BASEBALL’S GREATEST HITS- TOP 40- #5 TO #1

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#5 VAN LINGLE MUNGO- DAVE FRISHBERG 1969: A song composed and performed by jazz pianist Dave Frishberg- he sat down with the Baseball Encyclopedia and found the name Van Lingle Mungo- which is certainly as odd a name as you can find- and took it from there. All he sings is the names of players from the past- the 40’s and 50’s. The only player who is still living from the list is Eddie Basinski who is now 95 years old.

 

#4 CENTERFIELD- JOHN FOGERTY 1985: The most famous modern baseball song and probably the best known song John Fogerty has done since the break-up of Creedence Clearwater Revival. Maybe it’s because I have listened to it a million times but I was shocked to see that it didn’t even make the Top 40- peaking at 44. Great video to go with it. “Put me in coach, I’m ready to play.”

 

 

#3 TAKE ME OUT TO THE BALLGAME-VARIOUS ARTISTS: The most famous baseball song of all. Earlier in the countdown I had the Bruce Springstone version separate from this version because it was so different. The one here is the one sung during the 7th inning stretch at the ballgame.  There are countless versions of the song- I am picking a video of Harry Caray singing it- because when I think of the song I think of him during the 7th inning of Cubs games singing it.

 

#2 A DYING CUB FANS LAST REQUEST- STEVE GOODMAN 1983: Steve Goodman was a Chicago native and die-hard Cubs fan. He was born in 1948, three years after the Cubs last won the National League pennant. He was in fact dying of leukemia in the 1980’s. This song came out the year before he passed. He died on September 20th, 1984 just four days before his Cubs won the National League East and made their first playoff appearance since 1945.

 

 

#1  WILLIE, MICKEY & ‘THE DUKE’ {TALKIN’ BASEBALL}- TERRY CASHMAN 1981: When I started making the list last month I knew I didn’t have to think twice about what I would have at #1- it had to be Willie, Mickey and “The Duke” {Talkin’ Baseball} which I never get tired of hearing. The first time I heard it was when it came out- on the Pete Franklin Sportsline radio show on 3WE in Cleveland. He played it over and over all evening on his show- probably a dozen times at least. I had to go get the single later that week. I liked how Cashman not only sang about the baseball heroes of his youth but also later in the song updated to include the stars of the time- the 1980’s. My favorite line “and Bobby Bonds can play for everyone.”

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4 responses to “BASEBALL’S GREATEST HITS- TOP 40- #5 TO #1

  1. I couldn’t agree more with your #1…it’s another song that sticks in your head but you want it to.
    I also remember the parody on the Simpsons about Softball.

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