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Uni Watch Heavy Rotation: We Want (to make this song) a Hit!

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Does a baseball song — even a really good baseball song — qualify as athletics aesthetics?

Gun to my head, I’d probably say no. But there aren’t any guns here at Uni Watch HQ (at least not since Tucker and Caitlin traded my sizable munitions depot for a catnip farm and three cans of tuna while I wasn’t looking), so for today we’re gonna examine a really sensational baseball song from 1964 — a song that has somehow flown under everyone’s radar for the past four-plus decades despite being utterly infectious.

The song is a calypso number by a guy named the Duke of Iron. The title is simply “New York Mets,” but it is not just for Mets fans. It should really be called “We Want a Hit” (that’s the chorus), and the lyrics could easily be tweaked to fit any team, or to create an all-purpose baseball anthem.

The song was discovered by Mets by the Numbers webmaster Jon Springer, who brought it to my attention last week. He made a fun little video to go along with the song, but don’t worry so much about the video, especially if you’re not a Mets fan — just dig the tune (if you’re at work and can’t have music playing on your computer, borrow some earphones, because you really need to hear this):

Man, does that have seventh-inning stretch written all over it or what? It’s catchy, it’s bouncy, and it practically invites the whole stadium to chant along on the chorus.

How had this song eluded my notice for all these years? I asked Springer for the full story, and here’s what he told me:

The other day on I was making a playlist of songs by artists who are also Mets fans, when another Rdio user saw the list and added Duke of Iron’s “New York Mets” to it. I wasn’t familiar with it, which was baffling — how could I not have heard this before? I shared it with some Mets fans I know and they hadn’t heard it either. But what a great song! It’s a classic baseball song and a classic calypso song at once.

I was so stoked and eager to share it I downloaded a copy of the mp3 and put together a video on it as fast as I could from the photos I had on hand.

I’d never heard of the artist, the Duke of Iron, but it turns out he was born Cecil Anderson in Trinidad. He’s credited as a pioneer of the authentic calypso sound and was a longtime fixture in NYC nightclubs beginning in the ’40s until his death in 1968. As for the song, it originally appeared on the Duke’s album Limbo! Limbo! Limbo! on the jazz label Status/Prestige (which was recorded by famed Blue Note genius Rudy Van Gelder!) and is currently available on a compilation of Duke’s music called Calypso Masters.

Faaaascinating. I’ve shared the song with a bunch of other fans over the past week or so, and we’ve all had the same reaction that Jon had: How had we not been aware of this? How had such a sensational tune languished in obscurity for nearly half a century?

I want to change that. Basically, I want a full-on media campaign to bring “We Want a Hit” (which is what I’ll be calling it from now on) to the attention of as many baseball fans as possible. It deserves to be — it has to be — the soundtrack to the 2011 MLB season and beyond. I want it played at stadiums, I want it featured on ESPN and the MLB Network, I want to see fans singing along with it and players dancing in the dugout when they hear it. Here’s how you can help make that happen:

•  Please copy this link (or, if you prefer, the link for today’s blog entry) and send it to every baseball fan you know. E-mail it, Twitter it, Facebook it, the works. Stress to people that they can ignore the video and that the tune should not necessarily be viewed as a Mets song but rather as a classic baseball anthem.

•  If someone could please volunteer to set up a Facebook page to promote the song, that’d be swell. Update: David Polakoff has hooked us up. Thanks, David!

•  If you’d like to try your hand at revising to the lyrics to fit your favorite team, or to make it an all-purpose baseball song that doesn’t mention any team at all, please do so and send me the results.

If you have other ideas, I’m all ears. Like the song says, we want a hit — on the field and on the airwaves.

+ + + + +

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And speaking of baseball and music, here’s a contest: Those of you with discriminating tastes in recorded sound may be familiar with the Baseball Project, an indie-rock supergroup featuring Scott McCaughey, Steve Wynn, Linda Pitmon, and R.E.M.’s Peter Buck. Their second album, High and Inside, has just been released (you can hear two of its best songs — “Panda and the Freak” and “Ichiro Goes to the Moon” — on this page), and now band manager Tony Margherita is offering Uni Watch readers a chance to design the band’s logo.

Here’s the deal: Whip up your best Baseball Project logo and send it to me by Opening Day (that’s March 31). We will then have a two-stage review process, as follows:

1) The best submission, as chosen by Tony and the band, will receive copies of the Baseball Project’s two CDs.

2) If the band chooses to use the winning entry on merchandise, on future recordings, etc., the winning designer will also receive $150, free admission to all Baseball Project shows for one year, and a plug on the band’s web site and Facebook page.

If you want to get more familiar with the band’s sensibilities, check out this interview with them.

Sound good? Now get crackin’.

+ + + + +

March Madness reminder: Last chance to enter our annual NCAA bracket pool. Details here.

Uni Watch News Ticker: In keeping with the spirit of today’s lead entry, here’s a bunch of sports-related LPs. ”¦ Congrats to longtime photo contributor BSmile, who’s been given his own baseball photography forum on the Baseball Fever site. ”¦ Chris Ruebel spotted a cap that should be perfect for rain delays in Arizona. ”¦ I suspect the folks in Japan have bigger things to worry about at the moment, but here are the guidelines for logo placement on Japanese baseball gloves (with thanks to Jeremy Brahm). ”¦ Here’s some news about soccer kits in Egypt. “It appears that they will just be wearing black socks to make their uniforms match the Egyptian flag,” says Gabriel Luis Manga. “I’m surprised Nike hasn’t jumped all over them to make them wear ‘Revolutionary Combat’ uniforms (joking).” ”¦ How the hell did Reebok manage to get such a massive logo on that jersey? “That’s from women’s hockey in the Olympics a few years back,” says Nick Mozley. Hmmm — is that right? Anyone know more? ”¦ The great Steve Rushin has written a wonderful piece about Bob Huggins and his track suit (with thanks to David Cline). ”¦ New lacrosse helmets for the U. of Denver (with thanks to Jeff Brunelle). ”¦ Seems like everyone’s compiling lists of misspelled jerseys these days. ”¦ Greg Brown reports that when his son Kirk takes the field, “we make sure he’s dressed correctly.” Well done. ”¦ Several weeks ago I passed along the news that Justin Morneau would be wearing the S100 helmet when he returned to action. He’s been playing in Grapefruit League games for about a week now, and sure enough, he’s the new Gazoo. With Francisco Cervelli currently on the DL, I believe Morneau is the only MLBer currently wearing the S100. ”¦ There’s some chatter that the new Tucson Padres uniforms could be a foreshadowing of what’s in store for the parent club (with thanks to the “other” Mike Hersh. ”¦ Three very nice pairs of striped stirrups available here (good find by Kenny Crookston). ”¦ The Sacramento Kings — the same franchise that used to be the Rochester Royals — are apparently contemplating going back to being the Royals again. ”¦ George Mason’s hoops team is apparently having some issues with some new sneakers from Nike (with thanks to Steve Brookman). ”¦ Here’s an interesting note about how the earliest baseball teams may have worn colored ribbons instead of formal uniforms (as noted by Jem Finch). ”¦ Is nothing sacred? Apparently not, at least judging by Brazil’s new BFBS soccer kit (horrifying contribution from Kenny Loo). ”¦ Paul Wiederecht was poking around on Flickr and found a guy who has some absolutely dynamite program covers from the AFL, CHL, and AAGPBL. And that’s just for starters. You can see the guy’s full breakdown of program covers here. ”¦ Aaron Klett has been active on the DIY front. “The first one is a Minnesota Twins sweatshirt I made out of a blank Old Navy sweatshirt, some felt, and a patch. The second is a Sonny Sixkiller UW jersey I made out of felt and a T-shirt. On that one, I researched all the Sixkiller pictures I could find, and quizzed my dad, who attended UW back in the day, to get it as accurate as possible.” ”¦ The Brevard County Manatees are having a contest to design the team’s catcher’s masks (with thanks to Mike Rich). ”¦ Also from Mike: How did Andruw and Chipper end up with non-matching stirrups?

+ + + + +


Erin Go Braless, or whatever: Uni Watch would like to wish a very happy National Act Like an Idiot Day to one and all. Whether you’ll be wearing an unfortunate jersey or drinking an unfortunate beverage, knock yourself out.

As for me, it’s the third Thursday of the month, which means I’ll be doing my usual show-and-tell event at the City Reliquary (yes, I’ll be wearing some item of green apparel, but that’s usually the case for me anyway). NYCers should feel free to join us. And of course Seattle-area readers should go check out Scott Turner’s band, RebelMart, which is playing at the Mix.

152 comments to Uni Watch Heavy Rotation: We Want (to make this song) a Hit!

  • George | March 17, 2011 at 8:12 am |

    Are both groups of the NCAA pool now full? I entered both group numbers and received that message. Thanks.

    • Dwayne | March 17, 2011 at 8:19 am |

      I got the same error.

    • Paul Lukas | March 17, 2011 at 8:26 am |

      Didn’t realize we’d filled up both groups. I’ll see if we can set up a third one.

      • Paul Lukas | March 17, 2011 at 9:37 am |

        New Yahoo group ID: 200063.

  • Dwayne | March 17, 2011 at 8:16 am |

    As a Reds fan, I always hated that guy at Shea Stadium who held up those signs at games.

    I secretly wanted an errant throw to take one of ’em down.

    • LI Phil | March 17, 2011 at 8:42 am |


      karl erhardt was frequently the best thing about shea

      • Seth H | March 17, 2011 at 9:13 am |

        Known to one and all as “The Sign Man.”

      • Dwayne | March 17, 2011 at 11:04 am |

        But remember, I was a Reds fan and Shea was hostile territory.

  • Mike Edgerly | March 17, 2011 at 8:17 am |

    The news about “Egypt’s new national soccer kit” isn’t about the Egypt National team, it’s about Al Ahly’s (club team in Cairo) kit in the CAF Champions league.

  • BSmile | March 17, 2011 at 8:23 am |

    Thanks for the congats Paul…but to be clear, anybody can contribute photos there (as long as you’re a BBF member). So it’s not just for me, although my Vintage Panoramics thread leads off the page (and I submit new material all the time).

  • Juke Early | March 17, 2011 at 8:29 am |

    I see no reason to dis Terry Cashman. Before that song, baseball really had no contemporary song celebrating the sport. Considering Willie Mays was prominently part of the Chorus – though I grasp your musical criticism- it is hardly classic “whitebread” in it’s historical perspective. JACKIE ROBINSON – by Buddy Johnson was pretty good in the Fifties – but it was a bit focused on one player – as was JUMPIN’ JOE(DiMaggio) before it. Joe Raposo’s elegiac THERE USED TO BE A BALLPARK (sung by Sinatra) was nothing less than beautiful. Same for Paul Simon’s NIGHT GAME.

    No doubt there’s certainly room for something more kick-ass. Aside from John Fogerty’s CENTERFIELD, the best baseball song ever written remains CHEAP SEATS Alabama. If you can overcome your bias, I defy anyone who is a real baseball fan to listen & claim this song doesn’t capture America’s Pastime in every way.

    • Paul Lukas | March 17, 2011 at 8:31 am |

      Whatever. How do you like “We Want a Hit”?

      • Broadway Connie | March 17, 2011 at 9:31 am |

        I like “We Want a Hit” very much.

        Duke of Iron was one of the greatest members of the greatest generation of calypsonians, 1930-1965 or so. Most of the best were, like Duke, Trinidadians. Duke of Iron was particularly adept at composing songs about current events, e.g., “FDR in Trinidad” (capably covered by Ry Cooder on his “Paradise and Lunch” album) and “Edward VIII” (a tune about a monarch’s abdication– too great!).

        Many of these fabulous Port-of-Spain musicians took as their show names various titles of English nobility. So in addition to Duke of Iron, we have Count Alert, Count Lasher, Lord Commander, Lord Invader, Lord Kitchner (my fave), Lord Shorty, Macbeth The Great, et alia. Playful, word-drunk, sly lyrics joined to those infectious melodies.

        You may have surmised I’m a complete music nut.

        • Broadway Connie | March 17, 2011 at 9:55 am |

          OK. Now that I’ve given (deserved) kudos to Paul on the awesomeness of his taste re the great Duke and “We Want A HIt,” I want to give a little pushback to our leader on the ethnic stereotype business.

          “…Erin Go Braless, or whatever: Uni Watch would like to wish a very happy National Act Like an Idiot Day to one and all. Whether you’ll be wearing an unfortunate jersey or drinking an unfortunate beverage, knock yourself out…”

          Outside my office window — as I write this — many Irish-Americans are walking towards Fifth Avenue and the parade. Many of them are wearing some ridiculous green clothing and accessories. Some of them will get drunk before the day is over. Some are well on their way, I would guess, but not very many, certainly many fewer than there were during the March 17ths of my New York boyhood.

          So I know the whole thing can be silly and tasteless, and I know that Irishness for many Irish involves alcohol. Me, I get ashamed at the ridiculous bunch of old cranks and cassock-kissers who don’t let gay Irish people say that they’re gay Irish people.

          So I’m not in the damn parade. But I’m wearing my green (skinny) tie, and I like St Patrick’s Day. I like being Irish and I’m glad to a member of a tribe that’s contributed so much to American music, letters, and politics. I revere both JFK and Tip O’Neill, to take two different examplars. I like “Erin go Bragh” because it was a password of the first successful armed resistance to British imperialism in the 20th Century. Fair enough that you call out the “Act Like an Idiot” crowd, but you might give a wee nod to the non-idiots who take offense at your annual reference to a ridiculously overbroad stereotype. Can you imagine what would happen if your only once-a-year reference to another ethnic group were so lazily negative?

        • Paul Lukas | March 17, 2011 at 10:26 am |

          I don’t think the Irish act like idiots on March 17; it’s everyone else who uses the day as an all-purpose excuse for frat-boy nonsense. (All you fraternity members can now complain, too….)

        • Broadway Connie | March 17, 2011 at 11:45 am |

          Well, you’re the judge of your intentions. And no doubt I’m thin-skinned. But “Erin Go Braless,” a puking leprechaun, a bottle of Jameson’s…

        • Paul Lukas | March 17, 2011 at 1:11 pm |

          Just referring to how people tend to behave today.

        • Geeman | March 17, 2011 at 1:26 pm |

          Don’t trash a whole holiday just because a few fools use it as an excuse to act out. Many of us truly enjoy this day.

        • Ry Co 40 | March 17, 2011 at 1:49 pm |

          quit being so sensitive people, we don’t need to turn everything into a “cause”

        • Geeman | March 17, 2011 at 2:31 pm |

          Oh, don’t worry; we don’t care that much. There’s too much Guinness to enjoy today.

    • Shane | March 17, 2011 at 9:04 am |

      The best baseball song ever is “Infield Fly” by The Isotopes. Sorry.

    • Chris Holder | March 17, 2011 at 9:48 am |

      “We like our beer flat as can be, we like our dogs with mustard and relish”… filmed at Engel Stadium, rat ‘chere in Chattanooga, TN. Great song, and “Centerfield” is one of my favorites too. Also, even though “Walk of Life” is not really a baseball song per se, it always gets my baseball juices flowing when I hear it.

      “We Want a Hit”? Eh. It’s catchy, and would be a neat little song to hear between innings and to get the fans to sing along, but I won’t call it the Greatest Ever. Maybe I’m just not down with calypso.

    • Christopher | March 17, 2011 at 1:50 pm |

      To each their own opinion, of course… but I love “Talkin’ Baseball”. I had the White Sox version on 45 as a kid.

      I probably still like it because of the memories… but I still listen to it from time to time and its on rotation on my iPod.

      I always thought it captured the era perfectly.

  • Terry Proctor | March 17, 2011 at 8:48 am |

    Being a lifelong resident of the Rochester area the subject of the former Rochester Royals basketball team is still very personal to me. Although I was too young to have seen the Royals in their heyday I did come to meet several of the stars of the team through my sporting goods job. Owner/Coach Les Harrison remained active in Rochester sports as a promoter. Bobby Davies was our factory rep for Converse Shoes. Bobby Wanzer was Coach/AD at St. John Fisher College and I sold him uniforms. Al Cervi ran a successful youth basketball camp for years. George Glamack was a successful realtor in Rochester and sponsored youth league teams. Arnie Risen became a Rochester resident after he retired.

    Having said all that, the team should not have changed their name when they moved to Kansas City in the early 1970s. The reason given was that they didn’t want to “infringe” on the baseball team. Bullshi*! The basketball team had used the name since 1945. The baseball team started in 1969. The Chicago Cardinals kept their nickname when they moved to St. Louis. And was the name “Giants” ever a problem in New York when the ball club and the gridders both called Gotham home?

    If the Kings do change back to the Royals I support them all the way. And if they do change back they should shitcan the Purple and Black and go back to their original Royal Blue, White and Scarlet colors.

    • Gusto44 | March 17, 2011 at 12:09 pm |

      Interesting to note it was the Rochester, not Cincinnati Royals, which earned the lone NBA title in the overall franchise history. Oscar Robertson was spectacular, but those Celtic teams were too tough. Unfortunately, once Oscar left for Milwaukee, this franchise has played more like Charlie Sheen.

      I do believe strongly in tradition, but we must also look forward and appeal to younger fans as well. It’s always a balancing act, but I just can’t see the Royals nickname resonating in Anaheim. So many years have passed, and many Kings fans weren’t even born when the team left Kansas City.

      This is one of those franchises which really needs a fresh start. I propose the Anaheim Piranhas, yes, the old short-lived Arena football name, with the fantastic Pittsburgh CBA logo. That logo had a bunch of piranha devouring a basketball. The color scheme could include aqua, silver, and red.

      • Terry Proctor | March 17, 2011 at 4:18 pm |

        If the great Maurice Stokes had not suffered that career-ending head injury in 1958 the Royals could have made, I believe, a legitimate shot at the title in the mid-1960s. “Big Mo” was Magic Johnson before Earvin was born. At 6’7″ he led the NBA in rebounds for two years, was a great passer to start a fast break, and was a good shooter from the perimeter. He also played with an intensity that was outstanding. That “let-it-all-hang-out” attitude led to his hitting his head on the unprotected edge of the metal scorer’s table in Minneapolis in the last regular-season game as he dove for a loose ball. The injury was treated with smelling salts and an ice pack. A few nights later in the playoff opener at Detroit he hit his head on the floor after he slipped on some perspiration that had been leaked there. He went into a seizure on the pressurized airplane ride home to Cinci that night. He never recovered from the condition and died at age 40. Jack Twyman became his legal guardian.

        Imagine the Royals with this line-up in the mid-1960s. Mo Stokes at C/PF, Jerry Lucas at PF, Jack Twyman at SF, Oscar Robertson at PG and Arlen Bockhorn at SG. The bench was Wayne Embry, Tom Hawkins and Odie Smith. The Royals, without Stokes, won 55 games in 1963-64 and finished only four games behind Boston. It’s ironic too. In 1962-63 the Royals moved to the Eastern Conference after the Phila Warriors moved to San Francisco. After going head-to-head with Mikan’s Lakers in the first half of the 1950s the new, strong-again Royals would have won the West easily if the Warriors had stayed put. The move to the East meant hello Bill Russell, goodbye title hopes.

        What might have been if Big Mo hadn’t been injured.

        Mo Stokes would only have been 30 years-old in 1963 and at the peak of his career. His strong play, experience and leadership could have been the missing piece that propelled the Royals to their second NBA title.

  • Shane | March 17, 2011 at 8:55 am |

    Dang, notes on everything today.

    1. That song is AWESOME.

    2. I saw The Baseball Project last summer. Very fun show.

    3. RE: Baseball LPs. I picked up “Yaz-3000” on eBay a few months back, and it is pretty much the best thing ever.

  • Zach Smith | March 17, 2011 at 8:56 am |

    I think the We Want a Hit song is too Mets-centric to gain wide traction. I’d feel weird hearing it an Astros game, for example.

    I’d love for it to be played at Shea though.

    Let us know when a new Yahoo group is set up. I need to get in!

    • Paul Lukas | March 17, 2011 at 9:36 am |

      New Yahoo group ID: 200063

    • Danya | March 17, 2011 at 9:37 am |

      I think so too. I agree you certainly don’t have to be a Mets fan to appreciate the song (and it is a great song!) but the Mets references are definitely not brief or fleeting. Even if you focused on the chorus alone, you still couldn’t get away from that “especially if a Met can get on first base” line at the end of it. So I doubt the song could become an anthem anywhere but Flushing…maybe someone could do a cover of it with more neutral lyrics? I guess that would probably kinda reduce the retro cool factor though…

      • Paul Lukas | March 17, 2011 at 10:29 am |

        Did anyone read the part where I said the lyrics could be tweaked/adjusted/etc.? Jeez…

  • Rob S | March 17, 2011 at 9:01 am |

    That’s more likely the 1994 Women’s World Hockey Championship, as women’s hockey didn’t debut at the Olympics until 1998 (wearing Nike jerseys).

    More pictures of the 1994 women’s team on this page.

    And here’s Forsberg beating Hirsch for Sweden’s Olympic gold-winner that year.

    • Rob S | March 17, 2011 at 9:03 am |

      Editing my own post, that last link doesn’t make sense… but, to sum up, the men and women’s national teams usually wear the same designs, and that design was the same as used by the men at Lillehammer.

      Interesting that after the Jordan flap in 1992 and these oversized shoulder vectors in 1994, the IOC moved to eventually subdue manufacturers’ logos. Unfortunately, the 1996 World Cup of Hockey wasn’t spared, as we got giant shoulder swooshes.

    • Michael Churchill | March 17, 2011 at 9:47 am |

      In the Olympics, you wouldn’t have had advertising on the boards.

  • Ilana Hardesty | March 17, 2011 at 9:08 am |

    Couple things:
    One of my favorite baseball songs, by Dave Frishberg:

    And, color-on-color at the Boston Garden last night (because of St. Patrick’s Day, I guess):

  • David | March 17, 2011 at 9:11 am |

    Hey everyone,

    Here’s the facebook page:

  • Jon | March 17, 2011 at 9:17 am |

    I miss barrel jumping. Used to be a WWoS winter staple.

  • Jack | March 17, 2011 at 9:35 am |

    I haven’t been reading this site for a week or so… Don’t always agree with the commentary BUT every now and then I read about something here that is a gem in the coal pile. That story about the Mets calypso song was a honking 10K diamond! Fantastic find! There are great baseball fight songs like Meet the Mets and Danny Kaye’s Dodgers fightsong. Then there are songs you shake your head at (see anything with Sox in the same).

    It is a shame that this work of art isn’t played at Mets games.

    Congrats on a great find.

  • Paul Lukas | March 17, 2011 at 9:36 am |

    New Yahoo group ID for the pool: 200063

  • concealed78 | March 17, 2011 at 9:48 am |

    On the Tucson Padres uniforms, it seems like the wordmark & numbers are a bit too small, and it just wouldn’t be as great for the big league club if it wasn’t brown. As for the font, that’s been around since the Padres inception in 1969.

    Happy St. Patrick’s Day, everybody!

  • interlockingtc | March 17, 2011 at 9:53 am |

    Yup. That’s the best baseball song ever. Joyful!

  • Ryan | March 17, 2011 at 9:53 am |

    This is one of those very very rare moments when it feels cool to be a Mets fan.

  • JoeMan | March 17, 2011 at 9:55 am |

    Gotta love the anti-St. Patty’s Day rant.
    I like to think most of us left the “everything is lame” attitude back in Jr. High. To each his own…

  • JamesP. | March 17, 2011 at 9:58 am |

    Happy St Patrick’s Day! Oaks stirrups came in handy today.

    • LI Phil | March 17, 2011 at 1:39 pm |

      good job james

  • Geeman | March 17, 2011 at 10:04 am |

    Happy St. Patrick’s Day everybody!

  • Jeffrey Lowery | March 17, 2011 at 10:09 am |

    I personally think all catcher’s masks should be the old school type and not the hockey type.

  • Seth F | March 17, 2011 at 10:29 am |

    Is there a good site for ordering stirrups? I wanted to order a few pairs from Mr. Marshall’s, but it seems the ones I was most interested in were sold out.

    Anywhere else have a good selection? Ebay is very scarce.

    • JTH | March 17, 2011 at 11:24 am |

      I take it you’re looking for single pairs. Unless you just want solid colors, there’s not really a good site.

      • Seth F | March 17, 2011 at 4:15 pm |

        Yes sir. Single pairs just for me. I’m 30 now and my playing days are long behind me, but I’d love to be able to get in on the “Stirrup Fridays”!!

  • LI Phil | March 17, 2011 at 10:43 am |
    • Paul Lukas | March 17, 2011 at 10:45 am |

      Oh, baby — nicely done, Phil!

      That’s why he’s my bench coach….

    • JamesP. | March 17, 2011 at 12:25 pm |

      Well done, Phil!

      Truely more for today than my Oaks…

  • mike 2 | March 17, 2011 at 10:54 am |

    Its a good song, but I agree, its just a little Mets-centric.

    For great baseball songs, I’d suggest Joe DiMaggio by Woody Guthrie (this is Wilco’s cover)

    Growing up as a Jays fan, they played “OK Blue Jays” at the seventh inning stretch, accompanied by mandatory stretching led by government fitness specialists, like something out of Soviet Russia. I used to write to the team about once a year asking if we could PLEASE switch to a traditional song like Take Me Out to the Ball Game (you know, like every other team in baseball) but never got a reply.

    • Paul Lukas | March 17, 2011 at 10:55 am |

      Hello?? The part where I said the lyrics could be tweaked? Anyone..?

      • The Jeff | March 17, 2011 at 11:14 am |

        Tweaking lyrics is often a difficult task (unless your name happens to be Al), and can lead to unfortunate things like the Hate Myself for NFL Football song.

      • Jeff P | March 17, 2011 at 12:46 pm |

        Tweaking is one thing. That thing requires a complete rebuild.

      • Ry Co 40 | March 17, 2011 at 1:54 pm |

        fun song, no doubt! but i would be afraid that “tweaking” the lyrics would take away from the song a bit… the tweaking and words would have to be on point, otherwise i think it would look like the tweaker is trying too hard. great find though!

    • JTH | March 17, 2011 at 11:10 am |

      That’s not a cover, Mike. The lyrics were written by Guthrie, but never put to music.

      Billy Bragg wrote the music.

      • mike 2 | March 17, 2011 at 11:12 am |

        Thanks – I have the Mermaid Ave cd but had never heard the original recordings so I didn’t know that.

        I get that the lyrics can be tweaked, but its still a Mets song. Are fans in (say) Philadelphia going to sing along? It’d be like Yankees fans singing along to Sweet Caroline. Its not about the lyrics, its about the fact that it’s someone else’s song.

        • JTH | March 17, 2011 at 11:17 am |

          That’s what I was trying to say. The Mermaid Avenue songs are the original recordings, so you have heard them.

    • Mark K | March 17, 2011 at 12:31 pm |

      OK Blue Jays is my favorite baseball song ever. I just got it out of my head from last year- now it’s back.

    • Rufus | March 17, 2011 at 2:25 pm |

      The Blue Jays do both now. OK Blue Jays, followed by take me out to the ball game.

  • EMD | March 17, 2011 at 11:00 am |

    I always liked Captain Stubby and the Buccaneers Go-Go White Sox song.

  • JTH | March 17, 2011 at 11:15 am |

    I’ll give the Duke of Iron’s “New York Mets” a thumbs up.

    As a baseball song, it cant touch A Dying Cub Fan’s Last Request, but it’s better than Go Cubs Go.

  • Ry Co 40 | March 17, 2011 at 11:19 am |

    ugh… i HATE to admit this. in fact, you’ll probably revoke my membership and delete my membership cards from the batch… but! i LOVE the stupid-assed Pirates song played at the beginning and end at games:

    something about getting into pnc park early on a gorgeous evening… the beautiful view… the infield is clean… the buccos running out in their crisp white unis, playing cacth… and the song being pumped through the stadium… i know it’s cheesy, but there’s just something about it…

    damn, i love the pirates

    (and yes, i shout “let’s go bucs” to the song)

    • MPowers1634 | March 17, 2011 at 11:31 am |

      Minor League games have that feel-good vibe to them!

      • LI Phil | March 17, 2011 at 11:36 am |

        so what are you saying matt? the pirates are a minor league club?

    • JTH | March 17, 2011 at 11:36 am |

      Good GOD, Ryan, that is awful. It sounds like the theme song to a sitcom on Disney Channel or TeenNick.

      That being said, I can understand why you sing along with it. I do the same thing with the lousy “Go Cubs Go” that I referenced above.

      • Ry Co 40 | March 17, 2011 at 1:56 pm |

        haha! i know, i know! it just has a “feel good” vibe going on (or something).

        jimbo, you making any baseball trips this season? PNC park is an easy ticket

        or any other UWers for that matter…

        • JTH | March 17, 2011 at 3:10 pm |

          Got no plans, but I’m always up for a baseball road trip. And I do like PNC.

        • Jim Vilk | March 17, 2011 at 3:19 pm |

          James, you nailed it on the head…very Disney Channel-ish indeed.

          I have the perfect day for a UW gathering: Sunday July 10th, 1:35pm vs. the Cubs. It’s Kids Pierogie Wind-up Racer Day!

          I want Sauerkraut Sal. I mean, my boy wants Sauerkraut Sal. Oliver Onion can take a hike for all I…uh, we care.
          Sal will go well with last year’s Cheese Chester. We traded a Jalapeno Hannah to get two Chesters, one for each of us.

        • LI Phil | March 17, 2011 at 3:27 pm |

          i’d be up for a PNC trip this summer…i see the mets pull into town the weekend of june 10 (fri) 11 & 12…

          any of youz yinzers want a guaranteed win? that’s as good a shot as any…

          course…i could be persuaded to maybe see a game in july or august if the june thing doesn’t work out

        • Jim Vilk | March 17, 2011 at 3:30 pm |

          The Saturday Mets game features fireworks, plus Huey Lewis and the News.

        • Jim Vilk | March 17, 2011 at 3:31 pm |

          The entire promotional schedule is here:

        • JTH | March 17, 2011 at 4:49 pm |

          Huey Lewis & The News is a plus?

        • Jim Vilk | March 17, 2011 at 6:04 pm |

          They’re an “as well.” Whether or not they’re a plus is up to the individual.

        • BurghFan | March 17, 2011 at 10:49 pm |


          Any game against the Pirates is more likely to be a “guaranteed win” for the opponent.

          More importantly, that Saturday game will be a (relatively) tough ticket because of the fireworks. Friday or Sunday should be fine.

    • Chance Michaels | March 17, 2011 at 3:10 pm |

      Never apologize. Can’t help what you like.

      I listen to “Brewer Fever” and suddenly I’m ten years old again.

      Nowadays, I’m more partial to the overlap between baseball and jazz. But calypso is pretty cool, too.

    • Jim Vilk | March 17, 2011 at 6:35 pm |

      When in Pittsburgh, there’s only one thing you need…the music of Vince Lascheid:
      Thankfully they have recordings of him. RIP, Vince.

      As for “We Want A Hit,” that’s pretty good. Calypso is sooooo much better than reggae in my book.

      • JTH | March 18, 2011 at 12:03 am |

        Who’s up for a book-burning?

  • Paul Lee | March 17, 2011 at 11:48 am |

    If my Spanish is correct, the BFBS Brazil kit is not YET approved for use on the field. Thank God.

    • Eleté | March 17, 2011 at 12:15 pm |

      I wont ever be. Nike wants to sell, so it just makes a special edition out of it.

    • johnj | March 17, 2011 at 4:41 pm |

      Yeahhh, this happens every new uni cycle for Brazil… They won’t ever be worn on field because they’re never intended to be worn on field

      I feel like Paul should know this by now as I seem to remember him complaining every time nike makes their special edition (fan only) bfbs Brazil jersey

  • Craig D | March 17, 2011 at 11:52 am |

    I’m not Irish, as far as I know. But St “Patty’s” is just not correct. It is St. Paddy’s if you are shortening it. Patty is a burger or a female character in a comic strip.

    Stop the madness!

    • Geeman | March 17, 2011 at 1:28 pm |

      Hence the term Paddy Wagon.

  • CS | March 17, 2011 at 11:52 am |

    Has anyone taken a shot at transcribing the lyrics of the original? I get a bit lost at points.

  • Natty Champs | March 17, 2011 at 11:53 am |

    hey guys…my son wants to do some uni-tweaking. what kind of easy to use web site(s) is/are good for this?

    he’s been painstakingly drawing the unis…but is interested in designing online to send in here.


    • LI Phil | March 17, 2011 at 11:58 am |

      really busy now but check the Q & A (top of this page) — tells you how to do it and how to submit them to me


  • Eleté | March 17, 2011 at 12:14 pm |

    Let me just clarify the new Nike “All Black” for Brasil is technically a training shirt. It will be marketed as a special edition and priced like the official kits.

    Thing is, Nike wants black ($$$) but the Brasil Football Confederation keeps vetoing Nikes attempts at “innovation”. So, you wont see that on the field but it should sell nicely.

    PD: I extend, once again, my offer to help with all soccer related info. Thats all I do :D

  • LBJ | March 17, 2011 at 12:14 pm |

    Agreed with the couple of comments about the Mets-centricity of it, and think that’s one of the coolest things about it, actually. Why try to tweak lyrics & vanilla it down to an all-purpose MLB thing? It’s a wonderful Mets song.

    Just the same, awesome find by MBTN and equally good coverage here.

  • pflava | March 17, 2011 at 12:16 pm |

    A few things…

    – “We Want a Hit” is fantastic! Once someone steps up and tweaks the Mets-ness out of the lyrics, we will have a winner.

    – Well done indeed, Greg Brown.

    – I’m fine with the mlb Padres adopting the Tucson uniforms, because just about anything is a step up. But count me in the camp that longs for the return of brown.

    – I’m all for the Kings changing to Royals, but “Anaheim Royals” just doesn’t sound right. At all.

  • Adam | March 17, 2011 at 12:21 pm |

    In Baltimore we have Orioles Magic:

    There is an original video with Eddie Murray on drums, and Rick Dempsey, etc… it was redone in 2008. Here’s a “making of” the 2008 video:

    Of course I can’t find the original or new videos online.

  • Chris | March 17, 2011 at 12:21 pm |

    Right, but the song’s called “New York Mets.” I understand wanting to broaden the appeal, and maybe you’re also trying to leave your Mets fandom out of it, but you’re bastardizing the original. Besides, nobody’s going to be able to find it if you call it by the wrong name.

  • Original Jim | March 17, 2011 at 12:38 pm |

    Paul, those Reebok hockey uniforms were worn in either the 1994 (Lillehammer) Winter Olympics. Similar to the Tackla uniforms worn in 1992 (Albertville), I remember there was a standard template for all teams, including the exact number and lettering font. The only difference between the teams uniforms were color and crest.

    Here are a few pictures from ’94..

  • Skycat | March 17, 2011 at 12:49 pm |
  • Mike | March 17, 2011 at 1:22 pm |

    Beyond the Boxscore ranks the best baseball logos that no longer exist.

    • Chance Michaels | March 17, 2011 at 3:20 pm |

      Somebody tell him that’s not Ben Franklin in the old Washington Senators logo.

      • CCJ | March 17, 2011 at 9:52 pm |

        And that Frankling never lived in DC. And that Thomas Jefferson was never a general.

        • CCJ | March 17, 2011 at 9:52 pm |


  • JTH | March 17, 2011 at 1:29 pm |

    Oh, yeah…

    Uni Watch Go Bragh!

    • LI Phil | March 17, 2011 at 1:33 pm |

      nice trogdor!

      gold sannies are perfecto

      • JTH | March 17, 2011 at 1:39 pm |

        But maybe I should’ve worn white shoes.

        • LI Phil | March 17, 2011 at 1:48 pm |

          yeah well…im wearing black slacks, so my selection of footwear was pretty limited…plus, it’s not after memorial day

          kinda impossible to pull off rups really well unless you’re actually, ya know, wearing baseball pants and cleats

          i think ya did fine

    • Michael Emody | March 17, 2011 at 8:51 pm |

      Nice. I’ve got a pair of those, too. However, living on the south side of Chicago, my policy is to not encourage the Irish stuff. The last thing I want is that damn south side St. Pat’s day parade coming back. (They mercifully put it down two years ago. Still, someone placed a flyer for portable rent-a-potties on my door last month.)
      The Bulls are wearing the green again tonight. Two games in a row. See how we overdo things in Chicago?

      • JTH | March 18, 2011 at 12:01 am |

        Overdo things? The Celtics have worn their (awesome) St. Paddy’s Day alts for like their last 3 games. And they didn’t even play today.

        That’s how you overdo it.

  • Christopher | March 17, 2011 at 1:47 pm |

    RE: The Baseball Project. They just performed at a local record shop down the street from me. I’m sure there were no more than 20 people there. But nobody freaking told me about it until after it was done! Ugh. Would have loved to meet Peter Buck and all.

  • Christopher | March 17, 2011 at 1:56 pm |

    Not to go off topic, but Paul did mention it. Indeed real Irish don’t act like fools for the most part. I hang out at our local Irish bar, and we have a big parade that starts there. Lots of old Irish people, very few frat boy types. Its nice.

    Paul: Its the one we had a drink at when you were down in NOLA.

    Now, on the other side of town, where the colleges are, its a complete mess. Never doing that again.

    My fear is the bar is also a sports bar of sorts, and today is day 1 of the NCAA. Hope it doesn’t invite the idiots.

  • Christopher | March 17, 2011 at 1:59 pm |

    In Chicago, the White Sox took to playing “Lets Go Go White Sox.” Link:

    It was written and recorded in 1959. Sox brought it back in 2005 and have kept it ever since. The great thing is they didn’t do some modern re-recording crap. They still play the original. Its very cool, check it out.

    • Jon | March 17, 2011 at 10:37 pm |

      That’s great Christopher.

      I like how this post brought out a lot of team songs, obscure or otherwise.

      I kinda think “We Want a Hit” is particularly Metly, it’s a joyous song about hopeful if snarky fans supporting a frequently pitiful franchise. Thanks for posting it Paul!

  • Paul Lukas | March 17, 2011 at 2:29 pm |
  • Clint W | March 17, 2011 at 2:39 pm |

    If you like baseball music, definitely check out the nine Diamond Cuts CDs from from Hungry for Music, a music education charity in D.C.

    The CDs, available separately, have an amazing variety of baseball songs, new and old, major artists and unknowns, as well as some spoken word stuff:

  • Pat | March 17, 2011 at 3:10 pm |

    If the BFBS Brazil uni is anything like the one from there last kits template then it will never be worn on the field.

  • Bernard | March 17, 2011 at 3:29 pm |

    The worst baseball song ever.

    There can be no debate.

  • Tim E. O'B | March 17, 2011 at 3:46 pm |

    In reaction of the Kings news today, I reopened my Kings rebrand and turned out a Royals rebrand.

    • Gusto44 | March 17, 2011 at 4:19 pm |

      How about a Anaheim Piranhas prototype uniform? I really hope they put out to pasture the Royals/Kings nickname and uniform.

    • Ricko | March 17, 2011 at 4:58 pm |

      My two cents…

      –Alters the existing name a bit.
      –Has a nice dipthong (or whatever it’s called) that happens when said aloud.
      –Appropriate to Magic Kingdom and all (although they’d probably get sued by Disney).

      Plus, Tim E has a nice design eye, and I’d like to see what he could do with a uni combining Vegas Gold, a true Old Gold, White and a bit of Black. Very zoologically correct. Sorta.


      • Ricko | March 17, 2011 at 5:12 pm |

        By “true Old Gold” I meant almost a caramel color.
        Not the more mustard/green look of the early ’70s Pirates.

        Maybe a big ol’ lion head, in the genre of the Bucks’ macro-graphic unis from a few years back?

        (sorry, Tim E., shouldn’t influence your thinking beyond the colors, should I)


        • Gusto44 | March 17, 2011 at 5:25 pm |

          Heard from a friend of mine in California, the Sacramento ownership have officially registered the Royals nickname for their NBA team. It’s looking as if Royals will be the choice, unless another name is under strong consideration we don’t know about.

          That would be unfortunate, in my view, but we’ll see if the team can start winning again. It won’t happen, but I’d like to see the results of any studies they did which had Royals as the most anticipated nickname. It’s possible the public research had another name, but the ownership just wanted Royals, no matter what.

          My guess is that they would reprise the old 1954-72 Cincinnati Royals color scheme, so purple and black would be discarded.

        • Tim E. O'B | March 17, 2011 at 6:50 pm |

          It’s ok to influence me, I just call that a request.

          I’m working on a piranha logo right now. I don’t like it so far.

    • LI Phil | March 17, 2011 at 5:46 pm |

      hey tim (and maybe save this for a bigger project … ie weekender)… but

      how about turning this into one of your mocks…maybe try it in current as well as former colors

      im not one for wanting more red/blue in the nba…but the current kings scheme is awful

      • Jim Vilk | March 17, 2011 at 6:11 pm |

        I like the idea of combining the purple and blue. Tim pulled it off quite well, I think.

        Yeah, I’d like the old Royals uni, but as you said, there’s enough red/blue in the Association.

  • JTH | March 17, 2011 at 4:21 pm |

    I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the song by my former teammate.

  • JimWa | March 17, 2011 at 4:33 pm |

    I am SOOOO thankful I didn’t pick Louisville to go to the Final Four.

    Oh. Wait a second.


  • LI Phil | March 17, 2011 at 4:54 pm |

    dammit…it’s never wise to say no to morehead

    • Jim Vilk | March 17, 2011 at 6:27 pm |


      Now if Georgetown, OSU and Duke could follow suit. Actually, I could live with Duke getting to the Final, but only if ‘Nova beats them. Yeah…

      Didn’t get around to making a bracket, so for future reference, here’s my Final Four:

      OSU (that hurt to type that)
      San Diego State
      Pitt or BYU
      (Kansas over OSU for the title)

      • LI Phil | March 17, 2011 at 6:29 pm |

        Didn’t get around to making a bracket


        what the hell is wrong with you?

        • Jim Vilk | March 17, 2011 at 6:57 pm |

          1. I tend to pick too many upsets. One year I had Harold Miner’s USC Trojans winning the whole thing. Who? Exactly. At least I picked the greatest upset of all time, but that’s a story for another day.

          2. I forgot about all the play-in games, so starting one now wouldn’t seem right.

        • Rob S | March 17, 2011 at 9:18 pm |

          Personally, I’ve only made a bracket once, way back in 1999. To each their own.

          Sorry, but my madness comes with the 16-team chase for 35 pounds of silver and nickel alloy.

        • JTH | March 17, 2011 at 11:57 pm |

          Who? Baby Jordan, that’s who.

  • EMD | March 17, 2011 at 5:12 pm |

    Someone should tell Paul to avoid watching this.

  • odessasteps | March 17, 2011 at 6:38 pm |

    No mention of Tessie by the Dropkick Murphys yet?

  • stannate | March 17, 2011 at 6:52 pm |

    While I like the idea of rebranding the Kings with their old Royals nickname, would the NBA be crazy for wanting to have THREE teams in a metro area? Or could this be a move that foreshadows the Clippers’ own relocation after Donald Sterling passes away?

    Given that the NBA has achieved decent success with the Sonics’ relocation to OKC, I think it would make sense to see if lightning can strike a second time. Louisville or Kansas City would be better markets for the Kings/Royals, and while Las Vegas isn’t exactly “small,” I can see a team moving there in the near future. Hell, the Las Vegas Kings could feature a playing-card motif for its logo and color scheme:

    Kings of Hearts–special Valentine’s Day uniform with lots of red and/or regular road uniform;

    Kings of Spades–alternate road uniform that could certainly qualify as BFBS;

    Kings of Diamonds–alternate home uniform that could start a WFWS trend;

    Kings of Clubs–regular home uniform.

    Whaddaya think, sirs?

    • LI Phil | March 17, 2011 at 7:13 pm |

      pretty sure vegas is never getting a major sport, or even hockey

      seems the leagues have issues

    • Gusto44 | March 17, 2011 at 7:26 pm |

      When I was a kid, I came up with a few team nicknames, and one of those was the Las Vegas Wildcards. Colors were red and black, and I had some lost design of flames attached to cards.

      If Vegas is out, how about St. Louis? Would like to see the old Spirits of St. Louis brought back.

  • interlockingtc | March 17, 2011 at 8:19 pm |

    Here’s a great baseball themed song written and performed by RebelMart…aka Uni Watch’s Scott MX Turner…..

  • Eddie | March 17, 2011 at 9:39 pm |

    Wow. No mention of the absolute greatest baseball song? “It’s a Beautiful Day for a Ballgame” by The Harry Simeone Songsters. When followed by five little words, it’s perhaps the greatest song period…

    It’s time for Dodgers’ baseball

    I can just hear Vin Scully now. Kind of off topic: Am I the only one who thinks the only way to take in a baseball game is on a transistor radio? Much more enjoyable than TV.

    • Ricko | March 17, 2011 at 9:58 pm |

      Twins used to play that one at the top of their broadcasts way back when, too.

      Didn’t see it mentioned, and it isn’t strictly the kind of song we’re talking about, but I thought of…

      “Put me in, Coach,
      I’m ready to play…”


  • pru | March 17, 2011 at 10:07 pm |

    Gonzaga’s BFBS sweatbacks look as though they were thrown together in a hurry. The design of the back (if you can call it that) is merely “GU ZAGS” under the number vertical lines extenting to the top of the jersey.

    At least most other schools with these have some sort of connection to the school’s campus and/or tradition taken into account.

  • LarryB | March 17, 2011 at 10:16 pm |

    Late to the party, Had to say good job to Aaron Klett on the DIY especially the Washington Husky Sonny Six Killer jersey.

    • Ricko | March 17, 2011 at 10:41 pm |

      Ah, if I’d known.

      Liked Sonny Sixkiller. One of my all-time favorite college QBs. Great, great name. Great talent for the Huskies. His wideouts were Jim Krieg and Tom Scott. Krieg played in the WFL. Scott became a CFL all-timer with Winnipeg and Edmonton.

      The point is, I have file folder of Sixiller photos from his Washington days.

      I believe his senior year they wore purple helmets.


    • Aaron | March 18, 2011 at 11:20 am |

      Thanks LarryB. The Sixkiller jersey was my first attempt at any DIY clothing beyond sticking patches on something. It came out better than expected, and inspired me to do more. I’ve got a Notre Dame sweatshirt and a Bill Russel Celtics shirt jersey in the works.

  • Javy | March 17, 2011 at 11:48 pm |

    that is a mets song, play it at citi field (yes citi, shea is dead) and stop with this mets nonsense. Your assumptions about st. paddys day were racist. Not coming back to this site again.

    • JTH | March 17, 2011 at 11:55 pm |

      You’ll be missed.

      • Ricko | March 18, 2011 at 12:08 am |

        Good thing no one told that old joke…

        What’s Irish foreplay?
        “Brace yourself, Kathleen.”

        That really woulda pissed him off.


    • Ricko | March 18, 2011 at 12:03 am |

      Irish is a race?


      • JTH | March 18, 2011 at 12:16 am |

        No, but my mom has this book.

        I’m pretty sure there are very few (if any) TRUE races left on this planet.

    • Tim E. O'B | March 18, 2011 at 4:13 am |

      Ass an Irish American, I am personally offended that some Irish people choose not to get hellaciously drunk on St. Paddy’s Day and live out our stereo type.

      Those people are an embarrassment to people who have died in actual Irish Carbombs for which true Irish Americans remember every time they throw Jamo and Bailey’s into a Guinness.

  • Tyler L. | March 18, 2011 at 6:30 am |

    I don’t know if this was mentioned before but I was covering the First Four on Wednesday and I noticed that Alabama State was not wearing the NCAA patch on their jersey in the first half. It seems someone did some quick work at halftime and they had them on after half.

    Anyone want to look into this?