Following the third inning of their game versus the Arizona Diamondbacks last night, the New York Yankees played "Sweet Caroline," the classic Neil Diamond track that's an anthem at Fenway Park, home of the hated Red Sox. But the bitter rivalry was set aside for the evening in a touching tribute to Boston, which is still reeling after Monday's terrorist attack (related story: Boston Attacked: Authorities Investigate; Vigil Held for Bombing Victims). Yankee Stadium also observed a moment of silence before the start of the game to honor the victims of the bombings at the Boston Marathon.
"Our thoughts and prayers go out to the victims and the families who were affected by the bombings and our respect and admiration go out to the police, medical personnel and first responders who acted so heroically," the Yankees said in a statement. "We stand united with the participants, volunteers, staff and spectators of the Boston Marathon and the people of Boston."
"Everybody in New York knows what they're going through," Mike Petti, 48, a Yankees fan nicknamed Yankee Mike who for 13 seasons has been a staple of the bleacher section where the most hardcore fans — those who hate Red Sox Nation the most — dwell, told Sporting News. "When it happened here, Boston was singing 'New York, New York.'"
"Sweet Caroline" was also played at Wrigley Field, Dodger Stadium, Marlins Park, Safeco Field, O.co Coliseum, Great American Ball Park, and at Cleveland's Progressive Field, where the Red Sox beat the Indians 7-2. The Milwaukee Brewers played the theme song to Cheers, the classic TV series set at a bar in Boston.
But it was the tribute in the Bronx that really inspired. After the Yankees played the song, Neil Diamond tweeted: "Thank you NY Yankees for playing 'Sweet Caroline' for the people of Boston. You scored a home run in my heart."
Video of the Yankee Stadium tribute to Boston: