Always with more music

Thanks to Sandy for sending me an iTunes Music Store gift certificate. The baseball songs purchased with it: “Opening Day” by the Folk Implosion, “Baseball” by Michael Franks, and two tracks by John McCutcheon, “Baseball on the Block” and “World Series ’57.” I also bought “The Ballad of John Rocker” by Tim Wilson, but there was an error while it was downloading, and the Check for Purchased Music option isn’t finding it…so let’s just say that it’s kind of embarrassing to be sending an e-mail regarding a song about John Rocker to Apple customer support.

Other than the previously discussed “Piazza New York Catcher” situation, the only other potential baseball song remaining on my list is now “Night Game” by Paul Simon. I’m thinking I may see if I can find a used copy of the album it appears on, “Still Crazy After All This Years,” as long as I’m going to be looking for “Dear Catastrophe Waitress.” It might not be a big loss if I can’t find it, since “Night Game” may be the most depressing baseball song ever.

This still leaves me with some money remaining on my iTunes account, so please use the comments function or e-mail me directly if you have any suggestions for baseball songs I haven’t already mentioned in this blog and that aren’t on either volume of Rhino Records’ “Baseball’s Greatest Hits,” which I already have. (Note: The songs on this CD are not baseball songs.)

Yes, I do know about the “Diamond Cuts” compilations, the track listings of which I have already been through to see what was available on the iTunes Music Store. Not a lot, it turns out, although a few of them duplicate content from “Baseball’s Greatest Hits,” and a few others are different artists’ renditions of songs on “BGH.”

Original comments…

Levi: There’s that Kenny Rogers song from about four years ago that he played at Wrigley Field, about a boy tossing up a ball to hit it, but missing it again and again.

Don’t buy it.

sandor: I don’t know what your threshhold is for what makes one a baseball song. If it’s pretty extremely low, you should take a listen to Steve Poltz’s “Silver Lining,” which has these pleasant little lines in it:

I used to rely on luck
to earn an honest buck.
I didn’t feel so stuck.
I didn’t limp around like John Kruk.

References to baseball and testicular cancer in one line. Pretty amazing.

Jon Solomon: “line drive to the forehead” – Blunderbuss.

There’s also a SF Seals 45 with “doc ellis” and two other baseball songs.

“my black ass” by Shellac is about shadowball.

I’m sure more will come to me.


Levi: And there’s a great Dan Bern song, “Gambling with My Love” about Pete Rose and Bart Giammatti meeting in a hotel room for a night of drinking, wherein Giammatti tries all night to get Rose to just be honest and ‘fess up.

Steve: You can’t forget Steve Goodman’s “A Dying Cub Fan’s Last Request“. The same album (Affordable Art) has Steve’s mandolin-y version of “Take Me Out to the Ballgame.”

Jim: “A Dying Cub Fan’s Last Request” is on “Baseball’s Greatest Hits,” volume 1, so I’ve already got it. One of the best baseball songs ever.

Jon Solomon: “Baseball Bat” by Courtney Love (the band, not the person) came to me while driving back from Philadelphia tonight.


maura: do you have the baseball songs by barbara manning? they’re not on itunes, but a friend of mine has them on mp3.

thatbob: I’m really surprised and a little disappointed that Jon Solomon can’t come up with any baseball-related Christmas songs.

Jon Solomon: This was the best I could do:

Carlos Zambrano and Matt Morris are both good pitchers

Steve Stone, at one point during today’s Cubs-Cardinals telecast: “I just had a booth tragedy. I rested my Tootsie Pop on my lemonade, and it fell in.”

Also, I’m going to assume the local WGN station identification announcement is usually played at a reasonable volume, as opposed to the one on Superstation WGN, which was cranked way up high, apparently to match the action! in the big shows they were promoting today, “Andromeda” and “Mutant X.”

There’s a lot to like

Bob seems to have been spending all day reading this blog from beginning to end. He left a comment related to the very first entry which I might as well address. I listed the four potential itineraries and said, “I actually have reasons for liking all four of these itineraries, so I don’t really care which one eventually gets chosen.” Bob wondered what those reasons were.

All four included at least nine games in nine different ballparks, including the places I specifically wanted to go, Montreal and Pittsburgh, and the place Levi specifically wanted to go, Boston. And then there were also more specific areas of interest for each of the four.

Itinerary #1 was the earliest in the year, so I wouldn’t have to deal with feelings of anticipation as long. It also included a scheduled day with no game, neatly placed on the itinerary between Boston and Philadelphia, which could have been used to see Stephanie D’Abruzzo in “Avenue Q,” or go to the Baseball Hall of Fame, or see the Red Sox twice, assuming we could afford the tickets. It also went across Memorial Day, so I’d save a vacation day from my job.

Itinerary #2 was the only one to include all four of last season’s League Championship Series participants, plus featured two games in the same city on consecutive days, which is neat even if one of the teams is the Yankees. And it was the only one with the Devil Rays, and the travel would be in the reverse direction of the other three.

Itinerary #3 included the Cardinals, which I knew would make Levi giddy with glee, as well as the only stadium that probably won’t be around anymore within the next three years, Busch Stadium (unless they tear Olympic Stadium down the instant the Expos leave Montreal).

Itinerary #4 was the only one to include a game in Baltimore, in the first of the new retro ballparks, and it would probably have allowed us to economize by staying with my aunt and uncle in the Philadelphia suburbs for a full three days. It also was the only one to include a minor-league game as originally drawn up, although we ended up adding one to the beginning of Itinerary #3. It also went across Labor Day, so it was another potential vacation day saving.

It’s probably a little late to be thinking about the alternate itineraries now, since we’ve been seriously committed to Itinerary #3 since February, when we got the Red Sox and Phillies tickets. I’m probably going to revisit them once the dates roll around and the games are played, and we’ll have some “we could have been there!” hindsight.

Original comments…

thatbob: Perhaps I’m building you a cumulative index (hottt!!!).

One more musical note

A while back, Stacey had suggested the song “Piazza New York Catcher” by Belle & Sebastian to me. I almost got it with the code she gave me, but I instead decided to purchase the entire “Dear Catastrophe Waitress” album at some point in the future. I’m sure I’ll make it to Amoeba Music at least once before the trip, and I wouldn’t be surprised if they have a used copy or two (of course, the problem with going to Amoeba Music is that I can’t get out of there without spending at least $40 on used CDs).

Original comments…

Levi: If you’re feeling sinister . . . we have the disc and I could make sure the song is on my iPod . . . and yours.

More ice cream, more songs

After that last rant, let’s just say it’s a good thing the other book of old Charles Schulz cartoons that just came out, “Li’l Beginnings,” did fit into the package lockers.

Now, then: Stacey also pledged to vote at Ben & Jerry’s, and also got a free song from iTunes, and passed the code along to me. I already have three different versions of “Take Me Out to the Ball Game,” but figured one more couldn’t hurt, so I downloaded a 2003 version by someone named Kathleen Holeman, who is not listed in the All-Music Guide. Turns out it’s a neat rendition, including an additional verse with some ranting against the current state of Major League Baseball.

The three versions I already had were a 37-second-long instrumental version of the chorus only, a version credited to “Bruce Springstone” parodying a certain New Jersey-based singer (both from the “Baseball’s Greatest Hits” CD), and a 1909 version by a singer named Edward Meeker that I downloaded from the “public domain 78s” collection on a few years ago.

By the way, if anybody feels like opening up iTunes and rating an iMix or two, why not try this one or perhaps this one? Sorry, no “Mix American Style” yet…that’s going to be a big job, to try to substitute songs according to what’s available in the iTunes Music Store. Actually, someone else has already done an iMix containing songs related to all 50 states, but they’ve got them in the order each state entered the union (a neat idea), and their first two songs are suspect because they’re about a river that shares a name with a state (“Down Across the Delaware,” James McMurtry) and a phone number in New York City that happens to have the name of a state in it (“Pennsylvania 6-5000”).

Original comments…

thatbob: Along that vein, Oregon Hill is set in the deep south, Virginia is merely the girl’s name, and of course Kansas City is in Missouri. But who am I to judge? My playlist “I Love to Count!” couldn’t get past twelve.

Kathleen Holeman: Thanks for listening. I don’t know if it told you when you downloaded it, but I wrote the commentary at the end of the song. The front part was the original verse. I am a jazz artist in the Kansas City MO area. My husband and I have started collecting pictures of us with various minor league (or less-than)mascots. Fun! Write back to me if you want to.