PITTSFIELD, Mass. -- As a loyal Red Sox fan, James Taylor will show his love for the team Thursday night at Fenway Park when he performs the national anthem at the start of Game 2 against the St. Louis Cardinals.

Taylor has stepped up to the plate twice before - in 2004 and 2007 - to sing the anthem for the Fall Classics at Fenway. Both were Game 2's that Boston won.

"It's hard to believe for a Red Sox fan that we're actually going back to the World Series," Taylor told The Berkshire Eagle on Tuesday, "especially after last year. I guess the message is that Sox fans can never give up hope despite the roller coaster we're usually on."

Taylor is sporting a beard, in keeping with the team, but whether he'll still have it on by Thursday night depends on a thumbs-up (or down) from his wife, Kim, we're told.

The resident of the town of Washington in the Berkshires of Western Massachusetts has spent much of this year foregoing concert touring, though he did appear at a few special events, in order to focus on songwriting for an upcoming new release of original material. At last count, he has sold more than 100 million albums since 1968.

Thursday's Game 2 airs at 7:30 p.m. on the Fox network.

Clarence Fanto is a contributor to The Berkshire Eagle.


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