BASEBALL’S GREATEST HITS- TOP 40- #40-TO #36

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Two of my great loves are music and baseball- this will be a combination of those two passions. For some reason the game of baseball has inspired a lot of songs. I can’t think off the top of my head one football song but baseball there are hundreds. In preparing for this list- I re-listened to my baseball music related albums/ cd’s and through the internet researched and listened to countless more baseball songs. It was difficult to narrow it down to a Top 40. My short list of songs I actually liked was well over a hundred. The League Championship series are about to start and the World Series will soon follow- as good of a time as any to do a Top 40 Baseball Hits. So here goes. I will do five songs a post.

 

#40  The Cheap Seats1994- I want to represent different ways of looking at baseball on my list. I have always been a major league baseball fan- growing up near Pittsburgh there wasn’t any minor league towns nearby- I went to Pirates games. The minor leagues are of course big across the country. Not everyone is as lucky as I was to be close to a big league city. People love going out to see their local minor league team play- some of the players they cheer on may not be with the team long if they are headed upward towards the majors. I must confess I am a baseball fanatic and but I’ve only been to one minor league game in my life.  This is as commercial a song as I have chosen. I am not an Alabama fan but I do like this song. It was a country hit peaking at #13 on the country single chart. The Cheap Seats is on Alabama’s 1993 album Cheap Seats

 

#39 Laughing River – Greg Brown 1992. Another minor league song but not from the viewpoint of the fans but from a career minor league player who has to face the cold hard truth and give up his dream of the major leagues after twenty  years in the minors. Not everyone makes it to The Show. I know a former first round draft choice whose career just fell short peaking at AAA. Sometimes the best prospects don’t make it. This song is about moving on when your dream doesn’t come true. Written and performed by folk singer Greg Brown. It is from his 1992 album  Dream Cafe.

 

 

#38 Baseball, Baseball- Jane Morgan with George Barnes Quintet1954–  Jane Morgan- who is still living at 94 had success first in France. To break her into the American market they suggested she do this song Baseball, Baseball. In the song her love interest is interested in only one thing- baseball, baseball. She doesn’t stop her pursuit of him though and in the end turns the tables on him. Also she makes a mistake on the record-can you pick it up? By the way Jane Morgan was married to the famous film producer Jerry Weintraub from 1965 until his passing in 2015. The song was written by Allan Roberts, Albon Timothy, and Alan Holt. The single was released on the KAPP label. The song can be found on Baseball’s Greatest Hits -Let’s Play II.

 

#37Nolan Ryan {He’s A Hero To Us All}- Jerry Jeff Walker  1991– Two Texas legends-Jerry Jeff Walker{ born Ronald Crosby in Oneonta, New York a half an hour south of Cooperstown-} best known for writing Mr. Bojangles- takes on the greatest Texas baseball legend Nolan Ryan in this song-done near the end of Ryan’s illustrious career. In 4:12 he covers Ryan in chronological order from the start of his career until he is with the Texas Rangers at the end. Ryan was a freak and I mean that in the most complimentary way. He pitched until an elbow injury ended his career at age 46. He was fireballing pitcher to the end, in his last game he was still throwing in the mid 90’s. During his career he pitched seven no-hitters a record. Sandy Koufax is second with four no-hitters. Ryan is also the all-time strike out leader with 5714 in his career. He won 324 games in his 27 year career, also a record. I was a fan of Nolan’s who wasn’t? I had seen him pitch many times when he was with the Astros and in his final year 1993- he was pitching up in Cleveland and I had to go see him one more time. With Nolan you never knew what could happen when you went to see him pitch. While saying that he was nowhere near the greatest pitcher ever- a Hall of Famer no question and an all time great but some fans overrate him due to the no-hitters and the strike outs just like the do Pete Rose due to his hit total. Ryan is also the all time walk leader-he led the league in walks eight times. [Rose is the all time Out King} That isn’t to take anything away from Ryan- if there were ballparks all next to each other and all the great pitchers I have seen were pitching in the different ballparks I’d go to the one Nolan Ryan was pitching- on one day you didn’t know what you’d see a no hitter? 17 strikeouts? Anything was possible with him. Nolan Ryan {He’s A Hero To Us All} is on Jerry Jeff Walker’s Navajo Rug album released in 1991.

 

 

 

#36 Letters In The Dirt- Chuck Brodsky  1996-Chuck Brodsky grew up a Phillies fan and  is a big time baseball fan-he has two album of baseball songs. Letters In The Dirt appears on his 2002 album Baseball Ballads. “Letters In The Dirt” is a song he wrote about his childhood hero- the Phillies Richie Allen [later known as Dick Allen} one of the most controversial players of all time. Chuck Brodsky was born in 1960 so he was just a young boy when Allen was with the Phillies. He viewed Allen though the eyes of a child and didn’t understand why others booed him. There are a few versions of the song on youtube but I liked this one the best- with the story he tells of meeting Richie Allen in Cooperstown years ago. Allen is still not in the Hall of Fame but there seems to be a growing movement to get him inducted which at this point would be by the Era Committees which elected Alan Trammell and Jack Morris this year. In the 60’s and early 70’s Allen was one of the most feared hitters in the game. He was NL Rookie of the Year for Philadelphia in 1964 and in 1972 was the AL MVP with the Chicago White Sox- when he nearly carried the White Sox to a division title on his back. Letters In The Dirt is on Chuck Brodsky’s Letters In The Dirt album from 1996 and also on his Baseball Ballad’s album 2002.

 

 

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2 responses to “BASEBALL’S GREATEST HITS- TOP 40- #40-TO #36

    • That is my favorite also- you know how it is ranking things- the story he told even added to the song- if i had heard that version before ranking i probably would have ranked it even higher. Thanks.

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