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Hey, who was that 'God Bless America' lady with the crazy hat?

Big League Stew

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You could almost hear records scratching to a halt across the country as the woman above came out to sing "God Bless America" in the middle of Thursday's seventh inning between the San Francisco Giants and Philadelphia Phillies.

As Chris Needham said on Twitter during NLCS Game 5:

Even San Francisco thinks that that's too flamboyant.

But while seeing a seventh-inning singer wearing a hat featuring Lou Seal and half of San Francisco's skyline was an unusual sight for most of the U.S., it was, well, uh, old hat to Bay Area residents. The singer's name is Tammy Nelson and she's a cast member in "Beach Blanket Babylon," which plays at North Beach's Club Fugazi and is billed as the "longest running musical revue in theatre history."

"No less a part of San Francisco than the Golden Gate Bridge or Coit Tower!" gushes the New York Times.

Some local Tweeters smirked that the production is a "tourist trap," but others like veteran Bay Area scribe Ray Ratto preferred to smirk at potential tourists directly for not knowing about this loud lid — which is apparently some sort of local embarrassment institution:

Out of town writers baffled by Beach Blanket Babylon hat. They should have seen the 350th time it was unveiled — in 1967.

I normally don't make it my business to visit every musical revue when I visit a city.

In fact, I make it my business not to visit any of them.

But I do know that if you have a chance to feature a woman wearing a stupendous-looking hat (that may or may not include a working BART train) while she sings one of our most patriotic songs, you have to push her out there every time.

Top that, Philadelphia.

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