The Boys of Summer are back!
It’s April and that can only mean one thing; no, not Easter–baseball’s back! It’s been a long, cold winter, especially if you’re from New England. But the snow is finally melting, the crocuses are popping up, and you can smell the delicious aroma of pine tar from San Francisco to Boston.
Of course baseball and country music pretty much go hand-in-hand. Here are five baseball songs that will get you excited for first pitch.
*Note* It could be argued that Meat Loaf’s “Paradise by the Dashboard Light” is the greatest baseball song of all time, but it isn’t really about baseball nor could it possibly be mistaken for a country song. Alas.
5. “Joe Dimaggio Done it Again” – Billy Bragg & Wilco
This song is off of Mermaid Avenue, Vol. II, Billy Bragg’s brilliant collection of re-vamped Woody Guthrie songs. You probably know the story but if don’t, folk legend Guthrie left behind a whole bunch of lyrics when he passed. Wilco’s Billy Bragg was given the opportunity to bring the songs to life, kind of like Old Crow Medicine Show with “Wagon Wheel,” expect this was sanctioned by Guthrie’s daughter. Anyway, thanks to Guthrie and Bragg, the Yankee Clipper has been brought back to life 50 years later.
4. “America’s Favorite Pastime” – Todd Snider
Leave it to tongue-in-cheek, folkman Todd Snider to find an obscure anecdote from baseball history and write a song about it. In this case, Snider is singing about the immortal pitcher Dock Ellis of the Pittsburgh Pirates who dropped a bunch of acid before the game on one of his days off. Well, turns out the team needed him to pitch that day, so Dock took the mound high as a Mark McGuire pop fly. The result: a no-hitter.
3. “The Greatest” – Kenny Rogers
Kenny Roger’s song is really about perseverance and optimism, but heck, it seen through a baseball lens and the catch at the end is so great that we just had to include it here. This song actually got to No. 26 on the charts back in 1999.
2. “Centerfield” – John Fogerty
“Centerfield” is required listening at any baseball game or stadium. The song is smattered with references to baseball legends and baseball lore; it reference’s Chuck Berry’s “Brown Eyed Handsome Man,” the poem “Casey at the Bat” and legendary baseball announcer Lon Simmons. It’s also the only song in the Baseball Hall of Fame.
1. “The Cheap Seats” – Alabama
This is it; this is what baseball’s about. This is what summer is about. It’s what country is about. All boiled down into three minutes of bittersweet perfection. Heck, when it comes down to it, this is what life is about.