Best Baseball Songs of All Time

Countdown of baseball's best, from Vaudeville to the 21st century

There's one baseball song that everybody knows, a few others that many people know, and a lot of other great songs about the national pastime that you might never have heard about. A countdown of the greatest baseball songs of all-time, with links so you can sing along:

01
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Baseball fans cheering in stadium
Grant Faint/Stone/Getty Images

Everybody knows this one if you've ever been to a baseball game in the middle of the seventh inning.

(Link is to Harry Caray singing it at Wrigley Field.)

Lyrics:

Take me out to the ball game
Take me out with the crowd
Buy me some peanuts and cracker jack
I don't care if I never get back
Let me root, root, root for the home team
If they don't win it's a shame
For it's one, two, three strikes, you're out
At the old ball game

02
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"Centerfield" - John Fogerty

2014 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival - Day 7 NEW ORLEANS, LA - MAY 04: John Fogerty performs during the 2014 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival at Fair Grounds Race Course on May 4, 2014 in New Orleans, Louisiana. Getty Images / Barry Brecheisen / Contributor

The 1985 hit by John Fogerty - honored by the Baseball Hall of Fame for its 25th anniversary in 2010 - is a song just about everybody knows. It came from a No. 1 album of the same name from a solo album by Fogerty, who was the lead singer of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame band Credence Clearwater Revival.

Sample lyrics:

Well, I spent some time in the Mudville Nine, watchin' it from the bench;
You know I took some lumps when the Mighty Casey struck out.
So Say Hey Willie, tell Ty Cobb and Joe DiMaggio;
Don't say "it ain't so", you know the time is now.

03
of 14

Bruce Springsteen And The E Street Band Summer '17 Tour. Getty Images / Sam Tabone / Contributor

The 1984 song by The Boss from the "Born In The USA" album uses baseball to introduce a song about reminiscing and trying to recapture youth.

Sample lyrics:

I had a friend was a big baseball player back in high school
He could throw that speedball by you
Make you look like a fool boy
Saw him the other night at this roadside bar
I was walking in, he was walking out
We went back inside sat down had a few drinks
But all he kept talking about was

Glory days
well they'll pass you by
Glory days
in the wink of a young girl's eye
Glory days, glory days

04
of 14
"Say Hey" - The Treniers

Willie Mays in Baseball Action (Original Caption) San Francisco Giant's Willie Mays hits his second homer of the day in the 5th inning of the game against the Pittsburgh Pirates here. Getty Images / Bettmann / Contributor

A rock and swing classic from the 1950s about the great Willie Mays.

Sample lyrics:

He runs the bases like a choo-choo train
Swings around second like an aeroplane
His cap flies off when he passes third
And he heads home like an eagle bird.

Say hey, say who?
Say Willie
Say hey, say who?
Swinging at the plate
Say hey, say who?
That Giants kid is great

05
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The Pearl Jam front man wrote this song in 2007 about being a Cubs fan.

Sample lyrics:

Don’t let anyone say that it’s just a game.
For I’ve seen other teams and it’s never the same
When you’re born in Chicago, you’re blessed and you’re healed
First time you walk into Wrigley Field

Our heroes wear pinstripes; heroes in blue
They give us the chance to feel like heroes too
Whether we’ll win, and if we should lose
We know someday we’ll go all the way
Yeah! Someday we’ll go all the way

06
of 14

Jackie Robinson Sliding Home. Getty Images / Afro Newspaper/Gado / Contributor

This 1949 song, later recorded by the legendary Count Basie, was about Robinson's historic debut with the Brooklyn Dodgers.

Sample lyrics:

Satchel Paige is mellow
So is Campanella, Newcombe and Doby, too
But it's a natural fact
When Jackie comes to bat
The other team is through.

Did you see Jackie Robinson hit that ball?
Did he hit it? Yeah, and that ain't all
He stole home.
Yes, yes, Jackie's real gone

07
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The folksy hit song from 1981 filled a void for baseball's yesteryear during an unpopular players' strike and struck a chord.

Cashman recorded a version of the song for seemingly every team as the song became ubiquitous.

Sample lyrics from the original:

I'm talkin' baseball
Kluszewski, Campanella
Talkin' baseball
The Man and Bobby Feller
The Scooter, the Barber, and the Newc
They knew 'em all from Boston to Dubuque
Especially Willie, Mickey, and the Duke

08
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In 2004, the punk rock group brought back a 1904 song that became a Red Sox anthem and featured backing vocals from Red Sox players Johnny Damon, Bronson Arroyo and Lenny DiNardo.

Sample lyrics:

Tessie, Nuff Ced McGreevy shouted
We're not here to mess around Boston
you know we love you madly
Hear the crowd roar to your sound
Don't blame us if we ever doubt you
You know we couldn't live without you
Boston, you are the only, only, only
Don't blame us if we ever doubt you
You know we couldn't live without you
Red Sox, you are the only, only, only

09
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The popular country band recorded this song in 1993 about going to minor-league games where you don't know the players' names, don't know how the team is doing, but love to just go to the game.

Sample lyrics:

This town ain't big
this town ain't small
It's a little of both they say
Our ball club may be minor league
but at least it's Triple-A

We sit below the Marlboro man
Above the right field wall
We do the wave all by ourself
Hey ump, a blind man could've made that call

10
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The nation got caught up in Joe DiMaggio's 56-game hitting streak in 1941, and this song became part of the craze.

Sample lyrics:

He started baseball's famous streak
That's got us all aglow
He's just a man and not a freak
Joltin' Joe DiMaggio

Joe, Joe DiMaggio
We want you on our side

11
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A wonderful little tongue-in-cheek song from one of the most popular groups in the 1960s about the position that the important kids play.

Sample lyrics:

Playing right field, it's easy you know,
You can be awkward, you can be slow,
That's why I'm here in right field,
Just watching the dandelions grow.

12
of 14

This cute song from the popular country artist is from 1998 and is about a little boy's imagination while throwing the ball up and trying to hit it.

Sample lyrics:

Little boy, he adjusts his hat
Picks up his ball, stares at his bat
Says I am the greatest, the game is on the line
And he gives his all one last time

And the ball goes up like the moon so bright
Swings his bat with all his might
And the world's so still as still can be
And the baseball falls, and that's strike three

Now it's supper time and his mama calls
Little boy starts home with his bat and ball
Says I am the greatest, that is a fact
But even I didn't know I could pitch like that

13
of 14

This little-known (and underrated) song is about New York baseball and a Subway Series.

Sample lyrics:

I'm gettin' on a subway tonight
I'm headin' to the stadium, that's right
The city's gonna rock tonight as we make history
Can't you smell the hot dogs, taste the beer
Take me back in time to yesteryear
I wouldn't trade this ticket for the world oh not today
I'm gettin' on the subway

14
of 14

A song from the folk music legend that went unreleased until a 1991 bootleg set. It's about the former A's and Yankees great, and (indirectly) baseball free agency.

(Link is to iTunes.)

Sample lyrics:

Lazy stadium night
Catfish on the mound
“Strike three,” the umpire said
Batter have to go back and sit down

Catfish, million-dollar-man
Nobody can throw the ball like Catfish can
Used to work on Mr. Finley’s farm
But the old man wouldn’t pay
So he packed his glove and took his arm
An’ one day he just ran away