Vintage Tube: Bar band covers ‘Take Me Out To The Ball Game’ to ‘jazz’ up 1984 Tidewater Tides

David Brown
Big League Stew

Ever wonder what "Take Me Out To The Ball Game" would sound like "jazzed up"? Well, my little hot child in the city, the above video is one example of such a jazzing.

Maybe you think our pastime's official song is fine the way it is, but if so then you don't have an equal imagination to that of Dave Robinson, drummer for the band Tricks, a (likely no longer active) group from Virginia Beach, Va. In 1984, they decided to rework the Seventh Inning Stretch staple with some pop elements in order to make Tidewater Tides games a better experience. Deadspin, while scouring Youtube for whatever, apparently uncovered a high-quality upload of a local news report regarding this very topic.

Robinson, who says he's from Cleveland and watched a lot of the Indians there, wanted to bring the major league excitement from Municipal Stadium to Tidewater, home at the time to the New York Mets' Triple-A team:

"There was a lot of enthusiasm generated at the game, and around the Seventh Inning Stretch, we kept hearing the old standard 'Take Me Out To The Ball Park' and it was kind of 'meh.' You almost fell asleep listening to it. So we thought, 'What would it sound like jazzed up?' So we put our heads together and came up with this little package."

Enthusiasm. From Cleveland Indians games. Anyway. Granted, the Tides in '84 were mediocre and were missing out on the renaissance that the big-league Mets were experiencing (despite 17 appearances by Sid Fernandez). So they needed something, I'm just not sure if Tricks' reworked tune was ever going to have the desired effect.

And, as the Deadspin post notes, we know it never took off because, well, here we are in late 2012 and it's probably the first any of us have heard of this band or this version of the song. Is it because there can be only one hyper-androgynous Geddy Lee voice performed effectively in rock 'n' roll? Maybe that's part of it.

It's not like others haven't tried to spice up the Seventh Inning Stretch. The Milwaukee Brewers add "Roll Out the Barrel." The Baltimore Orioles play "Thank God I'm a Country Boy." Other teams do other things. But they also, more or less, leave "Take Me Out To The Ball Game" alone, to let fans sing it with as much enthusiasm (and possible inebriation) as they can muster. It's worked for 100 years, and it should keep working. Just be glad we aren't made to sing all of the verses.

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