy who"s seen numerous tours that duty in Iraq top a U.S. Army National guard unit charged through detecting and also disarming bombs and also other explosive devices.

O"Neill is about as level-headed and also un-pink-hattish one individual as you"ll find, but he looks at this whole Sweet Caroline thing a little bit differently.

“When ns go come a ballgame, ns think of gift at gamings with my father and also grandfather years ago,” the says. “Sweet Caroline reminds me of the time. I imagine Caroline thinking around her dad, similar to I"m thinking around mine. Fenway is around making memories, and also when I involved a video game with my very own daughter and also we song it together, we really do a connection.”

I recognize what he"s talk about, since I"ve sung Sweet Caroline with my own 8-year-old daughter at every Red Sox video game she"s attended. I"ve even called her a couple of nights to song it through her before bedtime—Rachel with her stuffed Wally on one finish of the phone, me in ~ Fenway ~ above the other.

Does this average I"m no a actual fan if the Red Sox happen to it is in losing during our duet? Hardly. It just means I"m a dad making his tiny girl smile.


O"Neill again: “The feeling behind the tune is really meaningful. It reminds you the there is much more to life than simply games. That puts view on things.”

I"m no Neil Diamond groupie, and also when i tell O"Neill I"m actually amongst those who think Sweet Caroline is an excellent if the Red Sox space winning, however not otherwise, the frowns and also offers an additional pearl the wisdom.

“If you"re down, and also you sing, it deserve to lift girlfriend up,” he says.

Kind of prefer an audio rally cap.

I"m no pink hat, yet for now I"m walk to save singing no issue what the score. The Sox need all the talismans they have the right to get.

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Saul Wisnia lives much less than seven miles native Fenway Park and works 300 yards indigenous Yawkey Way. His recent book, Fenway Park: The Centennial, is easily accessible at http://amzn.to/qWjQRS, and also his Fenway Reflections have the right to be discovered athttp://saulwisnia.blogspot.com. He deserve to be reached at saulwizz
gmail.com and
saulwizz.