Sweet Caroline

Google search: What does “Sweet Caroline” have to do with Fenway Park?

Hoped-for answers:

  1. Neil Diamond wrote the song to honor under-cover cross-dressing lady ball player Caroline O’Toole, shortstop. For six glorious seasons in the 1920s, Ms. O’Toole contributed to a winning streak the Red Sox wouldn’t see again for decades. She was kicked off the team when a teammate surprised her in the locker room, but her legend lives on, commemorated in the 8th inning of every game.
  2. The ghost at Fenway Park is named “Caroline” (are baseball stadiums like theaters, in that they all ought to have a ghost?).
  3. 1970s third-base coach Charlie Flannagan was known for his kind and nurturing style of interaction with players. His fellow coaches derided him, saddling him with the nickname “Sweet Caroline,” after a song that was climbing the charts that summer. Despite the other coaches’ jeers, Flannagan was a surprisingly effective coach. The song became a defiant anthem as he talked his players through base-stealing homers in game after game.
  4. The crowds sing it in honor of home-grown heroine Caroline Kennedy, who inspired the song.

None of these are true, but all are much more awesome than the real answer (TL:DR, “I don’t know, we just kind of liked that song.”).


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