Chances are, if you’ve watched a Red Sox playoff game, you’ve seen the team hit a home run. In their first seven playoff games, they racked up 16 home runs. That was twice as much as the next highest ranked team, the Astros, heading into the third ALCS game.
All of the Boston homerun these playoffs have come with a unique celebration. The Red Sox celebrate their dingers by taking the batter across the canoe in the team’s laundry cart.
The tradition has been fully embraced not only by Boston fans, but its players as well.
“It’s just something silly but fun,” JD Martinez said of the lore to NBC Sports’ John Tomase in April. “We appreciate it. Any little thing we can do to create some camaraderie with the guys and bring everyone closer and closer, it’s fun.”
Here’s everything you need to know about the Red Sox Laundry Cart Celebration, from its origins to its current driver.
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How did the Red Sox laundry basket celebration start?
The Red Sox laundry basket celebration began during the 2020 MLB season. The Red Sox were one of baseball’s worst teams during the abridged campaign, posting a 24-36 record and finishing last in the season. AL East.
So, as second baseman Christian Arroyo explained, the team were just trying to find a way to have fun and stay loose during their struggles.
“It was just one of those things last year where we were trying to have fun in a situation that wasn’t the most ideal, and we carried it over to this season,” Arroyo said in April. “We’re really having fun with this.”
The idea was invented by backup wide receiver Kevin Plawecki, who came up with the idea after assistant coach Jason Varitek urged him to throw a fun post-game celebration.
“I couldn’t really think of anything,” Plalawecki said, according to MassLive.com. “And last year, being as tough a year as it is for all of us in general, just try to find a way to make things better. And I found this laundry cart in Tampa and I think [Christian] Vázquez was at bat at the time. [Varitek] was like, ‘Push him down the tunnel in that laundry cart.’ And we are still there today. “
The tradition has spread and has become a basic and important ritual in the Red Sox canoe.
“It’s fun when the guys are hitting home runs,” Arroyo said. “When you run around the bases, you don’t think about it, you think about the swing you made, but then you get to the canoe and see this laundry cart, it just goes to the next level, the next step of wow, we’re really having fun. “
The Red Sox continued the tradition throughout the year and it continued in the playoffs.
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Do the Red Sox bring a laundry cart with them?
The Red Sox do not bring a cart with them on the road. They rely on the opposing team to have a suitable laundry cart with which to perform the celebration. Sometimes some customization is needed for the cart, as Martinez noted on a trip to Camden Yards in April.
“It was really creepy,” Martinez said of the Orioles laundry cart. “I was like, ‘You’re going to have to carry me to get me out of this thing. “We had to fill it with towels.”
The Red Sox also struggled to find a suitable cart during a series in Oakland against the Athletics. Plawecki made an announcement about the situation on Instagram in early June.
For the most part, however, the Red Sox made do with what they got.
And obviously, the Red Sox had no problem at home. They have a bespoke laundry cart that has been specially designed for the team with the celebration in mind.
“We had a company that contacted us,” Plawecki said. “They wanted to make our own personalized cart. They contacted Tommy (McLaughlin), our clubhouse manager. We put something together and here we are.
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Who pushes the Red Sox laundry cart during the celebration?
Previously it varied, but during the playoffs that role belongs to Jose Iglesias. He joined the Red Sox in early September after his release from the Angels. Because he was signed so late in the year, he was not eligible to play in the playoffs.
However, Iglesias – a former Red Sox draft pick who played for the 2011 squad by the 2013 trade deadline – has remained with the squad for the playoff push. He appointed himself as the official driver of the Laundry Cart Celebration.
“It’s a good way for him to stay involved with the guys,” Plawecki said of Iglesias, according to the AP. “I know it kills him not to be with us. He is such a help to all of us.