Boston Red Sox

Red Sox Organist Plays From Home to Bring the Fenway Feel to a World Without Live Baseball

Josh Kantor, the organist at Fenway Park, is playing while the Boston Red Sox and every other team are laid up during the coronavirus pandemic

If it were not for the pandemic, the Red Sox would already be a few games into their regular season. But with baseball on hold, one musician has found a way to bring part of Fenway home.

Josh Kantor is Fenway Park's organist, and as of three weeks ago, he is also the host of a show called "7th Inning Stretch." With help from his wife, Mary Eaton, he performs live on Facebook every day at 3 p.m. from their home.

"We were missing baseball and we needed a little something." Kantor said. "It's a time when we forget about our troubles and we invite people to do the same."

Kantor said the idea for a virtual show came from a friend, and since his first episode, he cannot believe the response.

"There's someone in South Korea who sets her alarm for 4 a.m. every day just to tune in," Kantor said.

Kantor plays all of the Fenway Classics, including "Sweet Caroline" and "Take Me Out to the Ball Game," but he also takes requests in the Facebook comments section. He said his favorite requests to perform are songs that have a story behind them.

"Like the other day, someone was like, 'We had to postpone our wedding this summer. Please play our song for us. It would really mean a lot,'" Kantor recalled.

As he performs, Kantor encourages listeners to donate to local food banks. He said he plans to keep playing until baseball is back, but if his virtual show can help make fans feel less alone, then he considers it a home run.

"Whatever extent it makes people feel connected right now in this very disconnected time, that's pretty special," he said.

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