When Baseball Teams Had Their Own Unique Songs
When my Dad and I would drive places at night in the 1970’s, my father would put on the Baltimore radio station, WBAL-AM to hear the Orioles games. At night the radio signals were stronger and you could pick up most of the bigger radio station’s broadcasts within a 400 mile range, so he would listen. I vividly remember the upbeat song that used to be played to start the O’s broadcast. I searched the internet and have had no luck finding “Orioles Baseball” which is what I believe the title was. But I have collected a number of baseball theme songs and thought I would share them.
For every baseball fan who can remember…
(click on link to hear the mp3 of the song)
In the 1970’s when I was listening to the radio, before the start of every ball game, the New York Yankees would have their theme played. The Yankees announcers, Phil Rizutto, Frank Messer and Bill White would eventually talk over the song and it would fade out. At the end of the game they would play the theme again. The Yankees still play a truncated version of the song at the beginning and conclusion of games on the radio, but they rarely play this version with the lyrics.
Musically well constructed and simply the best song ever written for a team with its catchy lyrics. The “Meet The Mets” song still holds up nearly 50 years after the Mets introduction to New York. This version is the original version. (ed note: strangely enough I wrote this article on June 30 and originally scheduled it to be posted on July 5. I moved it up to July 3 after seeing that the writer of the Mets theme song Ruth Roberts passed away Friday, July 1 at age 84.)
If you grew up in Chicago you may remember “Hey, Hey Holy Mackarel” which was the Chicago Cubs song.
Now, if you were a Chicago White Sox fan, the song dear to your heart would be “Let’s Go, Go, Go White Sox.”
In the late 1960’s this is what the Detroit Tigers were playing – “Go Get ‘Um Tigers.”
Some songs are really not much on lyrical content. Take the Philadelphia Phillies song as an example.
Probably my biggest surprise looking at baseball team songs was finding this gem. Before the Milwaukee Brewers came to Milwaukee in 1970, they were born as the expansion Seattle Pilots and played there for one season in 1969. Not a great song, but a good effort.
Teams are still having theme songs created as evidenced by the Washington Nationals song.
Finally any baseball fan who grew up in the late 1970’s used to look forward to Saturday’s broadcast of This Week in Baseball which highlighted all the great plays from the previous week and had interviews with ballplayers. While the theme song had no words, the music was majestic and suited the show’s outro. Hosted by broadcasting legend Mel Allen, TWIB, preceded the 1pm Eastern Time NBC Game of the Week and if you didn’t have a Little League game to go to, most boys watched TWIB and discussed it fervently afterward. A USA Today article about Mel Allen and the show can be found here.
As a child I was a bit obsessive and I tape recorded the theme song, looped it and would blare it from a cassette player while playing baseball with my friends at the park while we made our own baseball highlights diving for fly balls or taking infield or batting practice before a pick-up game.
On a concluding note, before the 24 hour news cycle and advent of cable television, the Game of the Week was special because it was your only chance to see other teams play each other. Besides your local baseball broadcast(s) this was the only major league game that was televised nationally, so it really was a weekly treat.
Where have you gone, Joe Garagiola?
Below, not a theme song, but the Dodgers song – performed by Danny Kaye and creatively shot with Lego people.