Play Ball! 10 Badass Baseball Songs
Major League Baseball's 2011 regular season ended in stirring fashion on Wednesday (Sept. 28), and with the playoffs kicking off on Friday (Sept. 30), there's plenty of drama still to come. Before Sabathia faces off against Verlander, the Rangers begin their trek back to the World Series and the Phillies' rotation of aces is unleashed upon the postseason, check out these 10 songs that nod to America's Pastime and add to its lore. Whether it's Kanye West racking up the hits, Bob Dylan penning a tribute to a big league hero or William Hung coming on in comic relief, these tracks will get even Red Sox and Braves fans pumped for October.
John Fogerty, "Centerfield" (1985)
Creedence Clearwater Revival rocker John Fogerty took in a 1984 game from the centerfield bleachers in San Francisco's Candlestick Park and wrote this slice of Americana. Decades later, it's become a ballpark staple, from its opening handclaps to its infectious chorus.
Choice Lyric: "Well, beat the drum and hold the phone - the sun came out today/We're born again, there's new grass on the field"
Kanye West feat. Lil Wayne, "Barry Bonds" (2007)
This Yeezy-Weezy collaboration was released 10 months before Wayne became a breakout star with "Tha Carter III," as the rapper drops his mic after telling Barry Bonds to "suck my bat, b---h." Granted, "Barry Bonds" is more about West's amazing hit-making ability than the controversial baseball player -- although West's line "My head's so big you can't sit behind me" could be a slick shot at Bonds' giant cranium and the alleged steroid use that caused it.
Choice Lyric: "Comin' in the club wit that fresh shit on, with something crazy on my arm/Ha ha hum, now here's another hit, Barry Bonds"
Bruce Springsteen, "Glory Days" (1984)
One of the Hot 100 top 10 singles from his 1984 classic, "Born In The USA," "Glory Days" begins with a nostalgic Springsteen recounting a real-life encounter with an old little league teammate in the early 1970s. The honky-tonk jukebox classic has endured as one of The Boss' most recognizable hits and a testament to fleeting youth… and those who can't seem to get over it.
Choice Lyric: "I had a friend was a big baseball player back in high school/He could throw that speed ball by you, make you look like a fool, boy"
The Intruders, "Love Is Like a Baseball Game" (1968)
This soulful 1968 single from the Intruders features more masterful hooks from Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff, as the songwriting duo compares romance to an at-bat. Judging from "Love is Like a Baseball Game," the Intruders don't have a high on-base percentage: "I ain't never won, when I played a baseball game/Now it seems that love, and baseball are just the same," sings frontman Sam Brown.
Choice Lyric: "Strike one, oh she did it again/Strike two, looks like I'm never gonna win/Strike three, oh, I was out/Without a doubt, I was out"
Belle & Sebastian, "Piazza, New York Catcher" (2003)
One of the most unexpected sports references in indie rock history (see below), B&S singer-songwriter Stuart Murdoch's couplet touches upon an odd controversy surrounding New York Mets catcher Mike Piazza, who held a press conference in 2002 to confirm that he was straight. Belle & Sebastian's tender song, found on 2003's "Dear Catastrophe Waitress," takes a more philosophical approach to America' Pastime and goes on detail a pious pitcher, who laments, "Life outside the diamond is a wrench."
Choice Lyric: "San Francisco's calling us, the Giants and Mets will play/Piazza, New York catcher, are you straight or are you gay?"
Ozzy Osbourne/William Hung, "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" (2006, 2007)