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I don’t know what the best baseball song is, but it ain’t John freakin’ Fogerty

Dec 19, 2013, 4:30 PM EDT


Today at ESPN Jim Caple takes a stab at listing the top 10 baseball songs of all time. He has “Centerfield” by John Fogerty at number one.

I feel like picking the best baseball song is a fools’ errand if, for no other reason, than everyone has different musical tastes so who’s to say what really is the best baseball song? It’s inherently a matter of opinion. But I know this much: “Centerfield” is objectively awful. It’s just not a good song and if you think otherwise you’re a bad person and should feel bad. No offense, Jim.

I guess everything else is fair game. Well, not “Talkin’ Baseball.” That’s awful too. Just can’t be on your list if you want to be taken seriously in polite society. Terrible, abominable song. Get the shakes just thinking about it.

I go back and forth on my favorite baseball song, but here’s one that rotates in and out of the top spot. It’s Mabel Scott’s “Baseball Boogie.”

OK, yes, she’s not really singing about baseball. She’s singing about sex. But I think that’s ok. I’d rather hear Mabel Scott sing about sex than hear John Fogerty singing about baseball. And if you disagree, well, you’re wrong AGAIN.

104 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. aroomadazda - Dec 19, 2013 at 6:31 PM

    Everybody except smokeypatsfan is WRONG. Take Me Out to the Ballgame is absolutely the best baseball song. People all over the world know that one. The rest are just pop songs that happen to mention baseball.

  2. Nips Johnson - Dec 19, 2013 at 6:46 PM

    how has nobody mentioned the masterpiece “Marlins Will Soar”?!

    • lieutennantoblivious - Dec 20, 2013 at 12:23 AM

      I think Scott Stapp is also singing about sex.

  3. shaggylocks - Dec 19, 2013 at 7:01 PM

    Joltin’ Joe all the way!

  4. theonlynolan - Dec 19, 2013 at 7:15 PM

    The best baseball song ever is Meatloaf’s “Paradise by the Dashboard Light” featuring the great Phil Rizzuto. This is not up for debate.

    • blynch67 - Dec 20, 2013 at 8:49 AM

      As much as I dislike Meatloaf, you are ‘spot on’ featuring the late, great Phil Rizzuto :)

  5. theonlynolan - Dec 19, 2013 at 7:18 PM

    Ray1950, you beat me to it. You’re a good man with transcendent taste.

  6. 18thstreet - Dec 19, 2013 at 7:32 PM

    Two-three* the count, nobody on
    He hit a high fly into the stands
    Roundin’ third, he was headed for home
    It was a brown-eyed, handsome man
    That won the game
    He was a brown-eyed, handsome man

    End of debate.

    * My favorite theory: he’s mocking the ump

    • albertmn - Dec 19, 2013 at 8:09 PM

      Really like that song. But, all of you saying “End of debate” are just ridiculous. Something like this is obviously open to debate.

      • 18thstreet - Dec 20, 2013 at 7:49 AM

        It’s obvious enough that you should understand my use of hyperbole.

  7. schmedley69 - Dec 19, 2013 at 7:39 PM

    I vote for the song they played in the Big League Chew commercials.

  8. nbjays - Dec 19, 2013 at 7:52 PM

    I gotta go with Cur on this one, Craig, It definitely IS “Centerfield”, with “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” in second.

    I know it’s kind of a provincial choice, but I’m surprised neither Cur or Proudly mentioned the “OK… Blue Jays!” song. :-)

    Oh, and as an afterthought… and just because it will give Gator apoplexy… I just have to give a vote to “Sweet Caroline”?

    /ducks and runs

    • indaburg - Dec 19, 2013 at 9:07 PM

      I laughed. But no. :-)

      Team songs automatically get nominated for worst baseball song of all time. Do they purposely make them awful?

  9. bigedfromca - Dec 19, 2013 at 7:59 PM

    He doesn’t actually mention what sport the song is about, but I like David Geddes “blind man in the Bleaches” AKA “Last Game of the season”.

    • nbjays - Dec 19, 2013 at 8:35 PM

      Unfortunately, not a baseball tune, as demonstrated by the start of the second verse:

      “But the boy’s not just a hero, he’s strictly second team.
      Though he runs each night for touchdowns in his fathers sweetest dreams.”

      Still a great song but, alas, a football song.

  10. johnchesterny - Dec 19, 2013 at 8:42 PM

    Sinatra’s gotta be in the discussion…..

    • deadeyedesign23 - Dec 19, 2013 at 10:44 PM

      This was gonna be my vote.

  11. csanborn26 - Dec 19, 2013 at 8:44 PM

    I have to say I love centerfield and my wife walked down the aisle to Bernie Williams version of take me out to the ball game but for arguments sake I like load up the bases by Whiskey Falls and the closer by The Baseball Project.

  12. indaburg - Dec 19, 2013 at 9:18 PM

    I don’t mind Centerfield. It’s ubiquitous. I can’t hate any song that was in Bull Durham.

    I don’t suppose to know what the best of all time is, but I nominate Bob Dylan’s Catfish for consideration among the top baseball songs:

    Reggie Jackson at the plate
    Seein’ nothin’ but the curve
    Swing too early or too late
    Got to eat what Catfish serve

    Catfish, million-dollar-man
    Nobody can throw the ball like Catfish can

    Even Billy Martin grins
    When the Fish is in the game

  13. macjacmccoy - Dec 19, 2013 at 9:35 PM

    Led Zeppelin Kashmir. Over.

  14. babyfarkmcgeezax - Dec 19, 2013 at 10:44 PM

    No debate over the best baseball songs is complete without mentioning the greatest of them all: “Marlins Will Roar” by Scott Stapp. Debate over, BITCH.

    • babyfarkmcgeezax - Dec 19, 2013 at 10:49 PM


  15. DJ MC - Dec 19, 2013 at 11:11 PM

    First off, I am a bad person, but I don’t feel bad. “Centerfield” and “Talkin’ Baseball” are both great baseball songs.

    Second, it is hard to pick a single The Baseball Project song, since I have about six or seven favorites, but I love “Harvey Haddox”.

    Third, “Orioles Magic”. That’s the best, and there should be no discussion.

    (Please feel free to discuss below.)

  16. twinwildflyer - Dec 19, 2013 at 11:13 PM

    Itchy’s a jerk.

  17. cohnjusack - Dec 19, 2013 at 11:18 PM

    The greatest baseball song has to be ” Go Go Joe Charboneau” …which I’ve never heard, but it’s about Joe Charboneau so it must be great.

  18. bunkerhillbob - Dec 19, 2013 at 11:32 PM

    Craig, you really don’t know Jack Squat, do you?

    • babyfarkmcgeezax - Dec 19, 2013 at 11:59 PM

      He doesn’t even know where his popcorn is, let alone Jack Squat.

  19. hurricanegrabowski - Dec 20, 2013 at 12:20 AM

    Pfff, Mike Ditka’s rendition of Ballgame stands head and shoulders above any other baseball song:

  20. rickscherger - Dec 20, 2013 at 3:26 AM


  21. douchebigelow - Dec 20, 2013 at 7:12 AM

    Sweet Caroline , end of story

  22. chevybob - Dec 20, 2013 at 7:45 AM

    What about the Dodgers song by Danny Kaye from the early 60s?

  23. cshearing - Dec 20, 2013 at 8:30 AM

    Of all of your posts, Craig, I think this is the one I disagree with the most. It is not objectively awful. Maybe objectively mediocre, but in no way awful. You’re not one of those hipsters that thinks all classic rock is horrible, are you?

  24. stackers1 - Dec 20, 2013 at 8:34 AM

    #1 – Take me out to the ballgame
    #2 – Centerfield

    Someone else mentioned “Van Lingle Mungo” which is very amusing and growing up in the NYC area, I always liked the Mets song; “Meet The Mets – Meet The Mets – Step Right Up & Greet The Mets”.

  25. thegreatstoneface - Dec 20, 2013 at 8:42 AM

    the baseball project’s ‘ted f**ckin’ williams’ is just about perfect, really…

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