Sunday, February 16, 2014

Batter Up! "A Dying Cub Fan's Last Request" & Other Great Baseball Songs

Hey baseball fans, Spring Training is upon us and it couldn't be more welcome. Those of us living in the Eastern half of the United States have whined all winter (and rightfully so) about our unusually cold and snowy introduction to the new year so we're looking forward to the coming season.

Normally, I would save a post such as this one for opening day but since I can't wait to put the snow shovels away and smell some freshly groomed grass let's listen to a sampling of baseball related songs before your star pitcher's newly torn rotator cuff knocks your team out of the race before Memorial Day.

First, take a look at Bloggerhythms' review of High & Inside (2011), the second CD by The Baseball Project, Scott McCaughey's quartet staring Peter Buck on guitar and featuring nothing but songs about America's popular summer game. Their modern rock music is good but you have to be more than a casual fan to fully appreciate the concept.

Gamble & Huff slugged their way into the lineup by producing a 1968 hit for The Intruders, "(Love is Like a) Baseball Game," in which the Philadelphia soul stars advised the world that it's "three strikes you're out" when it comes to love. It was a typical record from the soon-to-be very successful Philadelphia label owners.

Those perennial hard luck losers, The Chicago Cubs, are always a favorite topic. The late folksinger, Steve Goodman, gave us "A Dying Cub Fan's Last Request" and even Eddie Vedder wrote a tribute to the boys from the North Side in 2007, "All The Way."

Apparently Celtic–punk bands love baseball too. Listen to "Tessie" The Dropkick Murphies' ode to the Boston Red Sox from 2004.

What would summer be without Terry Cashman's treacly and nostalgic "Talkin' Baseball (Willie, Mickey, & The Duke)" and the overplayed "Centerfield" by classic rocker John Fogerty?

We'll close with a non-music related baseball video. The amazing young woman featured here is a rhythmic gymnast from South Korea. Notice the smug, self-satisfied look on her face after she threw the greatest first pitch ever. The video is very brief so you can watch it over and over again in total disbelief.

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