Monday, June 5

Eddie Vedder - "Take Me Out to the Ballgame"


I don't know about where you live, but here in Atlanta it's officially summertime. That may not be technically true (given the calendar and all) but the weather's great and it's just a nice time to be in the city. For me, summertime also means baseball. If you've ever spent more then five seconds here scrolling down, you've probably noticed that I'm a Cubs fan. While it's true I now frequent Turner Field here, my loyalties remain with The Chicago National League Ballclub.

Where am I going with this, you ask? Well, a tradition at Chicago's Wrigley Field has long been that the crowd sings along with a rendition of "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" during the 7th inning stretch. For years, this was led by Cubs broadcaster Harry Caray who passed away in 1998. Since then the team has had each game's version sung by some sort of celebrity. There have been horrible versions (Coach Ditka's comes to mind), great ones, and everything in between. One celebrity who has capably led the song at least three times is Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam. Today I'm offering up two of those performances captured from streaming videos.

The first of these is from July 4, 1998. Cubs fans will remember this as the year the Baby Bears won the wild card and Sammy Sosa battled with Mark McGwire for the single-season home run crown. It was a pretty special year, to say the least. Too bad they got swept by the Braves in the NLDS. Vedder's performance this day was a bit... lewd. Unless my ears deceive me, it appears he sang "Buy me some peanuts and Cracker Jack" as "Buy me some penis and crack...". Maybe it's just me? It also sounds like he says "Root, root, root for the Cubbies/If they don't win it's a game...". Unfortunately, all too true some years.

Eddie Vedder - Take Me Out to the Ballgame [live 7-4-1998 @ Wrigley Field, Chicago]

The second version here is from Mother's Day 2006, just last month, when the Cubs took on the San Diego Padres. Vedder repeats the "crack" joke from '98 here, although he appears to have been kinder with regard to the team's futility. However, his words at the end of the song are a painful reminder of the ass-kicking the Cubs got that day thanks to the Padres - "Ten runs! We can do it!". It was not a pretty sight.

Eddie Vedder - Take Me Out to the Ballgame [live 5-14-2006 @ Wrigley Field, Chicago]

For those keeping score (ahem), I believe Vedder's third performance of "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" at Wrigley was on June 20, 2003. I don't have audio of that one.

UPDATE: Thanks to reader Eli I now have the 2003 performance too, complete with Ramones-inspired "Hey ho! Let's go!" at the end:

Eddie Vedder - Take Me Out to the Ballgame [live 6-20-2003 @ Wrigley Field, Chicago]

Thanks, Eli!

I actually attended a game at Wrigley once when Billy Corgan sang the national anthem and "Take Me Out to the Ballgame." It was pretty nifty, even though I'm not really a Pumpkins/Corgan fan.

Bonus mp3:
Harry Caray - Take Me Out to the Ballgame [live 8-9-1988 @ Wrigley Field, Chicago]

10 Comments:

Anonymous eli said...

Thanks for the post and the audio of Eddie's latest appearance at Wrigley. I've got a copy from '03, if you'd like me to send it to you, let me know.

5:14 PM

 
Blogger Rich said...

Absolutely! Send away...

cableandtweed(at)gmail(dot)com

Woohoo!

5:20 PM

 
Blogger Eric said...

Fantastic post here. Too bad Zambrano's no-no just got broken up. Bummer.

10:28 PM

 
Blogger robbie dee said...

OMG, i thought billy corgan's rendition was terrible... and i love those pumpkins!

3:43 AM

 
Blogger Rich said...

I don't have the slightest recollection what it sounded like, only that it happened.

I wish I could find an mp3 of Ditka or Jalen Rose. Those were horrible.

3:50 AM

 
Blogger heather said...

This is SUCH a cool post. I love it! Did you see the pic I posted recently of Vedder throwing out the first pitch at a recent Cubs game with dtr. Olivia? Very cute.

But I must say, GO GIANTS!
:)

4:00 PM

 
Blogger Rich said...

I did indeed see that, Heather. I actually had that exact pic in this post at one time before I thought one of Eddie singing was more appropriate. 'Twas indeed adorable.

Giants? Pffft.

4:02 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Coincidentally, the year the song was written (1908) is the last year the Cubs won the World Series.

I do love Harry Carry, and Skip Carry nearly as much. If I ever see Chip Carry, though, I don't know what I'd do.

2:45 PM

 
Blogger Zooomabooma said...

I'd love to get these mp3s. Removed? Why not just delete the post then???

3:33 PM

 
Blogger Rich said...

Why would I delete the post? The mp3's won't work in many of them that are fairly old, but I'm not going to remove 20 months of content.

Note this post is, oh, 15 months old as I type this. I don't have the bandwidth to host everything indefinitely.

3:41 PM

 

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