Five Best Songs About Baseball

Anyone else tired of hearing math equations explained in Portuguese?!

Anyone else tired of the kids being done with their provided schoolwork within an hour?!

I’m not really complaining. It’s my way of throwing out the fun things I’ve heard in the two days since my kids have been moved to school-at-home.

My favorite thing thus far was witnessing my baby – okay, he’s almost nine – have his first team huddle. He had a conference call via Zoom with two of his teachers and seven of his classmates. They talked about what they’ve been up to, shared how big their cabbage was growing, and he mentioned his upcoming birthday. He contributed and behaved like a pro! Time to update the baby book!

My baby’s first team huddle! Daddy’s so proud!

The whole time I thought about what a great learning experience this was for him. This is the future of doing business. As mentioned in a prior post, I work entirely from home. All my interaction happens the same way he was interacting with his classmates. It was fun to watch and I was proud to see how well he handled it.

My last post mentioned that I was missing what would’ve been the start of another baseball season, and the beginning of what’s about to become a great San Diego Padres season. It’s not happening, but to get me in the mood I’m writing about my beloved pastime.

Earlier this week I shared the Five Best Baseball Movies to Watch with the Kids!

Today we’ll share the Five Best Songs About Baseball!

But before I begin, everyone seems to have a Shelter-in-Place, COVID-19 theme song. Oh, you don’t … well if you’ve read anything I write you know that my mind instantly goes to pop culture and well … I woke up Sunday morning with the following song in my head.

I present you with my COVID-19 theme song …

Land of Confusion (1986)
Performed by Genesis
Best Lyric: “Now, did you read the news today?; They say the danger has gone away; But I can see the fire’s still alight; They’re burning into the night”

Okay, enough of that. I now bring you the Five Best Songs About Baseball.

Take Me Out to the Ball Game (1908)
Performed by: Everyone that’s every attended a baseball game.
Best Lyric: “Let me root, root, root for the home team, if they don’t win, it’s a shame.”

How can this not be the No. 1 selection? Just replace “home team” with your favorite team and it works! Written on scrap paper while on a train ride in Manhattan, Jack Norworth created a classic. The original, longer version is actually about a lass named Katie Casey who wanted her beau to take her not to a show but … you guessed it … take her out to a ball game.

The Greatest (1999)
Performed by: Kenny Rogers
Best Lyric: “Little Boy, in a baseball hat; Stands in the field with his ball and bat; Says I am the greatest player of them all; Puts his bat on his shoulder and he tosses up his ball”

Already No. 2 before I learned of his death on Friday, I’m going to copy-and-paste what I wrote back in 2014 in a tribute for my eldest son on his 10th birthday:

“The Greatest” was released in 1999, and tells the story of a little boy out in his backyard playing baseball by his lonesome – except to him he’s not alone. Back in ’99 a friend of mine said that the song reminded her of me. I could actually see that, as I had opened up to her about my 10-team imaginary baseball league I had during the mid-to-late ’80s (Oh who am I kidding, it lasted until about ’94 and then the Imaginary Strike of ’94 occurred and well, so did the start of my senior year of high school, so it was time to retire).

Like the boy in the song, I was in the backyard playing baseball by myself recreating box scores that featured myself, some of my friends (without their written consent), and my stuffed toys (some of them signed off on it – thanks Dapper Dan!). Don’t judge me!

What I didn’t write back then was that I turned those box scores into story summaries, using my dad’s Apple computer to write in the DOS prompt. It wouldn’t save but it didn’t matter. Why I didn’t pursue that career I don’t know … well I do, I didn’t take school seriously.

Kenny’s “The Greatest” was an easy personal choice for No. 2.

Centerfield (1984)
Performed by John Fogerty
Best Lyric: “Put me in coach, I’m ready to play today”

Fogerty is the only musician to be celebrated at the Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, so … kind of a big deal. The song is all baseball and you can feel Fogerty’s love for the sport and all-timers like Willie Mays and Joe DiMaggio, two of the greatest centerfielders ever. The video is a highlight reel of old baseball clips. Just the perfect song to get ready for the baseball season.

Cheap Seats (1994)
Performed by Alabama
Best Lyric: “We do the wave all by ourself; Hey ump, a blind man could’ve made that call.”

Not minor league, but definitely the cheap seats!
Look at the Murph in 89, it’s packed!

It was hard to pick a lyric from this song that talks about sitting in the bleachers at a Minor League Baseball game. If you’ve ever been to a Minor League Baseball game then you can relate – especially the kind we were used to attending, Class A Short Season baseball from the Everett AquaSox or the Spokane Indians.

You didn’t attend the game for the players. You often didn’t care if the team won or lost. You were there because it was baseball. You were there for the atmosphere. An inexpensive family outing, in a small town, likely with friends. Where you could hang out and talk and maybe catch a foul ball, all from the cheap seats.

(Love Is Like A) Baseball Game (1968)
Performed by The Intruders
Best Lyric: “Strike one; Oh, she did it again; Strike two; Looks like I’m never gonna win; Strike three; Oh, I was out without a doubt; I was out”

Have to be honest, I ran across this song when searching for what was going to be my fifth song. I had “Talkin’ Baseball (Willie, Mickey and “the Duke)” here but felt I needed some soul. Plus, the lyrics were great. It combines baseball with finding love. The song reached No. 19 on the U.S. charts and No. 4 on the R&B charts back in ’68.

Did I miss one you love?! Please share in the comments below!

And stay tuned as my son and I rank the top-10 baseball finishes in my lifetime.

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