It was a partylike atmosphere on Saturday morning at Sherman Oaks Notre Dame, where the Knights unveiled their new $3-million baseball stadium and had a special guest, Neil Diamond, on hand to sing “Sweet Caroline.”
There were celebrities everywhere. Pete Rose and Reggie Smith were there. Larry King, whose son is a freshman on the baseball team, was shaking hands and allowing lots of people to shoot selfies.
Hollywood director Dennis Dugan, who helped design the stadium and asked Diamond, his good friend, to sing, was beaming with pride.
“Today, ND stands for Notre Dame,” Dugan said. “It also stands for Neil Diamond.”
Later, Dugan said, “I want to introduce the only guy who has more hits than Reggie Smith and Pete Rose.”
The playing of “Sweet Caroline” has become a tradition at many sporting events, notably major league games at Fenway Park in Boston.
On Saturday in Sherman Oaks, a priest blessed the field, the locker rooms and the bases. Dignataries were introduced. The Notre Dame band played the national anthem.
And then Diamond came on and provided a memorable finishing touch for a stadium that has stadium seating, new lights, a press box and an all-weather turf field.
“I’ve never seen a high school stadium like this,” King said.