Two years ago, I did a post about baseball songs by New Jersey artists. Since lots of people have suggested other songs, though, and since the World Series starts tonight, I’ve put together an expanded edition, with 14 songs instead of 10.
The original post great out of another post I did the same year (when The Mets made it to the World Series, but lost to the Kansas City Royals) on 10 songs that had something to do with both The Mets and the world of New Jersey arts.
Here you go. Enjoy!
“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.
“There Used to Be a Ballpark,” Frank Sinatra.
“Glory Days,” Bruce Springsteen.
“Glory Days,” Bruce Springsteen and Bernie Williams. Just a snippet of the song, from a performance by The Boss and the former Yankees star.
“Meet the Mets,” Yo La Tengo.
“Take Me Out to the Ball Game,” Frank Sinatra with Gene Kelly. From the 1949 movie of the same name.
“Centerfield,” John Fogerty with Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band. Performance clip from the 2004 Vote for Change tour.
“Baseball Altamount,” Yo La Tengo. A cover of a nightmarish baseball song by The Nightmares.
“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.
“Mrs. Robinson,” Bon Jovi. Included for the verse about Joe DiMaggio.
“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.”
“Paradise by the Dashboard Light,” Meat Loaf. Included because of the cameo by the late Phil Rizzuto (a longtime Hillside resident), which can be heard at the 3:35 mark here, and because E Street Band members Max Weinberg and Roy Bittan played on the original recording. Todd Rundgren, who produced the song for Meat Loaf’s Bat Out of Hell album, says he saw the entire project as a Bruce Springsteen spoof.
“Game Day,” Mr. Ray (Ray Andersen), with Bobby Bandiera on guitar and backing vocals.
“The Baseball Song,” Mike June. Former Jersey resident (and Rutgers-Newark pitcher) Mike June evokes the joy of fandom, namechecks famous players (include Mariano Rivera and George Brett) and attests to the lessons that can be learned from baseball. “I will try and be patient/I will wait for my pitch/Keep my eye on the ball/Try to see every stitch,” he sings.
“Walter Johnson,” Jonathan Richman and the Modern Lovers. Richman is not from New jersey, but I’m including this song as a bonus track because the great pitcher Walter Johnson managed the minor league Newark Bears and lived in Millburn in the 1920s.
“Talking Yogi Talk,” John McCutcheon. McCutcheon is also a non-New Jerseyan, but Yogi Berri lived in Montclair for most of his life.
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