Jaunted Video: History of Singing Sweet Caroline at Fenway Park
Singing Sweet Caroline at Fenway during Game 1 of the 2007 World Series.
Boston is in the midst of an absolute World Series tourist rush. BOS is full of those from away, and those returning, all wearing Red Sox gear. Say what you will about the pink hats, the band wagon, and Red Sox Nation, John Henry and the group that bought the Boston Red Sox have turned the team into a worldwide brand to be reckoned with. Furthermore, they have turned cramped old Fenway into baseballs top tourist attraction.
Nothing encapsulates that more than listening and watching those at Fenway sing along to Sweet Caroline, an alleged Red Sox "tradition". Truth of the matter is the Sox started playing Neil Diamond's classic sometime around 1999. Amy Tobey, who was the ballpark's music director from 1998 to 2004, is credited with first playing the song at Fenway, but at the time it was hardly a staple.
When John Henry bought the team in 2002 his group made playing Sweet Caroline mandatory before the home half of the eighth inning and the rest is history. 2002 was a forgettable season, and most Red Sox fans don't really remember happily singing along with Neil until the 2003 season, but somehow it feels like a tradition as old as manually changing the score on the Green Monster scoreboard. Doesn't really matter much now, because people come from all over the world to sing along and watch the Sox play.
Was in the spring, and spring became the summer, who'd have believed you'd come along...