Okay, so the Super Bowl was played yesterday, and I understand the Atlanta Falcons managed to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. Since I could care less about football, I didn’t watch. To me, Super Bowl Sunday means only one thing:
Pitchers and catchers report in less than two weeks!
Like most baseball fans, I’ve been waiting for the start of the baseball season since the end of the last one. Here are a few songs to get you in the mood.
John Fogerty, “Centerfield” The title track from his 1985 album, this became an instant hit at ballparks everywhere as a song to play after the home team has taken the field.
The Harry Simeone Singers, “It’s A Beautiful Day For A Ballgame” Joe Simpson, color commentator for Atlanta Braves baseball on Fox Sports South, thinks this is the best baseball song ever, and it is a good one. They used to play this before telecasts of Cubs games on WGN in the Sixties. I think it also made it into the first Major League movie.
Terry Cashman, “Talkin’ Baseball (Willie, Mickey, and the Duke)” More of a nostalgia song than a baseball one, this 1981 song catches the spirit of every baseball fan.
The Treniers, “Say Hey (The Willie Mays Song)” I had never heard this one before today, but I saw “The Treniers” and had to include it.
“Hey Hey, Holy Mackerel” The Cubs were in the thick of the pennant race in 1969, and naturally they ended the season in second place behind the New York Mets. Every White Sox fan who lived on the North Side (like me) had to put up with a summer of hearing all about how the Cubs were going to win the World Series and be the Gods of Baseball, blah blah blah. This fight song was written during that period, and we heard it constantly. When the Cubs dropped out of first to stay, we got to sing it to them. The irony was delicious. “Hey Hey,” incidentally, was what Hall of Fame announcer Jack Brickhouse (who did both Cubs and White Sox games in the Sixties) used to shout when one of the hometown teams hit a home run.
Captain Stubby and The Buccaneers, “Let’s Go, Go-Go White Sox” This is the White Sox fight song, from 1959, when the Sox were in the World Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers. They lost then, and it would be another 24 years before it became relevant again. Captain Stubby hosted a noontime kids’ cartoon show in the late Fifties and early Sixties.
There are many other baseball songs. Do you have a favorite? Let me know in the comments. That’s Monday’s Music Moves Me for February 6, 2017.