Saturday, July 31, 2010

Top 10 Baseball Songs

Top 10 Baseball Songs

Nothing says summer like baseball. The hot summer nights, hot dogs, cold drinks, and cheering for your favorite team. Whether you are a Cubs fan who has waited a lifetime to see a championship or a spoiled Yankee fan, there is one thing that everyone can enjoy year round, music.

America’s love affair with baseball has always included music as well. There are some really good songs that are either about baseball, or mention it. So I have searched high and low trying to find my 10 favorite songs. I hope you enjoy these, and if there are others I may have missed please let me know. I am always looking for more great music.

Number 10

A Dying Cub Fan’s Last Request by Steve Goodman

Two-time Grammy winner Steve Goodman grew up in Chicago. He is better known for writing songs like “City of New Orleans” or “You Never Even Call Me By My Name”, but Goodman penned this classic song about a dying Cub’s fan.

Number 9

Nolan Ryan (He’s a Hero to Us All) by Jerry Jeff Walker

Jerry Jeff is a Texas legend. Here he writes about yet another legend from the Lone Star State.

Number 8

Joltin Joe DiMaggio by Les Brown Orchestra

This is one I remember as a kid. Sure it came out in 1941, but it’s a classic baseball song and no list of mine would be without it.

Number 7

Say Hey by The Treniers

This is another classic I can remember listening to as a kid. Plus it’s about one of the most gifted players to ever grace the field.

Number 6

Catfish by Bob Dylan*

Dylan is a rock legend. Here he sings about Hall of Fame pitcher Catfish Hunter.

* I could only find a cover of this on YouTube

Number 5

Tessie by The Dropkick Murphys

This is an old song redone from a 1902 number in the musical The Silver Slipper. The newer version was released in 2004.

Number 4

Glory Days by Bruce Springstein

This song just screams summer to me. Plus now that I am older, I can understand the song much better. I have had those moments of remembering the glory days. And I too know a guy from high school that could throw that speed ball by you and make you look like a fool.

Number 3

Talkin’ Baseball by Terry Cashman*

This is by far my favorite song from when I was a kid. Written in 1981 it details the history of baseball from the 1950′s to 1980. It’s great to hear a lot of the names I only grew up reading about or seeing highlights of. Plus it’s such a catchy tune. After the song became such a hit, individual team songs were done but nothing tops the original.

* I couldn’t find the Talkin’ Baseball song on YouTube so I figured I would show you the next best thing – Talkin’ Softball from one of the greatest Simpson’s episodes.

Number 2

Cheap Seats by Alabama

One of my favorite all-time bands singing about minor league baseball. It doesn’t get much better than this. As I have gotten older and been able to travel more, I have a greater appreciation for minor league ball. In fact, I love it.

Number 1

Centerfield by John Fogerty

There isn’t another song that gets me more pumped up to see a baseball game than this one. It’s one of the few songs where if I hear the first few notes, I have to hear the whole song. Even as I sit here today listening to the song, I am wanting to get out and throw the ball around. Maybe I’ll head for the batting cages instead.

Songs in their own stratosphere

Take Me Out to the Ballgame – Without question this song belongs on any list about music and baseball. Hearing this at Wrigley also has some extra special meaning.

The Star Spangled Banner – I still get goose bumps when I hear this at a ballgame and nothing upsets me more when people don’t pause when it is playing. We owe everything to those who fight for our freedom, including being able to watch baseball.

These two songs belong on any list, but they are in their own category. Together they are the greatest combination of music for baseball and they belong on a list of their own.

So what are your favorites. I would love to hear what songs you enjoy. Drop me a line and let the discussion begin.

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