Seventh-inning stretch

In baseball in the United States and Canada, the seventh-inning stretch is a tradition that takes place between the halves of the seventh inning of a game – in the middle of the seventh inning. Fans generally stand up and stretch out their arms and legs and sometimes walk around. It is a popular time to get a late-game snack or an alcoholic beverage as well, as vendors end alcohol sales after the last out of the seventh inning. The stretch also serves as a short break for the players. Most ballparks in professional baseball mark this point of the game by playing the crowd sing-along song "Take Me Out to the Ball Game". Since the September 11 attacks, many American ballparks complement or replace the song with the playing of "God Bless America." If a game goes into a fifth extra inning, a similar "fourteenth-inning stretch" is celebrated (as well as a possible "twenty-first inning stretch" or "twenty-eighth inning stretch"). In softball games, amateur games scheduled for only seven innings, or in minor-league doubleheaders, a "fifth-inning stretch" may be substituted.

Origin

Harry Wright Seated
Harry Wright, first to report the seventh-inning stretch in 1869--in the second inning
William Howard Taft 1909
William Howard Taft, first U.S. president to observe the seventh-inning stretch in 1910

The origin of the seventh-inning stretch is much disputed, and it is difficult to certify any definite history.

One claimant is Brother Jasper (Brennan) of Mary, F.S.C., the man credited with bringing baseball to Manhattan College in New York City. Being the Prefect of Discipline as well as the coach of the team, it fell to Brother Jasper to supervise the student fans at every home game. On one particularly hot and muggy day in June 1882, during the seventh inning against a semi-pro team called the Metropolitans, the Prefect noticed his charges becoming restless. To break the tension, he called a timeout in the game and instructed everyone in the bleachers to stand up and unwind. It worked so well he began calling for a seventh-inning rest period at every game. The Manhattan College custom spread to the major leagues after the New York Giants were charmed by it at an exhibition game.[1][2]

In June 1869 the New York Herald published a report on a game between the Cincinnati Red Stockings and the Brooklyn Eagles (home team): "At the close of the long second inning, the laughable stand up and stretch was indulged in all round the field."[2]

Whether a stretch was observed nationwide is not known, but later in 1869 the Cincinnati Commercial reported on a game that was played on the West Coast between the Red Stockings and the Eagle Club of San Francisco: "One thing noticeable in this game was a ten minutes' intermission at the end of the sixth inning – a dodge to advertise and have the crowd patronize the bar."

However, a letter written in 1869 by Harry Wright (1835–1895), manager of the Cincinnati Red Stockings documented something very similar to a seventh-inning stretch, making the following observation about the Cincinnati fans' ballpark behavior: "The spectators all arise between halves of the seventh inning, extend their legs and arms and sometimes walk about. In so doing they enjoy the relief afforded by relaxation from a long posture upon hard benches." Another tale holds that the stretch was invented by a manager stalling for time to warm up a relief pitcher.[3]

On October 18, 1889 Game 1 of the 1889 World Series saw a seventh-inning stretch after somebody yelled "stretch for luck".

A popular story for the origin of the seventh-inning stretch is that on April 14, 1910, on opening day, 6 ft 2 in (188 cm), 350-pound (160 kg), President William Howard Taft was sore from prolonged sitting at a game between the Washington Senators and the Philadelphia Athletics and stood up to stretch, causing the crowd to feel obligated to join their president in his gestures.[4] This story is set at a far later date than the others, however, so he may only have given the presidential seal of approval to a longstanding tradition; the story that his physical problems forced him to stand up contradict this, but he might have just been waiting for the proper accepted time to relieve his pain; either way, he gave national publicity to the practice.

As to the name, there appears to be no written record of the name "seventh-inning stretch" before 1920, which since at least the late 1870s was called the Lucky Seventh, indicating that the 7th inning was settled on for superstitious reasons.[5]

Bayesjack
Jack Norworth (1879–1959), lyricist of the 1908 song "Take Me Out to the Ball Game"

Current practice

In modern baseball, standing up and singing "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" during the seventh-inning stretch is a popular tradition. It was first played at a ballpark at a high school in Los Angeles, California in 1934. The lyrics for the 1908 Tin Pan Alley standard were written by vaudeville star Jack Norworth (1879–1959), who had ironically never attended an actual baseball game prior to writing the song, and only attended his first Major League game in 1940.[6]

There is no certain date when the tradition began, but the practice gained exceptional notoriety from broadcaster Harry Caray. Caray would sing the song to himself in the broadcast booth during the stretch while a play-by-play announcer for the Chicago White Sox. After hearing him sing one day, White Sox owner Bill Veeck Jr., the famed baseball promoter, had Caray's microphone turned on so that the ballpark could hear him sing. When Caray moved into the Chicago Cubs broadcast booth, he continued the practice, sparking what has become a Cubs tradition by regularly leading the crowd in singing the song in every seventh-inning stretch. Since his death, the Cubs have invited various celebrities to lead the crowd during the stretch, including James Belushi, John Cusack, Mike Ditka, Michael J. Fox, Bill Murray, Dan Patrick, Ozzy Osbourne, Eddie Vedder, Mr. T and Billy Corgan.

Team traditions

Many teams will also play a local traditional song either before or after "Take Me Out to the Ballgame". Since the 1970s, the Baltimore Orioles have often played the raucous John Denver song "Thank God I'm a Country Boy" at the conclusion of "Take Me Out to the Ball Game". During the bridge of the song, in which Denver holds a long note, fans yell "Ooooooooh!" (since the name Orioles is often shortened to "O's".) The Atlanta Braves also play this song after "Take Me Out To The Ball Game".

Jane Jarvis, the organist at the New York Mets' home Shea Stadium from 1964 to 1979, played the "Mexican Hat Dance" during the stretch. After the Mets switched to recorded music, "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" became standard. In recent decades, the Lou Monte tune "Lazy Mary" has followed it, continuing to play it at Citi Field.

When the St. Louis Cardinals were owned by Anheuser-Busch, Busch Memorial Stadium organist Ernie Hays played "Here Comes the King", a commonly recognized jingle for Budweiser beer, during the stretch. On Opening Day, during playoff games and on "big nights" such as games against the Chicago Cubs, a team of Budweiser's mascot Clydesdale horses would also make a circuit of the warning track. Since Anheuser-Busch's sale of the Cardinals in 1996, "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" has been played in the middle of 7th inning, with "Here Comes The King" at the top of the 8th. Often, "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" is followed by an instrumental rendition of "Meet Me in St. Louis, Louis". The Clydesdales still appear on Opening Day and during the playoffs.

The Toronto Blue Jays take the term "seventh-inning stretch" literally, as Health Canada officials lead fans at Rogers Centre in stretching exercises while the club's song "OK Blue Jays" plays before "Take Me Out to the Ball Game".[7]

The Miami Marlins, attempting to mimic the Blue Jays' exercising song in their inaugural year of 1993, created a group of dancers, some former University of Miami Sunsations or Miami Heat dancers, and called the group "The Seventh Inning Stretchers". At the first game this group came onto the field at the top of the 7th inning, and the crowd was encouraged to stand and stretch, and do a choreographed dance to Gloria Estefan's song "Get on Your Feet". The crowd, thinking it was the actual 7th inning stretch, booed loudly. The group appeared at the 2nd game the following evening, but was booed again and was never seen following that game.

After the Tampa Bay Devil Rays' 1998 home opener, they played the popular Jimmy Buffett song "Fins" after the 6th inning, rather than the 7th inning stretch. The grounds crew sent on the field after the 6th inning wore tropical clothing, and everyone in the park formed their arms into fins for the "Fins to the left, fins to the right" portions of the song. This tradition was dropped several years later.

The Texas Rangers initially played only "Cotton-Eyed Joe" during the 7th inning stretch. When the team moved to their new facility in 1994, The Ballpark in Arlington (now The Globe Life Park in Arlington), "Take Me Out To The Ballgame" was added to 7th inning stretch, followed by "Cotton-Eyed Joe". Somewhat unusual for a 7th inning stretch song, the version of "Cotton-Eyed Joe" played is an instrumental, by Al Dean from the album "Plays For Urban Cowboys". Rather than singing along, the crowd claps along and stomps their feet to the tune.

The Minnesota Twins play "Little Red Corvette" by Prince, due to the tradition that rookies and newly traded players know the lyrics to the song.[8]

Other clubs that traditionally play songs after "Take Me Out To The Ballgame" include: Cincinnati Reds ("Cincinnati Ohio" – Connie Smith), Milwaukee Brewers ("The Beer Barrel Polka" – in reference to the city's beermaking heritage), Houston Astros ("Deep in the Heart of Texas"), Los Angeles Angels ("Build Me Up Buttercup"), Seattle Mariners ("Louie Louie" by The Kingsmen), the Colorado Rockies (a cover version of "Hey! Baby"), and the Washington Nationals ("Take On Me" by A-ha, a song that became popular with Nationals fans during the 2012 season when Michael Morse used it as his walk-up music).

8th inning traditions

While all thirty Major League franchises currently sing the traditional "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" in the seventh inning, several other teams will sing their local favorite between the top and bottom of the eighth inning. Boston Red Sox fans at Fenway Park, for example, sing along to Neil Diamond's recording of "Sweet Caroline". A notable occurrence happened in June 2011 when during the playing of the song, the city's NHL franchise, the Boston Bruins, captured the Stanley Cup following a 7-game series against the Vancouver Canucks, and many fans cheered after the announcement was made. Following the Boston Marathon bombing, several teams (including Boston's archrival, the New York Yankees) temporarily played "Sweet Caroline" in the middle of the eighth inning as well, or at other times during the game, as a means of showing solidarity with the City of Boston.[9] The New York Mets have previously used "Sweet Caroline" but have since dropped it. After experimenting with it during select games during the 2014 season, the Mets began to implement Billy Joel's "Piano Man" as a full-time sing along. Similarly, starting in 2008, the Kansas City Royals began to play "Friends in Low Places" by celebrity supporter and one-time spring training invitee Garth Brooks during the middle of the 8th.

The Los Angeles Dodgers also hold an 8th inning tradition, with fans singing Journey's "Don't Stop Believin'". The practice came under controversy when the song's author, Steve Perry, a Bay Area native and San Francisco Giants fan, asked the Dodgers to stop the tradition. The team refused and continue to play the song through the 2013 season.[10] The Minnesota Twins, who played the same song, ended the tradition upon moving to Target Field in 2010.

The Journey song "Lights" is frequently played at San Francisco Giants baseball games (including a version led by Perry himself in the middle of the 8th inning during Game 2 of the 2010 World Series[11]) and the cross-bay Oakland Athletics after-game fireworks starts.

The Detroit Tigers also play the beginning of "Don't Stop Believin'" in the eighth inning, showing the lyrics on the big screen. Fan will sing along, especially the line, "born and raised in South Detroit". Of course, there is no area called South Detroit by Detroiters, as Downtown Detroit is considered geographically south (and, therefore, South Detroit would actually be in Windsor, Ontario, Canada).

The Washington Nationals play A-ha's "Take On Me" during the middle of the eighth inning.[12]

The Oakland Athletics play Bay Area native MC Hammer's "2 Legit 2 Quit" during the middle of the eighth.

The Cleveland Indians play "Hang on Sloopy" in honor of Ohio State University during the middle of the 8th, and fans spell out O-H-I-O at the appropriate times within the song.

The San Diego Padres play "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'" during the middle of the 8th.

The New York Yankees play "Cotton Eyed Joe" in the 8th inning.

Effects of 9/11

Following the September 11 attacks, "God Bless America" became common during the seventh-inning stretch, sometimes in addition to "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" and sometimes replacing it entirely. Some stadiums play "God Bless America" only on Sundays. At Yankee Stadium the song is now played at every game, in addition to "Take Me Out to the Ball Game".

Since 2002, "God Bless America" has been performed at all Major League Baseball All-Star Games and playoff games in the United States, often with a celebrity recording artist or a member of the United States Armed Forces ("Take Me Out to the Ball Game" is sometimes done afterwards with a recording of Harry Caray), as well as Opening Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, and September 11.

During the deciding Game 5 of the 2011 National League Division Series, Lauren Hart (daughter of Hockey Hall of Fame broadcaster Gene Hart) appeared at Citizens Bank Park to sing "God Bless America" during the seventh-inning stretch; before this she had become a fixture at NHL Philadelphia Flyers games singing that song in duet with Kate Smith (the artist best known for the song) as the Flyers' good-luck charm before important games, and it was hoped that she would bring luck to the Philadelphia Phillies as well.[13]

Other team traditions not in the 7th or 8th innings

Between the top and bottom of the 6th inning, the New York Yankees play "Y.M.C.A." by Village People while the grounds crew come out and clean the infield. In the chorus, the grounds crew drop their tools and do the "YMCA" dance with their arms. The middle of the 6th inning at Milwaukee Brewers games is time for the Sausage Race, when people running in costumes for the bratwurst, Polish sausage, Italian sausage, hot dog and chorizo get up to 45,000 fans on their feet as they race around the clay dirt near the dugouts of Miller Park. Other teams hold similar races. The Pittsburgh Pirates hold the "Great Pittsburgh Pierogi Race N'At" (also called the Great Pierogi Race) during the sixth inning at home games, where people dressed as cartoon cheese, saurkraut, jalapeno, potato, onion, and bacon pierogies run around the warning track at PNC Park. This race is often combined with visiting mascots such as the Brewers' sausages or the Nationals' presidents.

See also

References

  1. ^ "Top 5 Jasper Traditions – Manhattan College". Retrieved 2006-11-08.
  2. ^ a b Anderson, Bruce (April 16, 1990). "A Pause that Refreshes". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved August 8, 2017.
  3. ^ https://books.google.com/books?id=QR4DAAAAMBAJ&pg=PA111
  4. ^ Aubrecht, Michael. "7th Inning Stretch". baseball-almanac.com. Retrieved August 8, 2017.
  5. ^ David Emery, The Seventh-Inning Stretch; Origin (or not) of a baseball tradition, About.com. Retrieved 2009-11-06.
  6. ^ "Take Me Out to the Ball Game". Performing Arts Encyclopedia. Library of Congress. Retrieved 2010-01-09.
  7. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d8EUa9hxDaQ
  8. ^ http://kstp.com/sports/twins-7th-inning-stretch-prince/4116609/
  9. ^ "Sweet Caroline Plays At Ballparks Nationwide in Boston Tribute". Retrieved 2016-01-12.
  10. ^ Alper, Josh (September 17, 2009). "Steve Perry Would Prefer Dodgers Fans Stop Believing". NBCLosAngeles.com. Retrieved January 9, 2011.
  11. ^ "43,000+ Giants Fans singing Journey's "Lights" with Steve Perry in the audience. Someone on Yahoo..." mccoveychronicles.com. October 29, 2010. Retrieved August 8, 2017.
  12. ^ Judkis, Maura (October 10, 2012). "Nats' "Take On Me" fans aren't afraid to take on the high notes". washingtonpost.com. Retrieved October 26, 2013.
  13. ^ "Definitive Game 5 Phillies Events". NBCPhiladelphia.com. October 13, 2011. Retrieved 2011-11-21.

External links

1889 World Series

The 1889 World Series was an end-of-the-year baseball playoff series between the National League champion New York Giants and the American Association champion Brooklyn Bridegrooms (later known as the Dodgers).

This Series was part of the pre-modern-era World Series, an annual competition between the champions of the National League and the American Association. The Giants won this best-of-11-games series, 6 games to 3. The 1889 Series was the first involving solely New York City area clubs, and was part of the continuum of a long-standing rivalry that developed between the clubs in New York, particularly the Giants and the Dodgers. Brooklyn was then a separate city from New York; Brooklyn (and the other three boroughs) would merge with New York City in 1898. (see Timeline of New York City)

Despite this Series setback, the Brooklyn team would come back strong in 1890. The club transferred to the National League, and with the Giants suffering raids by the Players' League, would win the league championship; it was the first major league club to win consecutive pennants in two different leagues.

1918 World Series

The 1918 World Series featured the Boston Red Sox, who defeated the Chicago Cubs four games to two. The Series victory for the Red Sox was their fifth in five tries, going back to 1903. The Red Sox scored only nine runs in the entire Series, the fewest runs by the winning team in World Series history. Along with the 1906 and 1907 World Series (both of which the Cubs also played in), the 1918 World Series is one of only three Fall Classics where neither team hit a home run.

The 1918 Series was played under several metaphorical dark clouds. The Series was held early in September because of the World War I "Work or Fight" order that forced the premature end of the regular season on September 1, and remains the only World Series to be played entirely in September. The Series was marred by players threatening to strike due to low gate receipts.

The Chicago home games in the series were played at Comiskey Park, which had a greater seating capacity than Weeghman Park, the prior home of the Federal League Chicago Whales that the Cubs were then using and which would be rechristened Wrigley Field in 1925. The Red Sox had played their home games in the 1915 and 1916 World Series in the more expansive Braves Field, but they returned to Fenway Park for the 1918 series.

The 1918 World Series marked the first time "The Star Spangled Banner" was performed at a major league game. During the seventh-inning stretch of Game 1, the band began playing the song because the country was involved in World War I. The song would be named the national anthem of the United States in 1931, and during World War II its playing would become a regular pre-game feature of baseball games and other sporting events. The winning pitcher of Game 1 was Babe Ruth, who pitched a shutout.

The 1918 championship would be the last Red Sox win until 2004. The drought of 86 years was often attributed to the Curse of the Bambino. The alleged curse came to be when Red Sox owner Harry Frazee traded the superbly talented but troublesome Babe Ruth (who was instrumental in their 1918 victory) to the New York Yankees for cash after the 1919 season.

The Cubs would not win their next World Series until 2016. The Cubs, who last won in 1908, won the National League but lost the Series in 1918, 1929, 1932, 1935, 1938, and 1945, and, allegedly stymied by the infamous Curse of the Billy Goat imposed during that latter Series. The Red Sox, who had won the American League but lost the Series in 1946, 1967, 1975, and 1986, finally won the World Series in 2004 and then won again in 2007, 2013 and 2018. When the Red Sox won in 2018 (against the Los Angeles Dodgers), they became the first team to win the Fall Classic exactly one century apart.

After Game 6, it would be some 87 years until the Cubs and Red Sox would play again. A three-game interleague matchup at Wrigley Field began June 10, 2005, and was Boston's first visit to the park. The Cubs would not return to Fenway Park for nearly 94 years until a three-game interleague matchup beginning May 20, 2011.

† For the first time in the Series, all four umpires worked in the infield on a rotating basis. In previous Series from 1909 through 1917, two of the four umpires had been positioned in the outfield for each game, in addition to the standard plate umpire and base umpire.

1983 Toronto Blue Jays season

The 1983 Toronto Blue Jays season was the franchise's seventh season of Major League Baseball. It resulted in the Blue Jays finishing fourth in the American League East with a record of 89 wins and 73 losses. It was the franchise's first winning season, and it started a streak of 11 consecutive winning seasons. It was the team's first season to use the song "OK Blue Jays" in the seventh-inning stretch.

1995 American League West tie-breaker game

The 1995 American League West tie-breaker game was a one-game extension to Major League Baseball's (MLB) 1995 regular season; the California Angels and Seattle Mariners met to determine the winner of the American League's (AL) West Division. It was played at the Kingdome in Seattle, Washington, on the afternoon of Monday, October 2.The game was necessary after both finished the strike-shortened 144-game season with identical records of 78–66 (.542). Scoreless until the fifth inning, Seattle held a slim 1–0 lead at the seventh-inning stretch. The Mariners then broke it open and won 9–1 to secure the franchise's first postseason berth. It was counted as the 145th regular season game for both teams, with all the events in the game added to regular season statistics.

The game matched two highly unlikely teams: the Angels had not been to the postseason since 1986, and had not finished above third place in the AL West since. The Mariners had never been close to a pennant chase, with only two winning records (1991, 1993) in eighteen seasons.

With under two months left on August 3, the Angels were 56–33 (.629) with a comfortable lead in the AL West standings, eleven games ahead of Texas, and thirteen ahead of the third-place Mariners, at 43–46 (.483). By the end of the month, the Angels (67–50 (.573)) were on a six-game losing streak and their lead was trimmed to 7½ games over both. On September 21, the Angels lost their seventh-straight and the Mariners pulled even at 72–63 (.533), with Texas four games back. Five days later, Seattle had won its seventh straight and built three-game lead with five to go. then were shut out by the Angels. The M's won the first two games at Texas to clinch a tie with two remaining, but dropped the last two while California swept Oakland to finish on a five-game winning streak.At the time, the Angels' lead relinquishment was the third-largest in major league history, behind the 1978 Boston Red Sox and 1951 Brooklyn Dodgers.

After winning the tie-breaker, the Mariners met the New York Yankees (wild card) in the best-of-five AL Division Series. After two losses at Yankee Stadium, the second in fifteen innings, Seattle swept the next three games at home, capped by an 11th-inning double by Edgar Martínez in Game 5. The Mariners hosted and won the opener of the American League Championship Series, but lost to the Cleveland Indians in six games. The Angels did not return to the postseason until 2002, when they won their only World Series.

All the Way (Eddie Vedder song)

"All the Way" (also known as "(Someday We'll Go) All the Way" and referred to as "Go All the Way") is a song written and performed by Evanston, Illinois native and Pearl Jam vocalist Eddie Vedder about the Chicago Cubs. It was first performed in public on August 2, 2007, recorded on August 21, 2008 and August 22, 2008, and released as a single on September 18, 2008.

At the time of the song's release in 2008, it had been 100 years since the Cubs had last won the World Series. Vedder has been a lifelong Cubs fan. The song, which fondly looks forward to the Cubs' next World Series victory, was written with the encouragement of certain Chicago Cubs, most notably Ernie Banks. The song was first performed in Chicago and was recorded over two nights in 2008 at the end Vedder's first solo tour. The song was accompanied by an official video release by the team following their victory in the 2016 World Series.

Bill Holden (schoolteacher)

Bill Holden (born 1948 in Elgin, Illinois), is a teacher who embarked on a 2,100 mile (3,400 km) walk, from Arizona to Chicago, during 2005, hoping to raise $250,000 dollars to be donated to the American Diabetes Association so that a cure for juvenile diabetes can be found. Holden made national headlines with his walk.

Cleveland Brown

Cleveland Orenthal Brown, Sr. is a fictional character from the animated television series Family Guy, and its spin-off series The Cleveland Show. He is voiced by Mike Henry. In the first seven seasons of Family Guy, Cleveland is a recurring character. As one of Peter Griffin's neighbors and friends, Cleveland is also one of the few recurring African American characters on the show. He was conceived during the seventh-inning stretch of a Cleveland Indians game. His established profession was that of a deli owner.

In the earlier seasons of Family Guy, Cleveland frequently appeared alongside his wife Loretta Brown (voiced by Alex Borstein), until their divorce was portrayed in the Family Guy season 4 episode "The Cleveland–Loretta Quagmire". The pilot episode of The Cleveland Show depicts Cleveland's farewell to the familiar characters and settings of Family Guy. The Cleveland Show establishes its setting of Stoolbend, Virginia as Cleveland's childhood home town, and introduces a new family and set of characters supporting Cleveland as lead. Following The Cleveland Show's cancellation in 2013, Cleveland returned to Family Guy.

Dead Skunk

"Dead Skunk" is a 1972 novelty song by Loudon Wainwright III.

The song is musically a simple folk song based on acoustic guitar, but accompanied by drums and strings. The lyrics describe a dead skunk in the middle of a busy road and the smell it produces for pedestrians. Wainwright has said that the song came out of an actual accident involving a skunk, and that he wrote it afterward in 15 minutes. ("Someone had already killed it, but I ran over it.")

Although the single was released in November 1972, it was not until well into 1973 that it caught on with radio stations, and its number 16 peak on the Billboard Hot 100 chart was not reached until the week ending 31 March 1973. It peaked at number 12 on the Cashbox charts on April 14. It was the only record to chart for Wainwright. "Dead Skunk" also reached number eight in Canada and number 12 in Australia.

The song has been played every Friday near 9 am, on Top 40 radio station KRRY ("Y101") in Quincy, Illinois, since 1985. Y101 disc jockeys Dennis Oliver and Jeffrey Dorsey claim the two have played "Dead Skunk" more than any other radio station in the United States.The song has replaced the traditional "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" as the seventh inning stretch song at Georgia Institute of Technology's Russ Chandler Baseball Stadium.

Harry Caray

Harry Caray (born Harry Christopher Carabina; March 1, 1914 – February 18, 1998) was an American sportscaster on radio and television. He covered five Major League Baseball teams, beginning with 25 years of calling the games of the St. Louis Cardinals with two of these years also spent calling games for the St. Louis Browns. After a year working for the Oakland Athletics and eleven years with the Chicago White Sox, Caray spent the last sixteen years of his career as the announcer for the Chicago Cubs.

Harry Wright

William Henry "Harry" Wright (January 10, 1835 – October 3, 1895) was an English-born American professional baseball player, manager, and developer. He assembled, managed, and played center field for baseball's first fully professional team, the 1869 Cincinnati Red Stockings. It was there where he is credited with introducing innovations such as backing up infield plays from the outfield and shifting defensive alignments based on hitters' tendencies. For his contributions as a manager and developer of the game, he was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1952 by the Veterans Committee. Wright was also the first to make baseball into a business by paying his players up to seven times the pay of the average working man.

Inning

An inning in baseball, softball, and similar games is the basic unit of play, consisting of two halves or frames, the "top" (first half) and the "bottom" (second half). In each half, one team bats until three outs are made, with the other team playing defense. A full baseball game typically is scheduled for nine innings, while softball games consist of seven innings; although this may be shortened due to weather or extended if the score is tied at the end of the scheduled innings. Inning, in baseball and softball, is always singular, which contrasts with cricket and rounders in which the singular is "innings".

Keith Hampshire

Keith Hampshire (born 23 November 1945) is an English-born popular singer of the 1970s. He recorded three songs which were top ten hits in Canada, and hosted the CBC Television show Keith Hampshire's Music Machine. His voice has been compared to David Clayton-Thomas. In the United States his highest charting single reached No. 51.

OK Blue Jays

"OK Blue Jays" is a baseball song played during the seventh-inning stretch of home games of the Toronto Blue Jays, a Major League Baseball team based in the city of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The song includes references to the team's roster and events from the 1980s. It was released in 1983 and charted 47th on RPM's singles list. It was written by Jack Lenz and Tony Kosinec and is performed by Keith Hampshire and "The Bat Boys". The song was remixed by Rob Wells and Chris Anderson in 2003.By 1986, the single had sold over 50,000 copies and was certified gold. In a pre-game ceremony in 1986, Jimy Williams accepted a gold record from a recording industry representative before a game against the Milwaukee Brewers.The Blue Jays song was conceptualized by Alan Smith, Creative Director at JWT Direct. He wrote most of the lyrics together with copywriter Pat Arbour, although the first verse was written entirely by recording artist Tony Kosinec of the Lenz/Kosinec jingle house, which was hired to write the music and produce the song under Smith and Arbour's direction. The project was approved and supported by Blue Jays executive Paul Beeston. Lenz stated that Beeston "wanted the song to be fun, but not to promise too much because the team was OK".The original version of the song was about two and a half minutes long, but the version played during the seventh-inning stretch is 58 seconds long. During its play, the Blue Jays JForce cheerleaders lead fans in simple stretching activities, such as clapping and fist-pumping. When the song was first introduced in 1983, a group from Fitness Ontario would lead fans in calisthenics exercises. The lyrics state:The song refers to eight teams; in order, they are the Chicago White Sox, Boston Red Sox, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, Texas Rangers, New York Yankees, Cleveland Indians, Detroit Tigers, and Oakland Athletics. The original version referred to the Milwaukee Brewers instead of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.

Two individuals are mentioned by their given name only. The first is Dave Stieb, about whom the song states:

The lyrics were later changed to "Jays throw down a smoker".

The second individual mentioned is "Billy", referring to Billy Martin, who had been the manager of the Oakland Athletics in 1982 and had his third stint as manager of the New York Yankees in 1983.

The refrain of the song is:

The song ends with the sound of a bat swung by Willie Upshaw striking a pitched baseball.

Orbit (mascot)

Orbit is the name given to Major League Baseball's Houston Astros mascot, a lime-green alien wearing an Astros jersey with antennae extending into baseballs. Orbit was the team's official mascot from the 1990 through the 1999 seasons until the 2000 season, where Junction Jack was introduced as the team's mascot with the move from the Astrodome to then Enron Field. Orbit returned on November 2, 2012 at the unveiling of the Astros new look for their 2013 debut in the American League. The name Orbit pays homage to Houston's association with NASA and nickname Space City.

Paul Richardson (organist)

Paul Richardson (1932 – October 2, 2006) was the home field organist for the Philadelphia Phillies from 1970 to 2005.

In 1980 when the Phillies won the World Series, Richardson was awarded a World Series ring alongside the players.

Richardson also played organ for the New York Yankees (owned by his friend George Steinbrenner) from 1978 to 1982 when the Phillies were on the road.

He is credited with popularizing the use of the "Charge!" fanfare in sports games, and with being the first to play a theme song for each player as they stepped up to the plate.

Once a staple of Phillies games, Richardson's organ music was heard much less frequently from the mid-1990s on, as pre-recorded ("canned") music became more prevalent. When the team moved into Citizens Bank Park in 2004, Richardson was not given a booth, and was seen only before games on the Ashburn Alley outfield concourse. A recording of his version of Take Me Out to the Ballgame was used for the seventh-inning stretch. This diminished role combined with health problems and no longer having a place where he could see the game were factors in Richardson announcing his retirement prior to the 2006 season.

On October 2, 2006, Richardson died after a long battle with prostate cancer [1]. The Phillies paid tribute to him prior to their 2007 home opener and also during the seventh-inning stretch of that game.

Sox Appeal

Sox Appeal was a reality television series that premiered August 1, 2007 on NESN and ended in 2008. It is a Boston Red Sox themed dating game show that follows a man or woman during three, two-inning long blind dates that take place over the course of a Red Sox game. During the seventh inning stretch, the fan chooses the date he/she wants to continue dating. The date, however, can choose not to continue the date.The series is a collaboration between NESN and Scout Productions, producers of Queer Eye for the Straight Guy. The music was composed by Dow Brain and Brad Young of Underground Productions, Inc.

The series premiere featured Garrett Lucash, a former national champion pairs skater.

The second season premiered on August 3, 2008. For the second season, former New England Patriots player Larry Izzo has been added as the host of a post-date interview segment. Also, a "Daters' Dugout" was added in the second season, where the competing daters must stand next to each other during the game in Fenway Park’s right field roof deck standing room section to strategize and challenge each other.

Thank God I'm a Country Boy

"Thank God I'm a Country Boy", also known as "Country Boy", is a song written by John Martin Sommers and recorded by American singer/songwriter John Denver.

The song was originally included on Denver's 1974 album Back Home Again.

A version recorded live on August 26, 1974, at the Universal Amphitheatre in Los Angeles was included on his 1975 album An Evening with John Denver.

The live version was released as a single and went to No. 1 on both the Billboard magazine Hot Country Singles and Billboard Hot 100 charts. The song topped both charts for one week each, first the country chart (on May 31), and the Hot 100 chart a week later. Thank God I'm a Country Boy also became the name of a variety special show hosted by Denver in 1977.

"Thank God I'm a Country Boy" was one of six songs released in 1975 that topped both the Billboard Hot 100 and Billboard Hot Country Singles charts. Denver's two-sided hit "I'm Sorry"/"Calypso" also received that distinction.

The Man Who Wouldn't Stand Up

The Man Who Wouldn't Stand Up won the 2013 International Rubery Book Award and is a 2012 satirical novel by the American writer Jacob M. Appel. "Shortly after the attacks of September 11, 2001, in the United States," the author explained, "I knew I wanted to write a book against the backlash of those events. It took me three years to complete…. At the time, I did not think it would take me another eight years to find a publisher. I came close many times, but American publishers appeared to fear the political content of the work and several of them admitted this candidly or even asked me to 'sanitize' the novel." In 2012, it won the Dundee International Book Prize, one of the UK's most lucrative prizes for an unpublished debut novel, and was published by Cargo Publishing.The title refers to the protagonist, a middle-aged botanist named Arnold Brinkman, who takes his nephew to Yankee Stadium for a baseball game. During the seventh-inning stretch, fans are asked to rise for the singing of "God Bless America" in honor of two Bronx soldiers killed in the line of duty. Arnold remains seated. "When the stadium cameras inevitably find him," wrote reviewer Steve Donoghue, "and put his picture up on the jumbo-tron for the fans and all the home viewers to see, Arnold does the unforgivable: he sticks out his tongue."

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