The 111th major league baseball season began last Thursday. In belated honor of Opening Day and all that it means in terms of sunny afternoons at the ballpark, national hot dog consumption, and singing during the seventh inning stretch, we give you five classic songs about baseball.
“Centerfield” – John Fogerty
“Put me in coach! I’m ready to play, today!” sings former Creedence Clearwater Revival frontman John Fogerty on this 1985 hit. “Centerfield” is a standard baseball game crowd pleaser and plays on a continuous loop at the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York. Joe DiMaggio, Willie Mays, and Ty Cobb are all referenced on the track. Former president George W. Bush has said that “Centerfield” is his favorite song.
“Catfish” – Bob Dylan
Dylan wrote this song about Baseball Hall of Fame pitcher Jim “Catfish” Hunter in 1975, the year that Hunter was the league’s highest paid player. The song, however was not released until 1991 on Dylan’s Bootleg Series album. “Catfish, million-dollar-man, Nobody can throw the ball like Catfish can,” goes the tune.
“Glory Days” – Bruce Springsteen
“I had a friend who was a great baseball player back in high school,” begins this tale of former greatness. “He could throw that speedball by you, make you look like a fool.” “Glory Days” was the seventh top-ten hit off of Springsteen’s massively successful 1984 album Born in the U.S.A.
“The Greatest” – Kenny Rogers
This 1990 hit by country icon, Kenny Rogers, tells the story of one little boy’s love for the sport and has been known to elicit a tear or two when played at little league games.
“Take Me Out to the Ball Game” – Jack Norwith and Albert Von Tilzer
The granddaddy of all baseball songs was written in 1908 by Jack Norwith and Albert Von Tilzer. At the time that they wrote “Take Me Out,” neither man had ever been to a baseball game. No word on whether they had ever bought peanuts and Cracker Jacks either.
Be Sure to Check Out: