If You Sing It, They Will Win
So I just returned from a 24-hour road trip to Saint Louis so I could attend the Cardinals’ Opening Day and enjoy the festivities surrounding the opening of Busch Stadium III – Revenge of the Swill*.
In keeping with their out-with-the-old-in-with-the-new theme, the first pitch ceremony featured last year’s Cy Young and MVP, Chris Carpenter and Albert Pujols, simultaneously throwing out first pitches to past Cy Young and MVP, Bob Gibson and Willie McGee. It was like a big juicy baseball sandwich – a wonderful, spring afternoon filled with drinking overpriced beer out of wax cups in standing room only smushed in between two 5+ hour slices of tooling down Interstate 70.
Seeing Willie McGee out there got me to reminiscing during my drive home. During Willie’s first year in the majors, he hit two home runs in the third game of the World Series against the Milwaukee Brewers and made a several outstanding plays in the field. That was 1982, the last time the Cardinals won the Series, but it was also one of the last times they would have a theme song.
That year it was Celebration by Kool & The Gang. The Cards would return to the Series twice more in the decade, both times with theme songs. In 1985, it was The Heat Is On, by Glenn Frey. The Freeze Miser, Don Denkinger, a man who admittedly hates Glenn Frey and the Eagles, made sure that the heat was definitely not on. In 1987, it was Shakedown by Bob Seger, but it was the Minnesota Twins who did the shaking down.
The Cardinals have returned to the playoffs several times since, and even the World Series once, but they seem to have given up on the idea of a theme song. Other teams seem to have abandoned their theme/fight songs as well.
The Houston Astros had a catchy theme during the 1980s, the result of an advertising campaign for the team.
Here come the Astros, burnin’ with desire.
Here come the Astros, breathin orange fire.
Here come the Astros with winnin’ on their mind,
Here come the Astros, number one very time.
Fight songs are generally thought of as being confined to college sports, but many NFL and even NBA teams still have them (the Bulls use Sirius by the Alan Parsons Project). I was beginning to think that Shakedown was the last Major League Baseball theme I would hear until last year’s championship run by the Chicago White Sox resurrected Let’s Go, Go-Go White Sox.
- Listen to Celebration by Kool & The Gang
- Listen to The Heat is On by Glenn Frey
- Listen to Let’s Go, Go-Go White Sox.
*That’s right. The new Busch is the third stadium to hold the Busch name, following Busch Memorial Stadium (1966-2005), and the former Sportsmen’s Park, which was renamed Busch Stadium in 1953 when Anheuser-Busch bought the team.
UPDATE: April 19, 2006
According to Newsday:
The New York Mets today announced the creation of a new fan celebration song, “Our Team. Our Time,” which will play at Mets games during the 2006 season at Shea Stadium.
- Listen to Our Team Our Time.
IMHO, the 1962 song Meet the Mets beats the crap out of this.
- Listen to Meet the Mets.