My Favorite Baseball Song
With all the increasing negativity and the constant grumblings lately about what has happened during this previous summer along the Jersey shore, it was exciting to me last night to see one of New Jersey’s own sitting right next to President Obama and the First Lady during last night broadcast of the 2009 Kennedy Honors. The Working class hero Bruce “The Boss” Springsteen more than deserved his place among American culture icons.
Maybe last night’s honor will let the rest of the country take a breather on New Jersey and center their attention towards the positive as “The Boss” was being honored last night for his lifetime contribution to American culture of the performing arts. I know I have attended his awesome concerts more than a few times, and each time I see him on stage, his music legacy grows taller with every song.
And it might be fitting that his classic tune and the video for “Glory Days” is my personal favorite baseball song/video because it always seems to remind me of those awesome sandlot baseball days with my friends when we never cared what the final score of the game was, or who hit a Home Run or single.
And maybe that is why I love this baseball inspired song and “The Boss” for giving me this tune of my youth. From the first vocals on the song where he meets an aging High School baseball star, the song is a constant reminder of lyrics that evokes the subtle love and passion I had for the game as a kid.
Sure there are other baseball inspired songs that have caught my attention over the years like John Fogerty’s “Centerfield”, or even “Tessie” by Red Sox followers, the Dropkick Murphys, but Springsteen’s tune is the only one where I find myself going back in time and throwing up memories of games or people while holding a bat or in the field. Some people are against the addition of music into our baseball culture.
But to me “Glory Days” has always had a positive affirmation for me with the National Pastime and reaffirms my love for the game. Everyone has a song or even a verse that binds them to the game of baseball. It could even be one of the older songs about former pitching great Catfish Hunter by Bob Dylan or even the tale of an autograph hunter going awry in the song by the Summer Hymns called “Pete Rose Affinity.”
Music has always had a place in baseball from the classic “Take Me out to the Ballgame” in the bottom of the seventh Inning at some ballparks, to the interesting and always entertaining walk-up and warm-up music clips of our favorite stars. My own local team, the Tampa Bay Rays have even begun to cement their own musical tasty bits out there for us to begin to enjoy and maybe turn into a team clult classic like the Red Sox’s do with the song “Tessie.”
The game of baseball is enjoyed better when you let all five senses of the human body experience it. The sights, sounds and smells are all key ingredients to having the perfect baseball experience. But to me, music sets the tone for the entire game, and it doesn’t have to start with a clang of the cowbell either.