Play ball! Baseball inspired songs.
The Major League Baseball season kicked off in Australia on March 22-23 with games between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Arizona Diamondbacks. Last night, the Dodgers and the San Diego Padres kicked off the season in the States. But around here, Opening Day is today as the St. Louis Cardinals take on the Cincinnati Reds in Cincinnati, OH. Last year saw the Cardinals capture their nineteenth National League pennant and expectations are high going into the 2014 season.
I thought it would be fun to post some of my favorite baseball songs to celebrate today. I decided to stay away from any songs by The Baseball Project, just because that seemed it would be way too easy to pick. I have also included two songs on here that are not directly about baseball, but bring back baseball related memories. I also did not post any of the obvious choices such as "Take Me Out To The Ballgame", "Centerfield" by John Fogerty, and "Glory Days" by Bruce Springsteen, just to name a few.
I hope all the baseball fans out there enjoy this highly anticipated day and wish everyone's teams a good season. Let's get ready to "root root root for the home team" and I will see you down at the ballpark!
Stan The Man
It just wouldn't be right being from St. Louis and a huge Cardinals fan to make a post about baseball songs and not include this one. The greatest Cardinal ever and one of the best to have ever played, period. A legendary player and a legendary man. "The Man" was retired long before I was born, yet was one of my favorite players growing up. Probably had something to do with the fact that I was a lefty, as was Mr. Musial. I remember hearing this song in St. Louis Cardinals: The Movie as a kid and loved it. Still love it to this day.
"The Kid From Spavinaw" by Tom Russell
All to often we raise the superstars of the game to such a level we stop looking at them as being human. Mickey Mantle is one of the greatest players to have ever played the game, but struggled with alcoholism throughout his life. Mantle has stated in interviews that he began drinking heavily to help cope with the pain when his father passed away at the early age of 40 from Hodgkin's disease. I love how this song is a tribute to one of the giants of the game, yet is done in a somber tone to reflect the struggle inside the man. Such a beautiful song.
"A Dying Cubs Fan's Last Request" by Steve Goodman
It wouldn't be a baseball season in St. Louis without giving Cubs fans a little ribbing. Even better when the ribbing comes from a Cubs fan himself. Such a great, humorous take on what it must be like to be a Cubs fan. I'll just let these lines from the chorus finish my thought on this one. "When I was a boy they were my pride and joy, But now they only bring fatigue, To the home of the brave, The land of the free, And the doormat of the National League"
"America's Favorite Pastime" by Todd Snider
Todd Snider is an amazing songwriter. Todd Snider is also not one to shy away from talking about his recreational use of various substances. So is there really anyone better to write a song about Dock Ellis' no-hitter? Ellis threw the no-hitter on June 12, 1970 and later stated he did so under the influence of LSD. Such a fun song of an artist interpreting what it may have been like to be Dock Ellis on that fateful day.
"So Long Baby Goodbye" by The Blasters
Though this song is not specifically about baseball, it was used in one of the best baseball movies ever made, Bull Durham. You can hear this great Blasters tune in the movie during the montage where the Durham Bulls start their winning ways and play some good ball. And with a great tune like this as your background music, how could you not win?
"The Heat Is On" by Glenn Frey
Another song not specifically about baseball, yet brings back baseball memories for me. This was played on St. Louis radio station KHTR, 103.3 FM, during the 1985 season. Cheesy on so many levels, yet such a completely awesome memory from childhood. Somewhere I still have a bumper sticker that was given away that year that says "The Heat Is On" with a Cardinals log on it. I really need to find that. Love the point where they add the "We are really red hot" soundbite towards the end.
So those are some of my favorite baseball related songs. How about you? Let us know in the comments!