Like a lot of people, I’ve got baseball on my mind, and it’s hard to shake it off. Last week, I put together a post on 10 songs that had something to do with both The Mets and the world of New Jersey arts. And now, here’s a similar one, with 10 songs about baseball by New Jersey artists.
It took me considerably less time than the Mets-themed one, but it was still a bit of a chore to get to 10. But I got there, in part by going back multiple times to Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band, Yo La Tengo and Frank Sinatra (all of whom also played a part in the Mets list) and including three different versions of “Take Me Out to the Ball Game.”
If you’re aware of any baseball songs by New Jersey artists, please let me know in the comments section below.
Here you go. Enjoy!
1. “Did You See Jackie Robinson Hit That Ball?,” Count Basie and his Orchestra, featuring singer Taps Miller. Recorded in 1949, two years after Robinson broke baseball’s color line.
2. “There Used to Be a Ballpark,” Frank Sinatra.
3. “Glory Days,” Bruce Springsteen.
4. “Meet the Mets,” Yo La Tengo.
5. “Take Me Out to the Ball Game,” Frank Sinatra with Gene Kelly. From the 1949 movie of the same name.
6. “Centerfield,” John Fogerty with Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band. Performance clip from the 2004 Vote for Change tour.
7. “Baseball Altamount,” Yo La Tengo. A cover of a nightmarish baseball song by The Nightmares.
8. “Take Me Out to the Ball Game,” Danny Federici. A live version by the E Street Band keyboardist to start a Sept. 6, 2003 concert at Fenway Park in Boston.
9. “Mrs. Robinson,” Bon Jovi. Included for the verse about Joe DiMaggio.
10. “Take Me Out to the Ball Game,” Pat DiNizio. In 2006, the Smithereens frontman starred in “7th Inning Stretch,” an ESPN2 documentary about his attempt to play minor league baseball. Here it is in its entirety; fast forward to the 44:30 mark to hear DiNizio sing “Take Me Out to the Ballgame.”