It took years of the Red Sox playing "Sweet Caroline" in the middle of the eighth inning before Neil Diamond finally performed the 1969 platinum hit on Opening Day at Fenway Park in 2010 -- and again after the Boston Marathon bombings this past April -- but now the 73-year-old singer seems just fine singing the tune at high school ballparks.
Of course, this isn't just any old prep ballpark. It's a $3 million state-of-the-art facility at Sherman Oaks (Calif.) Notre Dame High designed in part by "Happy Gilmore" director Dennis Dugan, whose son Kelly played for there before the Phillies drafted him in 2009.
The Hollywood director also just so happens to be friends with Diamond, who agreed to perform "Sweet Caroline" at the unveiling of Notre Dame's new diamond (see what we did there?) on Feb. 22, according to The Los Angeles Times (h/t USA TODAY).
And for those of you wondering what kind of amenities $3 million buys at a high school:
- Dugouts with adjoining locker rooms and coaches rooms
- Mission style stadium structure with arched openings and Spanish tile roof
- Stadium-style seats with backrests and cup holders
- Press box with state-of-the-art sound system
- Multiple cameras with live game feed capability
- Video review room for players and coaches
- Stadium lights for practices and night games
- Backstop netting identical to Dodger Stadium for enhanced visibility and strength
- Digital 10-inning scoreboard
- Hitter’s eye backdrop
- Concession stand
Meanwhile, in Beaverton, Ore., an anonymous donor is forking over $4.4 million for Sunset High to renovate baseball, softball and other athletic fields, according to The Oregonian. No word yet on which soft rock star of the 1970s will perform at its unveiling.
P.S. Prep Rally is welcoming $4.4 million anonymous donations to upgrade its digs, too.
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