The Hall of Very Good has added four, and I helped by honoring Jose Canseco’s Bizarre Baseball Cultural Life

The Hall of Very Good has added four new members: Bill Buckner, Jose Canseco, Russ Grimsley and celebrity inductee Thomas Ian Nicholas (AKA Henry Rowengartner), with the Glenn Burke Memorial Courage Award set to be revealed on Friday.

As part of the celebration of this eclectic group, I did a rundown of Jose Canseco’s many bizarre appearances in Pop Culture, from Reading Rainbow to the upcoming movie Slamma Jamma. Check it out.

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(Blogathon ’16) Songs of October (Post-2015 update)

This post is part of the 2016 Baseball Continuum Blogathon For Charity, benefiting the Roswell Park Alliance Foundation. The Roswell Park Alliance Foundation is the charitable arm of Roswell Park Cancer Institute and funds raised will be “put to immediate use to increase the pace from research trials into improved clinical care, to ensure state-of-the-art facilities, and to help improve the quality of life for patients and their families.” Please donate through the Blogathon’s GoFundMe page.

For the far-too-late update on what happened in 2015, go to the bottom of the post after the jump.

In 2013, there was a sensation that spread across the nation: Mups. Their spread was unstoppable, to the point where some like the “Cespedes Family BBQ” and Jesse Spector had begun to engage in a “#Mupwatch”. But some wondered: What was a Mup? Were they some sort of Muppet? Were they dangerous? And why were they being lit on fire?

Well, the answer lay in the commercials that had been playing in the lead-up to and during the post-season, featuring Fall Out Boy’s “My Songs Know What You Did In The Dark”. Here is an example of such a commercial. While officially they were saying “Light ’em up”, it sounded, especially during the echoing segments, like they were actually talking about things called “mups”.

And thus continued a long tradition of October songs that have graced our televisions and infected our ears, whether we liked them or not. And, usually, if we DID like them at the start of the postseason, we ended up being sick of them by the end just from hearing them so many times.

And, what’s more, these songs and how they have become memes aren’t from a universal source. Most of them, for example, have been part of TBS’ coverage, but others, including the Fall Out Boy song, have actually been of MLB’s doing. In 2013, for example, TBS was using a different song*, and MLB Network itself also had a different song for the commercials for it’s two games**. Rarely if ever have they been actually about baseball, usually selected more for their choruses or imagery.

*Using Google searches of the lyrics I was able to decipher, I’ve figured out it’s 30 Seconds to Mars’ “Do or Die”.

**Again using Google, I’ve found that the commercials use the chorus from Papa Roach’s “Still Swingin’“.

Still, with that out of the way, here’s a history (after the jump) of the Songs of October:

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WE HAVE OUR FIRST SONG OF OCTOBER FOR 2015

The postseason is full of traditions. And the use of songs again and again by MLB and it’s network affiliates are… one of them. However, we have yet to truly learn what shall be played this year so much that we make memes out of it and/or threaten to throttle somebody whenever we hear them.

And, while they haven’t made it official yet, we can now safely say that the National League side of things on TBS will be having the Zac Brown Band song “Heavy Is The Head” playing, at least if this promo video I found on YouTube is anything to go on:

I don’t like it. Not good enough to be good, nor bad enough to be meme-worthy. Of course, I’m sure after a few games my opinion will be changed based on how Twitter reacts to it.

And so, we now wait/worry on FOX, MLB Network, perhaps ESPN and MLB itself to see/hear what, if anything, they will be adding to the October Song repertoire. Rest assured, I’ll be updating the “Songs of October” database far earlier this year than I did last year.

FINALLY UPDATED FOR 2014! Songs of October: A Retrospective (Because Why Not?)- 2014 Edition

For the far-too-late update on what happened in 2014, go to the bottom of the post after the jump.

In 2013, there was a sensation that spread across the nation: Mups. Their spread was unstoppable, to the point where some like the “Cespedes Family BBQ” and Jesse Spector had begun to engage in a “#Mupwatch”. But some wondered: What was a Mup? Were they some sort of Muppet? Were they dangerous? And why were they being lit on fire?

Well, the answer lay in the commercials that had been playing in the lead-up to and during the post-season, featuring Fall Out Boy’s “My Songs Know What You Did In The Dark”. Here is an example of such a commercial. While officially they were saying “Light ’em up”, it sounded, especially during the echoing segments, like they were actually talking about things called “mups”.

And thus continued a long tradition of October songs that have graced our televisions and infected our ears, whether we liked them or not. And, usually, if we DID like them at the start of the postseason, we ended up being sick of them by the end just from hearing them so many times.

And, what’s more, these songs and how they have become memes aren’t from a universal source. Most of them, for example, have been part of TBS’ coverage, but others, including the Fall Out Boy song, have actually been of MLB’s doing. In 2013, for example, TBS was using a different song*, and MLB Network itself also had a different song for the commercials for it’s two games**. Rarely if ever have they been actually about baseball, usually selected more for their choruses or imagery.

*Using Google searches of the lyrics I was able to decipher, I’ve figured out it’s 30 Seconds to Mars’ “Do or Die”.

**Again using Google, I’ve found that the commercials use the chorus from Papa Roach’s “Still Swingin’“.

Still, with that out of the way, here’s a history (after the jump) of the Songs of October:

Continue reading

Ever wondered what Mickey Mantle’s favorite music was? Wonder no more.

While it’s certainly no Stan Musial Wallet, this little thing now on eBay also is, uhm, unique: My Favorite Hits from Mickey Mantle. It’s…

a 1958 LP.

Of Mickey Mantle‘s favorite music.

So, what’s on it? Well, I’m sure as hell not paying $179.99 to find out the exact recordings (or even if there is a sale), but based on what the back of the sleeve says, I can figure it out and give you a reasonably good proximity of what sort of music (hint: a bit of jazz, country and pre-Rock’n’Roll pop) the Mick liked to listen to…

(JUMP)

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Songs of October: A Retrospective (Because Why Not?)

It’s a sensation that’s spreading across the nation: Mups. Their spread is unstoppable, to the point where some like the “Cespedes Family BBQ” and Jesse Spector have begun to engage in a “#Mupwatch”. But some wonder: What is a Mup? Are they some sort of Muppet? Is it dangerous? And why are they being lit on fire?

Well, the answer lies in the commercials that have been playing in the lead-up to and during the post-season, featuring Fall Out Boy’s “My Songs Know What You Did In The Dark”. Here is an example of such a commercial. While officially they are saying “Light ’em up”, it sounds, especially during the echoing segments, like they are actually talking about things called “mups”.

And thus continues a long tradition of October songs that have graced our televisions and infected our ears, whether we liked them or not. And, usually, if we DID like them at the start of the postseason, we end up being sick of them by the end just from hearing them so many times.

And, what’s more, these songs and how they become memes aren’t of a universal source. Most of them, for example, are part of TBS’ coverage, but others, including the latest Fall Out Boy song, are actually of MLB’s doing. Like, TBS is using a different song*,  and MLB Network itself also has a different song for the commercials for it’s two games**. Also, it should be noted that none of them are explicit about baseball, and most of them are more picked for the imagery of their chorus than any type of lyrical sense and fit.

*Using Google searches of the lyrics I was able to decipher, I’ve figured out it’s 30 Seconds to Mars’ “Do or Die”.

**Again using Google, I’ve found that the commercials use the chorus from Papa Roach’s “Still Swingin’“.

Still, with that out of the way, here’s a history (after the jump) of the Songs of October:

Continue reading

John Philip Sousa once wrote a Baseball March

John Philip Sousa, the man who wrote such patriotic standards as The Stars and Stripes Forever, also wrote a march for baseball, entitled The National Game. I’ve heard it performed at Orchestra Nights at the ballpark (yeah, Rochester has orchestra night every year), but I just found it on YouTube, so, well, here it is.

Feel free to imagine 19th century baseballers taking the field to this, dressed in uniforms for the Providence Grays or the Boston Beaneats, perhaps while also getting into drunken saloon brawls and going into second base with sharpened spikes. It’s what Old Hoss Radbourn (or at least @OldHossRadbourn) would do.