Best Songs About Baseball
One of the best-known baseball songs, “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” was first played at a World Series game in 1934. The 1908 Jack Norworth-penned lyric — recorded that year by Edward Meeker — is a staple, even mandatory, seventh inning stretch song that has been recorded by everyone from Gene Kelly and Frank Sinatra to the Goo Goo Dolls.
In-stadium versions have been “sung” by the likes of Eddie Vedder, Ozzy Osbourne, and William Hung. With its anthemic lilting singalong command, it’s a public domain classic that everyone knows, whether you like baseball or not.
Take me out to the ball game.
Take me out with the crowd.
Buy me some peanuts and cracker jack.
I don’t care if I never get back.
Let me root, root, root for the home team.
If they don’t win it’s a shame.
For it’s one, two, three strikes, you’re out.
At the old ball game!
With the 2022 World Series in full swing featuring the Houston Astros and Philadelphia Phillies, no doubt the song will be played, but for those watching the excitement at home, that’s not really the song to get you in the mood. It’s too damn aw-shucks.
There are countless metaphorical baseball songs — a prime example is Meat Loaf/Jim Steinman’s “Paradise by the Dashboard Light” — but for direct songs about “the old ball game,” here at SiriusXM we have a few suggestions…
Number one is John Fogerty’s 1985 hit “Centerfield,” an homage to America’s Favourite Passtime, which was honoured at the 2010 National Baseball Hall of Fame. “I thought I was really tempting fate by doing a rock and roll song about baseball. It hadn’t happened before,” Fogerty wrote in his autobiography, Fortunate Son: My Life, My Music, about the lyric that references Willie Mayes, Ty Cobb, and Joe DiMaggio.
Speaking of DiMaggio, he sure is mentioned in a lot of songs but not this one: Terry Cashman’s 1981 historical masterpiece, “Talkin’ Baseball.” It’s another immensely popular song that’s also known as “Willie, Mickey and The Duke.” Innumerable players are mentioned or referenced, among them: Willie Mays, Mickey Mantle, Duke Snider, Yogi Berra, Jackie Robinson, Ted Kluszewski, Don Newcombe, and more. There was even satire in an episode of The Simpsons, re-titled “Talkin’ Softball,” sung by Cashman.
Baseball likely has more songs written about the sport than any other — at least in North America. Maybe in Europe and the UK it’s football (soccer). Other songs to check out that are either all about baseball or have significant references include Wilco and Billy Bragg “Joe DiMaggio Done It Again,” Bruce Springsteen’s “Glory Days,” Gord Bamford’s “Baseball Glove,” Ben Gibbard’s “Ichiro Theme,” and Kenny Rogers’ “The Greatest.”