Category Archives: Fenway Park

We Got Punk’d on "Sweet Caroline"

Opening Day 2013 from Don Kelley on Vimeo.

Opening Day at Fenway
What a great day. Sunny and 65, not a cloud in the sky. My new seats in the red section have substantially better legroom.

The players, new and old, line up on the foul line. Jacoby Ellsbury and Dustin Pedroia get the expected huge applause, as do Lester and Buchholz. Very big applause for John Farrell. Jackie Bradley Jr., who is not in the starting lineup, gets an impressive applause. The Jimmy Fund Chorus sings the National Anthem…perfectly. No improvisation, no taking five notes and three octaves to sing “brave.”

The game is great.
The Red Sox are in 1st place, the Yankees are in last place. Clay Buchholz throws 7 innings of shutout ball, only 3 hits and 8 K’s. Andrew Bailey has a 1-2-3- 8th.

Then what?
A week ago today, Opening Day in New York, the Boston Globe ran a story saying that the Red Sox were dropping “Sweet Caroline” and replacing it with “At Fenway” (what?) by Brian Evans (who? huh?). There was a quote from Neil Diamond who was very upset about this. I blogged about it. Got numerous comments, most saying that it was a Fenway tradition and didn’t like the change. One comment came from my daughter Caitlin Kelley, who lives in NYC but would never root for the Yankees. She said, “That’s weird. What do you think about the date?” It was last Monday, which was April 1st.

Middle of the 8th.
Nick Markakis flies out to Ellsbury for the 3rd out and we immediately hear…”Sweet Caroline.” Here’s the clip:

Sweet Caroline on Opening Day 2013

from Don Kelley on Vimeo.

So it turns out that we all got punk’d on April Fool’s Day. But today was a great day at the old ballpark.

No More Sweet Caroline at Fenway?? Really?

Sweet Caroline Fenway Mix from Don Kelley on Vimeo.

It’s been a tradition in the middle of the 8th inning for years. They play “Sweet Caroline” and the crowd has a great time singing along. A few years ago I made a special mix…crowd noise I had recorded over the years mixed in with Neil singing. We’d play it on the radio on Magic 106.7 every time the Red Sox won. (In 2008 I had to rush in on a Friday night and edit out the “Man-ny, Man-ny” chant.)

One Saturday a couple of years ago Tom Werner was on the way to Fenway and he heard it on the air. When the song ended the DJ, Candy O’Terry, said, “This special Fenway version of ‘Sweet Caroline’ was put together by our Program Director, Don Kelley.” On Monday Tom Werner called me at the radio station and said he really enjoyed it and can he have a copy? Sure thing.

Last year, to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Fenway, I put together a video of Fenway shots accompanied by my “Sweet Caroline” mix. I picked a poor year to do it, and today it was announced that they’re dropping the song and replacing it with “At Fenway” by Brian Evans as of next Monday’s home opener. I think I get the reasoning, but nobody will sing along to Brian Evans because nobody knows him or the song. Not yet, anyway.

So if you think you’ll miss hearing the crowd singing to Neil Diamond in the middle of the 8th, click on the video above to remember how much fun it was.