BASEBALL’S GREATEST HITS- TOP 40 -#15 TO #11

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The Baseball’s Greatest Hits  Top 40 countdown nears the Top 10- today I will cover my #15 to #11 Greatest Baseball songs ever.

#15 Catfish- Bob Dylan 1991:  Recorded by Dylan in 1975- co written with Jacques Levy around the time they were making Desire. Wasn’t released until 1991. Dylan is known to be a baseball fan. Once he did a tour where the venues were minor league baseball park. In 1975 Jim “Catfish” Hunter was big news- through the stupidity of A’s owner Charley O. Finley he was declared a free- agent and signed with the Yankees for what at the time seemed like a huge contract. Hunter was a big game pitcher- for the A’s and then the Yankees. He was a good ole country boy who was well liked by everyone. Unassuming type fella. Sadly died from a fall while suffering from Lou Gehrig’s Disease in 1999 at age 53.

 

#14 Bill Lee- Warren Zevon 1980: Like Zevon- baseball pitcher Bill Lee a friend of Warren’s looked at life a little differently than most. A baseball flake. Some teams considered him a clubhouse cancer. As Zevon sings in baseball especially back then ” you’re supposed to sit on your ass and nod at stupid things, man that’s hard to do.” I think the song sums up well how baseball management has looked at players over the years. Lee was one of those guys who had to stay productive to stay in the majors- he won 17 games for the Red Sox three seasons in a row and won 119 games in his career but once he was no longer effective he would be gone because he was considered a ‘bad influence’ . His nickname was The Spaceman.

 

#13 Say Hey- The Treniers 1954: The Say Hey Kid- Willie Mays was and up and coming superstar when this song was made in 1954 and Mays voice appears on the song. In the 1954 World Series he made his iconic catch off of the bat of Vic Wertz. If I were going to list the greatest baseball players of all time- Mays would have to be in the Top 5. Ruth is #1 after that it could be Willie. I got to see Willie play- it wasn’t the prime time Willie Mays he was getting older and slowing down but it was still Willie Mays!

 

#12 Take Me Out To The Ballgame- Bruce Springstone 1982: A parody of The Boss- Bruce Springsteen. It is the tradtional Take Me Out To The Ballgame but it sounds like well Bruce Springsteen doing it. I went out and bought this single when it came out and still have it in my box of singles. I wonder if Bruce has ever done Take Me Out To The Ballgame?

 

#11 1976- The Baseball Project 2011 1976  is about Mark “The Bird” Fidrych who took the baseball world by storm in 1976. He had one of those magical seasons. He wasn’t just a great pitcher that season but a great and true character- he was a 21 year old kid just brought up to the majors. He talked to the baseball, did interesting things and it wasn’t contrived. He was fun and was having fun out there. He became a fan favorite not only of Detroit Tiger fans but all baseball fans. I can’t imagine any fan not being a fan of his. The next year he had an injury and never really recovered the old magic. He had that one magical year. In reading stories about him over the years he was never bitter over it. He had a great year in the majors- it all ended too soon but he went on with his life. The song was written after he was tragically killed in a freak accident in 2009 at the age of 54. When I think of baseball and 1976 I think of The Bird.

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13 responses to “BASEBALL’S GREATEST HITS- TOP 40 -#15 TO #11

  1. Bill Lee and Mark Fidrych were two of my favorite characters in Baseball. Baseball is the one sport that allows it more than others.
    Charley O. Finley has to be one of the worst owners ever. The stories from his players are just terrible. Some of them rival Charles Comiskey.

    • In defense of Comiskey- he was the typical owner of that period. Finley was out of step with the times- he should have owned a team 60 years earlier. He built a great team and out of cheapness let it fall apart. He did serve one purpose- that was a wild team and he united them in their hatred of him.

    • Reminds me of the owner of our company lol… No you are right…there was a bond there and a violent but fun team. Probably my favorite uniforms of all time.
      What a team he built and to just let it go to waste.

    • I saw the ESPN special on the swingin’ A’s… 74 is the first world series that I remember…didn’t know what was going on but I remember the green and yellow.
      There is a book I want to check called
      Big Hair and Plastic Grass: A Funky Ride Through Baseball and America in the Swinging ’70s…

      Have you read it?

    • I have the book but haven’t read it yet- it looks like a great read. Got to get it out and read it. I think the two best teams I have seen are those A’s teams and the late 90’s Yankee teams. Those teams had everything.

    • Where do you think the late sixties early seventies Baltimore teams rank? The pitching on those were incredible… I will agree with you… as far as complete those two teams you mentioned had everything…. I would say the reds of the mid seventies but they didn’t have the starting pitching the others had.

    • Red fans and there are a number of those around here think the Reds of the mid 70’s were the greatest ever but you hit on it- their pitching was average at best. Those Oriole teams were a powerhouse -great all around- excellent pitching and defense. They were in those 3 series in a row but were 1-2. … and talking of World Series upsets Mets in ’69 over that great O’s team has to rank as #1 upset. They were a great team though…. The Mets were like the ’88 Dodgers. I think Seaver is the only HOF’er from that team and no one else is even in the discussion for that honor….. I would vote for Orel Hershiser maybe the veterans committee will elect him.

    • I think Gil Hodges is borderline…of course he was the manager but he could get in one day. That was a big upset. Theres a fun movie about time travel with the 69 Mets involved…Frequency
      There are many Braves fans that were Reds fans here. TBS and losing turned them into Braves fans.
      If I had to win a game… I would want the 88 Orel pitching…

    • Orel in 1988 was money.. like Mike Scott at the end of ’86. If there had been a Game 7 no way were the Mets beating Scott that year and they knew it…. I am not familiar with Frequency- will see if I can find it. Love time travel! I was talking to a patron at the library Friday and she has seen the US version of Life On Mars- and loved it I told her she has to see the UK version!!

    • I remember Mike Scott… the Mets were convinced he was scuffing the ball. Some pitchers just catch fire.
      I think you would like Frequency…Time Travel and baseball proved it.
      I really think she would like it. They had to end the American one earlier and it is a contrived ending.

    • Scott was unhittable and he was in their minds for sure… I looked the library system has a Frequency with Dennis Quaid- is that the one?,,, yes I told her she had to give the UK version a go- she loves UK series as it is. I don’t know how anyone wouldn’t love that show.

    • Yes that is the one…a different sort of time travel… It’s hard not to like unless you just don’t like UK shows.

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