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    Baseball Songs (Again)

    I'm traditionalist in not too many things, but the idea that baseball's opening day should be, well, in the day, and, well, in North America (as long as all the teams are, you know, based here) is something I firmly believe in.

    So for once I am timely with this updated list of baseball songs. (Read last year's list here.) Enjoy, and may all your teams have a great season. (Yes, I realize that's a statistical impossibility. Doesn't matter -- it's the first day of baseball...)


    There are very few sports-related children's songs that come to mind. I can understand why, as sports like football and hockey require a lot of equipment and are typically for older kids (this is especially the case for football). Basketball and baseball are easier to play, perhaps -- less equipment, introduced at an earlier age. Since the major sports typically become mostly a spectator sport as we grow up, perhaps it's good that there isn't much children's music about sports since a song about watching other people do something is kinda depressing as a kids' song. (It does make me think that the genre of children's soccer songs is a niche waiting to be filled.)

    Here goes:

    -- "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" (well, duh) -- try Wiggleworms Love You, from the Old Town School of Folk Music (nicely bipartisan, cheering for both the Cubs and White Sox), or also the Hold Steady's version.
    -- "Baseball Dreams" -- off At the Bottom of the Sea, by Ralph's World (Cubs all the way in this one)
    -- "I'm Gonna Catch You" -- off Under a Shady Tree, by Laurie Berkner (it has one relevant line -- "So I jumped into Saturday / And I had a baseball batter-day" -- yeah, I'm really reachin' here)
    -- "Pop Fly" -- off Justin Roberts' forthcoming album by the same name, about a daydreaming boy playing the outfield...
    -- "Centerfield" -- off Centerfield, by John Fogerty (not kids' music, but a great song anyway). See also Visqueen's rendition on the forthcoming Desoto Records kidscomp Play!
    -- "Talkin' Baseball -- off countless albums by Steve Cashman, who just re-records and updates his song -- baseball history lesson in 3 minutes
    -- "Big Train" -- off the RTT's Turn It Up Mommy!. About Walter "Big Train" Johnson. I'd probably disagree that he's the best pitcher ever, but that's another blog. Good song.
    -- "Right Field" -- Peter, Paul and Mary.
    -- "Cryin' in the Dugout" -- off Daddy-A-Go-Go's upcoming Eat Every Bean and Pea on Your Plate album. A humorous song -- "Baseball Dreams" played for laughs instead of nostalgia.
    -- "The Greatest" -- Kenny Rogers.
    -- "Roll Around" -- Peter Himmelman, off of his My Lemonade Stand CD. A fun, rollicking song about a baseball who retires, then comes back to his calling.
    -- "Baseball Tips with Professor Buckley -- Peter Himmelman, My Green Kite, an amusing little spoken-word piece.
    -- "Baseball" -- Milkshake, off Play!. Guest-starring Cal Ripkin, Jr.
    -- "The Challenger Baseball Song" -- Ben Rudnick and Friends. All about the Challenger Division of Little League, for kids with mental and physical disabilities.
    -- "Baseball, Baseball" -- Stephen Cohen, off Here Comes the Band.
    -- "Hey! Batter!" -- Hank Cooper, from Playground Fortune Teller -- all about the language of baseball...

    And finally, an artist reviewed here on this very site wrote me a while back to suggest four more songs, including at least one I'm miffed I forgot... the comments in quotes are the artist's, not mine.
    -- "Catfish" -- off Bob Dylan's Bootleg Series. I am unfamiliar with this one. But it's Dylan.
    -- "Joe DiMaggio’s Done it Again" -– Wilco and Billy Bragg, from their Mermaid Ave Vol. 2
    -- "A Dying Cubs Fan’s Last Request" –- Steve Goodman – "Classic, and very funny." See "Talkin' Baseball," above.
    -- "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" -- Brave Combo - "two very cool versions... wacky and fun." It's Brave Combo, how could it not be fun?

    If any of you have more suggestions, leave me a comment.

    Reader Comments (3)

    Allow me this opportunity to plug the kid's animated baseball movie Everyone's Hero (2006). My 9- and 6 1/2-year-old girls LOVE it, as well as its music. The soundtrack includes tunes from John Ondrasik (Five For Fighting), Lyle Lovett, and Wyclef Jean, among others. Definitely worth checking out if the family's in a baseball mood.
    March 31, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterKaty L
    I'm sure you've heard of it, but there also "Bruce Springstone's" version of "Take Me Out to the Ballgame." You can find it here: Springstone was created in the spring of 1982 by Baltimore musicians/songwriters Tom Chalkley and Craig Hankin. Bruce Springstone: Live at Bedrock was released in September '82 by Clean Cuts Records. The A-side features "Bedrock Rap/Meet the Flintstones," a parody of Springsteen singing the Flintstones theme; the B-side is a Springsteenesque arrangement of "Take Me Out to the Ballgame," using the original 1908 lyrics.
    April 1, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterDavid R.
    My fave is Kathy Kallick's brilliant refashioning of Count Basie's "Did You See Jackie Robinson Hit That Ball" on her Sugar Hill album, "Use A Napkin (Not Your Mom);" it's also on Hungry For Music's "Diamond Cuts" compilation.

    Go A's ...
    March 11, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterPeter Thompson

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