Saturday, December 4

Red Sox Laundry Cart Ride Explained: How Kevin Plawecki, Jason Varitek Created Boston’s Unique Home Run Celebration

Chances are, if you’ve watched a Red Sox game this postseason, you’ve seen the team hit a home run. In their first seven postseason games, they have racked up a whopping 16 home runs. That was twice the number of the next closest ranked team, the Astros, before Game 3 of the American League Championship Series.

Every Boston home run this postseason has come with a unique celebration. The Red Sox celebrate their dinners by giving the batter a ride through the dugout in the team laundry cart.

The tradition has been fully embraced not only by Boston fans but their players as well.

“It’s kind of stupid but fun,” JD Martinez said of the tradition of John Tomase from NBC Sports in April. “We enjoyed it. Any little thing we can do to create a little camaraderie with the guys and bring everyone closer and closer together has been fun.”

Here’s everything you need to know about the Red Sox laundry cart celebration, from its origins to its current chauffeur.

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How did the Red Sox laundry cart celebration start?

The Red Sox laundry cart celebration began during the 2020 MLB season. The Red Sox were one of the worst teams in baseball during the shortened season, posting a 24-36 record and finishing last in the AL East.

So, as second baseman Christian Arroyo explained, the team was just trying to find a way to have fun and stay relaxed during their fights.

“It was just one of those things last year where we were trying to have a little fun in a situation that wasn’t the most ideal, and we just brought it into this season,” Arroyo said in April. “We are definitely having fun with it.”

The idea was the brainchild of backup catcher Kevin Plawecki, who came up with it after assistant coach Jason Varitek urged him to throw a fun post-home run celebration.

“I really couldn’t think of anything,” Plawecki said, by And last year, being as difficult a year as it was for all of us in general, just trying to find a way to fix things. And I found this laundry cart in Tampa and I think [Christian] Vazquez was ready to hit at that point. [Varitek] it was like, ‘Push it down the tunnel in this laundry cart.’ And here we are still today. “

The tradition caught on and became a staple and important ritual on the Red Sox bench.

“It’s fun when guys hit home runs,” Arroyo said. “When you’re running around the bases, you’re not thinking about it, you’re thinking about the swing you did, but then you get to the dugout and you see that laundry cart, it just takes it to the next level, the next step wow, we really did. we are having fun. “

The Red Sox have continued the tradition throughout the year and it has carried over to the postseason.

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Do the Red Sox bring a laundry cart with them?

The Red Sox don’t bring a car with them on the road. They trust that the opposing team has a suitable laundry cart with which to carry out the celebration. Sometimes a certain amount of customization is needed for the cart, as Martinez pointed out during a trip to Camden Yards in April.

“It was very deep,” Martinez said of the Orioles laundry cart. “I was like, ‘You guys are going to have to carry me to get me out of this thing.’ We had to fill it with towels.”

The Red Sox also had trouble finding a suitable cart during a series in Oakland against the Athletics. Plawecki made an announcement about the situation on Instagram in early June.

Yet for the most part, the Red Sox have settled for what they’ve been given.

And obviously, the Red Sox haven’t struggled at home. They have a custom made laundry cart that was built specifically for the team with the celebration in mind.

“We had a company that approached us,” Plawecki said. “They wanted to make our own custom car. They contacted Tommy (McLaughlin), our clubhouse manager. We put something together and here we are. “

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Who is pushing the Red Sox laundry cart during the celebration?

It used to vary, but during the postseason, that role belongs to José Iglesias. He joined the Red Sox in early September after his release from the Angels. Because he was hired so late in the year, he was not eligible to play in the postseason.

However, Iglesias, a former Red Sox draft pick who played for the team from 2011 until the 2013 trade deadline, has stuck with the team in the postseason. He named himself 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 really with us. It is a great help to all of us. “

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