One of the more entertaining things to happen in the final weeks of the Boston Red Sox season took place in the dugout.
A tradition began that when a Red Sox batter would hit a home run, they would return to the dugout, hop in a laundry cart and get pushed to the other end of the dugout.
It was entertaining to watch.
So, a very valid question is: Why was this a thing?
Well, during an appearance on “The Bradfo Sho” podcast with WEEI’s Rob Bradford, Sox infielder Christian Arroyo shared the story.
“It basically started in Tampa. In the dugouts, they’re a little narrow, and because of the whole COVID stuff and all of the guidelines and whatnot, they were trying to get it to where if you used a towel or something to just toss the towel in like a laundry basket cart-type thing,” Arroyo said. “So, some of the guys — because you don’t really think about this stuff when you’re playing — you use the towel, you wipe your face and you throw it (somewhere), you’re not thinking let me go walk down to the other end of the dugout and throw it in the laundry cart of whatever. …
“So it was funny, actually, (Jason Varitek) was down at the end of the dugout just watching the game, taking his notes, taking in the game. And Tek turns around … and there was nothing in (the cart) and he says ‘What is this thing and why is it in the dugout?’ And everyone was like ‘Hmm, we don’t know.’ Because it took up like the last two or three spots at the end of the dugout, Tek finally looked at it and said we’ve got to get this thing out of here. …
“It was Plawecki and Tek kind of together were just like ‘when someone hits a homer why don’t we throw them in the laundry cart, see how it goes. Use it for something.'”
It was the next day, during a Sept. 13 matinee against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field that Christian Vazquez launched a homer off Charlie Morton. With the new rule in place, Vazquez had to embark on the maiden voyage.
“… As he’s rounding third I saw Plawecki kind of look at him and start pointing at him because we said ‘Today whoever hits the first homer, you’re going in the cart.’ So we didn’t know if Vazquez was going to just go in it or not. It honestly was like a coin toss, and he was cool about it, he’s smiling and we’re like ‘get in the cart, get in the cart!'”
And so began a tradition that hopefully returns in 2021.