The rivalry between the Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees may be as old as baseball itself. New York Yankees fans tend to hate the Neil Diamond song "Sweet Caroline" because of its association with all things Red Sox. But not last night. In an amazing show of solidarity, the rival team, the team I grew up calling the "Evil Empire," played that song during the game and the result is moving.
As someone who has lived close to 20 years in Boston, I have no idea how it got started, but I know it was there when I arrived and seemed to be showing no signs of slowing when I left. It's an old rivalry. Time-honored and very real (just try wearing a Yankees cap at Fenway if you don't believe me). But last night, they set it all aside. See below:
Maybe you have to be from Boston or New York to really get it. Maybe you have to have walked the streets and heard the taunts and lived through the curse and watched them defeat us crushingly in 2003 to really get what it means. But maybe you don't.
Sometimes we just need to set aside our shallow things, our sports rivalries and politics, and just hold hands. That's what this is. A show of solidarity. A moment where New York says to Boston: We know. We have been there. You will recover. It gives me the chills.
Even Diamond himself was moved, tweeting:
Thank you NY Yankees for playing 'Sweet Caroline' for the people of Boston. You scored a home run in my heart. With respect, Neil #OneBoston
It was one of the most emotional moments since the bombings. Setting sports aside in the name of solidarity. It's beautiful.
Did you find this moving?
Image via YouTube