My last post about walk-up songs got me thinking about music and baseball more generally. Obviously, music is an important part of the baseball experience. But baseball has also had an impact on music – and still does.
It is estimated that more than one thousand songs have been written about baseball. The very first one may have been “The Baseball Polka,” composed in 1858 by J.R. Blodgett. Sure, some of these are from are from by-gone days, but many have been written by guys we’ve actually heard of, too, like John Fogarty. Ok, perhaps that’s still the olden days for some of you. However, baseball’s presence is still felt in today’s music. Though presumably not about baseball at all, the title of Death Cab for Cutie’s “No Joy in Mudville” clearly pays homage to the classic poem, “Casey at the Bat.” Then there’s “The Best” by Five for Fighting, which was on the sound track for the 2006 animated baseball movie, “Everyone’s Hero.” It gets to the true essence of baseball:
What kind of love is the best kind of love?
The one above all the rest of the loves?
Grab a hat, a bat, a ball and a glove
It’s the love that I feel for you.
Now if this isn’t a clear indication of the great sociological impact of baseball, I don’t know what is. I mean, how many songs have been written about golf?