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Songs of the American League East

Songs of the American League East

The fourth in a series looking at team songs in Major League Baseball by division.

Perhaps no sport lends itself to music than baseball, as “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” has become the official anthem of the seventh inning stretch. However, most teams have their own songs written specifically for them and this does not include the series of songs recorded by Terry Cashman who after did special editions of “Talkin’ Baseball for most of the Major League Baseball teams.

Baltimore Orioles

“Orioles Magic”

A decade after relocating from St. Louis, where they toiled for years as the Browns, the Baltimore Orioles became contenders and over the next 20 years where consistently among the best teams in the American League. In 1979, the Orioles reached the World Series for the fifth time in 14 years and did so with a team that had a season of comeback wins, that was dubbed Orioles magic. This would inspire a song written and sung by Walt Woodward that debuted a year later.

Boston Red Sox

“Tessie”

The Fenway Park experience includes an eighth inning sing along of Neil Diamond’s “Sweet Caroline” and “Dirty Water” following the game, but neither was written for the Red Sox. Neither was the original “Tessie” which was from a turn of the century musical. However, a group of rowdy fans led by local bar tender M.T. “Nuff Ced” McGreevy called the Royal Rooters used the song to mock members of the Pittsburgh Pirates during the first modern World Series in 1903. A century later with Red Sox in an 86-year championship drought, “Tessie” was revived by Irish Punk fusion band the Dropkick Murphys telling the story of the 1903 series, and McGreey’s Royal Rooters, whose members included John Fitzgerald the mayor of Boston and grandfather to future President John Fitzgerald Kennedy. The song seemed to work some magic as the Red Sox won the Fall Classic the year in came out in 2004.

New York Yankees

“Here Come the Yankees”

While the Yankees like to believe “New York, New York” by Frank Sinatra is written for them, it was from a musical and original sung by Liza Minelli and is not an official team song for the Bronx Bombers. The Yankees have been mentioned in many songs, and have songs written about players a subject that will be approached in a late blog. The official song of the Yankees came about when the team was owned by CBS, who saw the success of “Meet the Mets” and wanted the Yankees to have their own theme, so he commissioned Bob Bundin and Lou Stallman of CBS owned Columbia Records to compose a theme which was performed by the Sid Bass Orchestra and Chorus and released in 1967.

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“Here Come the Yankees (Rumble in the Bronx)”

Forty years after the original “Here Come the Yankees” a more up tempo RB version was produced by local artists Fo Onassis featuring Mina, that was produced by Lynx. This version was popular in part thanks to a push from noted Yankee fan Craig Carton on his morning show with Boomer Esiason.

Tampa Bay Rays

“Feel the Heat, Rays”

After a decade of terrible baseball, the Tampa Bay Devils Rays were born in 2008 as the Tampa Bay Rays. It was like night and day in Tampa, as the Rays who lost 90 or more games every year went to the World Series. That same year, Darren Moore released a hard rock, theme song that was played as the Rays made their first trip ever to the playoffs.

“Here Come the Rays”

Besides “Feel the Heat Rays” Darren Moore recorded a hard driving piece called “Here Come the Rays” which would be qualified as a classic B-side on old 45 record, just with some more cowbell.

Toronto Blue Jays

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“Ok Blue Jays”

In 1983 as the Toronto Blue Jays began to play a more competitive brand of baseball after the expansion their first six seasons, they had a new song for fans to sing along with in the seventh inning stretch. Witten by Jack Lenz and Tony Kosinec, the song was performed by Keith Hampshire and the Bat Boys, would see a the JForce Cheerleaders lead fans to stretching and clapping during its play during the 1983 season. Despite dated reference to Billy Martin managing the A’s which he last did a year before the songs release, and seagulls watching the game at Exhibition Stadium the song has been a part of the Jays experience.

“Blue Jays Theme”

Before “Ok Blue Jays” had a different them that was pure 70’s disco gold that came out in the team’s expansion season in 1977. The song was produced by a group called Paul’s People and sounds like something left off the “Saturday Night Fever” soundtrack if it was made in Canada.

The series will continue next week with songs of the American League Central.

Frank Fleming is the creator of the Sportsecyclopedia.com