The World According to Keitho

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Take me out to the ballgame

Posted by keithosaunders on May 5, 2010

When I was a young boy I wasn’t that interested in watching or following baseball.  I liked the Dodgers, as did every other kid growing up in Los Angeles, and I always enjoyed when my father would take us kids to a game, but I didn’t become a rabid baseball fan — counting down the days until opening day, knowing all the stats,and closely following the playoff races —  until I was 17.  

What I did enjoy, however, was the idea of baseball.  I liked that it was every day and that it had order.  The pitchers pitched in a certain order — even the teams, in those days, came into town in a certain order.  You could count on home stands featuring Cubs/Pirates/Cardinals, or Met/Expos/Phillies.  In the Western division you would have groupings of Astros/Braves/Reds.  Year after year they would group the teams this way. I loved that.

After dinner, I would go out into the languid Cali summer night to our backyard and listen to Vin Scully announce that evening’s Dodger game on my transistor radio while I shot baskets.  Don’t you know that to this day he is still announcing for the Dodgers and he still sounds great.  He has been their announcer for the entire 50 years of my life. (and then some!)  

In those days radio and television broadcasts still had a good deal of whimy.  They coul dbe corny, but there was an earnetness to it that I miss.   There wasn’t the heaviness and humorless air that exists today on a FOX or even a local broadcast.  The Dodgers used to open all of their radio broadcasts by playing a song called “It’s A Beautiful Day For A Ballgame.”  Picture a chorus singing to a two-beat accompaniment infused with banjo and ukulele. 

It’s a beautiful day for a ballgame..

for a ball game today,

the fans are out to get a ticket or two,

from Walla Walla Washington to Kalamazoo

It’s a beautiful day for a home run,

but even a triple’s OK,

we’re going to cheer…

and boo…

and raise a hullaballu

at the ball game today

at the ballgame

the wonderful ballgame

todayyyyyy!

Of course I loved that song.  How could you not?  The Mets have one too which they still play called Meet the Mets.  Their version, however has been updated to include synthesizers so it doesn’t have the retro feel of the Dodger song.  But the synths are so out of date (circa early 80s) that their theme has become corny as well.  I like it in the same way I feel nostalgic for the cookie cutter ballparks of the early 70s — Three Rivers, Riverfront, and Atlanta Fulton County Stadium.

Next: My OCD infatuation with the early 70s Dodger radio commercials.  IN the meantime I would love to hear from you, the reader, about any such songs, or traditions  from your local teams from back in the day.

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One Response to “Take me out to the ballgame”

  1. Hey Keith, Nice post. Remember Fan Appreciation Day? Fans would file through a stadium, often two-by-two, carrying homemade banners of their favorite players on the team. They even used to broadcast this parade before the game began. It was a nice way to forge a stronger emotional connection between a team and its fans. I wonder when they discontinued this practice, and why?
    Always a pleasure to read your blog, Bill (ondeckcircle.wordpress.com)

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