Is it conceivable that musicians would actually write music and songs about a game? And if so, could there really be enough of these tunes, lying around out there to put together some semblance of a best-of list? And there were, would anyone really care? Really?
In America, we are obsessed with baseball. Double plays and pop flies. Stealing second and bringing the heat. Knuckleballs and “rounding third”. Grand slams and perfect games. Beer and hot dogs and Cracker Jacks and roasted peanuts.
We’ve immortalized Babe Ruth, Mickey Mantle, Hank Aaron, Ted Williams, Cy Young, Jackie Robinson, Yogi Berra, Nolan Ryan, Cal Ripken, Shoeless Joe Jackson, Ty Cobb, Willie Mays. These guys are as much American heroes as George Washington or Benjamin Franklin.
Let’s face it… with names like “the greatest game”or “America’s pastime”… “The Iron Man”, “Mr. October”, “The Babe”, “The Georgia Peach”, “Big Mac”…in America, if we nickname it, we love it.
And yes, there are tons of baseball-related songs out there. And even more non-baseball songs that have become synonymous with the game, the park, homeruns, certain players, a particular series, the seventh inning stretch…it’s boggling to think of how inseparable music has become from the game baseball.
So let’s suffice to say, “we got plenty enough songs for a list”. Some iconic, some obscure and a whole lot in the middle. But there is no shortage of baseball songs. And there are certainly enough to come up with a list of the “Top 10 (or more) Greatest Baseball Songs of All Time”!
So with that, let’s not foul off another minute…batter up!
- Take Me Out to the Ballgame – Jack Norworth (The most memorable and iconic baseball song in history.)
- The Star Spangled Banner – Francis Scott Key (Can you imagine attending a game without it?)
- The “Charge!” Song – Tommy Walker (Yes, it is a song!)
- Centerfield (Put Me In Coach) – John Fogerty (How many Spring and Summertime memories does this song conjure up? Classic.)
- A Dying Cub Fan’s Last Request – Steve Goodman (Some say, the most heartfelt baseball song ever written…and all by the guy David Allen Coe credits with “I was drunk, the day my ma, got outta prison…”)
- Joltin’ Joe DiMaggio – Ben Homer amp; Alan Courtney (Who doesn’t love Joe Dimaggio?)
- Cheap Seats – Alabama (One of the few tributes to the minor leaguers.)
- Catfish – Bob Dylan (Is there anything Bob Dylan can’t write about?)
- The Greatest – Kenny Rogers (What a great comeback song for Kenny…classic story-song.)
- Talkin’ Baseball – Terry Cashman (Who hasn’t heard this on their pre-game radio show?)
And that’s my list. Hope you enjoyed my picks.
Be sure to let me know if I missed any and what you think the Number One should be!