Secretary of State John Kerry will be among the tens of thousands of Red Sox fans at Fenway Park Wednesday night to watch the Boston Red Sox take on the St. Louis Cardinals, and potentially win the team’s first World Series at home since 1918.
Earlier, Kerry joked during a speech on balancing work and life at the State Department that his beloved Red Sox were one of his top priorities. He used himself as an example of how important it is for State Department employees to take time off.
“So job shares program, alternative work schedules, getting the ability to be able to spend more time with family, these are really important things. And to prove to you how important they are, I am leaving this afternoon at 5:30 to go watch the Red Sox beat the Cardinals this evening,” he said to great laughter and applause. “That’s how important it is.”
A Kerry spokesperson confirmed that barring any emergency, the secretary of state would be at Fenway Park, traveling to Boston on a commercial flight.
The former Massachusetts senator and 2004 presidential candidate has a long history of gaffes when it comes to paying tribute to Red Sox Nation.
Last April, he mistakenly referred to the Red Sox anthem, Neil Diamond’s “Sweet Caroline,” calling the song “Sweet Adeline” while testifying before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee following the Boston Marathon bombing. He quickly corrected the gaffe later that day during a House hearing.
“I meant ‘Sweet Caroline,’” Kerry said. “I want to make sure everybody knows I can sing ‘Sweet Caroline,’ but I ain’t singing it now,” he joked.
In 2004, Kerry was ridiculed for saying his favorite Red Sox player was’ Manny Ortiz. But sports reporters and fans noted that there was no such player by that name, and Kerry had seemingly confused players David Ortiz and Manny Ramirez. The then-presidential candidate also bounced the first ceremonial pitch in July of that year when the Red Sox faced the Yankees right before the Democratic National Convention.
Still, throughout his 30 years as the senator from Massachusetts, Kerry has shown much public love to the Red Sox, including lobbying for support for Kevin Youkilis’ inclusion in the 2010 All-Star Game, making bets with senators from opposing teams and constantly tweeting messages of support.
He gave a moving speech congratulating the 2007 team for winning the World Series.
“My father was 3 years old when the Red Sox won the World Series in 1918, and he never saw the Sox win another one in his lifetime,” Kerry said. “For me, I thought the comeback against the Yankees and the sweep of the Cardinals in 2004 was as good as it could get. I never thought I’d live long enough to see another world championship.”