The Boston Red Sox’s “Baseball Winter Weekend” isn’t just a great time for fans to interact with the players, but it gives the players a chance to meet each other, too.

When the Red Sox get together at Foxwoods Resort and Casino in Mashantucket, Conn., not everyone knows each other thanks to offseason trades and acquisitions. And the annual event gives the guys a chance to hang out before spring training.

“You realize back in the old days, it was show up, first day positional players report, and they sort of meet each other at their locker,” Red Sox executive vice president and COO Sam Kennedy told NESN’s Tom Caron on Saturday. “Well, this is a chance to have a little mini road trip, get to know each other, get to see the passionate fan base, really get to see what it means to play in Boston. And the players were genuinely excited.”

Hear more from Kennedy in the video above.

Thumbnail photo via Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports Images