For over a decade, the eighth inning at Fenway Park has included a recording of Neil Diamond's
"Sweet Caroline." The song has played in the same inning of every home Red Sox game since 2002.
"Red Sox fans have grown accustomed to hearing Diamond’s voice," said Devin Kelly with the Los Angeles Times. "It's an appropriate sentiment for a city reeling from the Boston Marathon bombings."
After last week's bombing and the manhunt that followed, Diamond wanted to do something for the city, and he did so by surprise.
"The one and only Neil Diamond flew to Boston today to lead us in 'Sweet Caroline,'" the Red Sox tweeted on Saturday.
The 72-year-old singer flew into Boston and reportedly called the Red Sox about 40 minutes before the game started Saturday night. He walked onto the field during the eighth inning.
"I bring love from the whole country," Diamond said.
The singer was wearing a Red Sox hat, and he encouraged the crowd to sing along as the song started.
"His presence, along with special pre-game ceremonies and a Red Sox victory over the Kansas City Royals, was a boost for a city in need of one," said Kelly.
The song has become so synonymous with the Red Sox games that other teams have also been playing the song in their stadiums all week, to show support for the city.
"That was really incredible," Red Sox fan Chris Montgomery told the Los Angeles Times. "The fact that he came out and no one expected it was a major lift. People loved it."
Red Sox player David Ortiz also showed his love for the city. According to the LA Times, before the game, Ortiz announced: "This is our [expletive] city! No one is going to take away our freedom."
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