Diamond Asked Sox if He Could Sing ‘Sweet Caroline’

Sunday, April 21, 2013
Boston — About that live rendition of Sweet Caroline in the eighth inning: It was Neil Diamond’s idea, not the Red Sox’.

According to a team spokesman, Diamond woke up yesterday morning in Los Angeles and boarded a 4:30 a.m. flight to Boston. The 72-year-old singer landed at Logan International Airport at about 12:30 p.m., at which point he phoned the Red Sox’ offices and asked if he could perform Sweet Caroline live on the field during yesterday’s game against the Royals.

The Red Sox obliged, and there was Diamond, along the first-base line, leading the crowd in a rendition of his famous song, recorded in 1969 and a staple at Fenway Park for more than a decade.

There was a lot of spontaneous singing at Fenway. The crowd joined together to sing The Star-Spangled Banner during a moving pregame ceremony to honor the victims of the Marathon bombings and the ensuing manhunt for the suspects, then joined Massachusetts state trooper Kathryn Downey for God Bless America during the seventh-inning stretch.

And after the Red Sox scored a come-from-behind 4-3 victory over the Royals, the crowd stood and sang, Dirty Water.

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