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Is 'Sweet Caroline' baseball's best singing tradition?

April 17, 2013
  • New York fans honor Boston bombing victims by singing the Red Sox theme song "Sweet Caroline" at Yankee Stadium.
New York fans honor Boston bombing victims by singing the Red Sox theme song… (Wilfredo Lee / Associated…)

Writers from around the Tribune Co. reveal their favorite baseball singing traditions. Feel free to share yours in the comment section.

Kevin Baxter, Los Angeles Times

I'm old-school, so my favorite singing tradition at baseball games is "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" during the seventh-inning stretch.  It reminds me of going to games when I was a kid and, more important, of singing it with my son when he was young. Just don't ask me to sing it now. You'll wind up hating the song forever

But in the non-traditional song category I have to go with "Sweet Caroline." I've been fortunate enough to cover many games at Fenway Park and you can feel the excitement build as the time for the song  approaches. As with "Take Me Out to the Ballgame," people actually look forward to  the song -- even though it's played every game

The Angels foolishly tried to recapture that by playing "Build Me Up Buttercup" in the latter innings at Angel Stadium and it never really caught on. You can't re-create magic.

This week's touching tribute to the people of Boston at Yankee Stadium and Dodger Stadium show just how deeply entwined "Sweet Caroline" and Sox Nation have become. And that's certainly worth singing about.

Mark Wogenrich, Allentown Morning Call

The first brass notes of “New York, New York” after a game at Yankee Stadium get me every time. Call me a front-runner, I don’t care. Frank rules.

I’ve seen people do Rockettes kicks in the Yankee Stadium concourse during the Sinatra song. I’ve heard folks belt out “Start spreading the news” who can’t sing a lick. Doesn’t matter. “New York, New York” makes people linger at Yankee Stadium.

Big song in a big place for people with big dreams and bigger egos, I guess. Or something like that. Baseball’s communal singalongs have never really stirred my soul. Still, Sinatra in the Bronx on a summer night remains pretty cool.

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