The singer retired in 2018 but made a rare public appearance at Saturday's game.

Good times never seemed so good as they did Saturday at Fenway Park when Neil Diamond made a rare public appearance to join the traditional Red Sox eighth inning sing-along to his immortal "Sweet Caroline."

The Red Sox have been trotting out Diamond's 1969 classic since at least 1997, and in the middle of the eighth inning since 2002. Ever since, many a sports team, from many a sport, has adopted the song as a sort of anthem, in the vein of Queen's "We Will Rock You." Just less confrontational.

BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS - JUNE 18: Singer-songwriter Neil Diamond performs "Sweet Caroline" during the eighth inning between the St. Louis Cardinals and the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park on June 18, 2022 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)
Neil Diamond reaching out, touching me, touching you at Fenway Park
| Credit: Sarah Stier/Getty

Diamond himself performed "Sweet Caroline" at Fenway on opening night of the 2010 season. Ad he returned to Fenway in 2013 after the Boston Marathon bombing to lead the crowd of the still-reeling city in a rendition of "Sweet Caroline," donating his royalties from the song's resurgent popularity to charity.

Diamond retired from touring in 2018 due to his diagnosis with Parkinson's disease.

"It is with great reluctance and disappointment that I announce my retirement from concert touring. I have been so honored to bring my shows to the public for the past 50 years," Diamond said in a statement at the time. "My thanks goes out to my loyal and devoted audiences around the world. You will always have my appreciation for your support and encouragement. This ride has been 'so good, so good, so good,' thanks to you." 

Diamond was in town to celebrate the opening of a musical based on his life, Neil Diamond: A Beautiful Noise, making its world premiere during a six-week engagement in Boston before it bows on Broadway. Despite the legend's appearance, the Sox still lost handily to the Cardinals, 11-2.


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