Friday, April 1, 2011

Now Batting…

Baseball season is finally here. The Brewers opened the season yesterday and the Cubs and the White Sox did so today. I wanted to do something to honor the beginning of the 2011 Major League Baseball season, so earlier this week I posted a facebook status asking friends for their favorite baseball players. That way I could choose the perfect walk-up song for that player. Or at least what I feel would be the perfect song.

The walk-up song is the song played throughout a stadium as a home player walks to the plate. Most players embrace the chance to choose a walk-up song, and sometimes they even put in a lot of time thinking of the perfect song.

That’s what I am doing with this blog, attempting to choose the perfect walk-up song for my friends’ favorite players. I also provide the reasoning for my choice. Plus, if you click on the name of the song, it will link you to YouTube so you can listen to it.

Sue all the way from England chose Babe Ruth. The Babe’s actual full name was George Herman Ruth, but everyone, even those across the pond, knew him as Babe. That’s why I chose “I Got You Babe” by Sonny and Cher for his walk-up song.

Terry’s favorite player was the “Say Hey Kid”, Willie Mays. After a little bit of searching, I kept coming back to “Centerfield” by John Fogerty. It’s kind of obvious, but what can I say?

The next group of players were Chicago Cubs at one time during their careers. The fact that I chose the first one might amaze some of you.

Randy Hundley was my favorite ballplayer when I was growing up. What can I say? I was young and foolish. The hard-nosed catcher’s nickname was the “Rebel”. Therefore his walk-up music would be “Rebel, Rebel” by David Bowie.

Die-hard Cub fan, Randy wanted some walk-up music for current Cub centerfielder Marlon Byrd. I came up with “Learning To Fly” by Tom Petty. Get it? Byrd. Learning to fly. Clever, huh?

Jamie’s choice, Jerry Morales, was one of the tougher Cubs to find a song for. I was really scratching my head until I saw that his real name is Julio Ruben (Torres) Morales. That’s when Santana’s “Oye Como Va” became the obvious selection.

As tough as Morales was, Maureen’s darling, Mark Grace was a piece of cake. It took me about 15 seconds to decide on “Amazing Grace” by Dropkick Murphys. Not only is Grace’s nickname, “Amazing”, but I love Dropkick Murphys.

Sam’s favorite was Ernie Banks. Try as I might, I can’t think of a happier ballplayer. The man was always smiling and wanting to “play two”. I think Frank Sinatra doing “When You’re Smiling” would be a fitting walk-up song for Mr. Cub.

The last of the Cubs was the late Ron Santo. Clyde, Les and Jerry all chose the third baseman turned broadcaster as their most loved player. I can remember eating Ron Santo pizza as a child at Wrigley Field. Dean Martin’s version of “That’s Amore” would be perfect for Santo.

The final five players all played in Milwaukee at some point during their time in the big leagues.

I spent the most time looking for Jenny and Peter’s choice, Hank Aaron. None of the songs about hammers or kings seemed appropriate. I finally picked “Badstreet U.S.A.” by the Fabulous Freebirds based on the fact that Aaron hit most of his home runs while playing in Atlanta, GA. It didn’t hurt that the song is so cool.

My buddy Sharon liked Brewer outfielder, Gorman Thomas. Affectionately known as “Stormin’ Gorman”, REO Speedwagon’s “Ridin’ The Storm Out” was a no-brainer.

Karen was a fan of Brewer heartthrob Paul Molitor. Nicknamed the “Igniter”, Molitor batted leadoff for the Crew during their hey day.  Based on those criteria, “Start Me Up” by the Rolling Stones would be an excellent walk-up song for number four.

Two friends, Paul and Pat, chose the greatest Brewer of all time, Robin Yount as their favorite. He was known as “Rockin’ Robin”. He was also called “The Kid” due to the fact he debuted in the Majors when he was barely eighteen. The song “Rockin’ Robin” by Bobby Day (among others) was too obvious. That’s why I like “The Kid Is Hot Tonight” by Loverboy as the Hall-of-Famer’s walk-up tune.

Last but not least is my current favorite player, Prince Fielder. Over the past few years, I have taken a lot of heat for my man-crush on the burly first baseman. Unfortunately there is a good chance that this might be his last year with the Crew, so I feel “Should I Stay Or Should I Go” by the Clash would be the quintessential song for him.

That’s my salute to kickoff the 2011 baseball season. Thanks for those friends who chimed in with their favorite ballplayers. Hopefully all of the links work so you can hear just how perfect my selections were.

Until next time…from the booth. GO BREWERS!


sue said...

Some good songs there. Go the Brewers - keep on running....

Anonymous said...

GREAT JOB, PAUL. Brought a smile to my face ! !

Paul E. Vagnoni said...

Thanks, Sue and Randy.

sue said...

Keep on running as in the song and getting runs...