What a Game!

Ragtime (Original cast, pre-B’way, 1996)

Mark Jacoby, Nicholas Rose, Ensemble

Father takes the Little Boy to baseball game, which he remembers as a "civilized pastime" for WASP gentlemen, only to discover that times have changed.

Overture to Damn Yankees

Play Ball!

Erich Kunzel and the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra

See note below about this classic baseball musical.

T-E-A-M (The Baseball Game)

You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown (Revival cast, 1999)

Anthony Rapp and Company

Charlie Brown and the baseball team try to keep their spirits up despite their dismal performance. This revival was co-produced by St. Louis’ own Fox Theatricals. It played the Fox pre-Broadway to lukewarm reviews but opened on Broadway to raves. Go figure.

Heart

Damn Yankees (OC 1955)

Russ Brown, Jimmie Komack, Nathaniel Frey, Albert Linville

The Washington Senators try to keep their spirits up despite their dismal performance. This show was packed with star power: music and lyrics by Jerry Adler and Richard Ross (The Pajama Game, Bye Bye Birdie), book by George Abbott and Douglass Wallop (from Wallop’s novel The Year the Yankees Lost the Pennant) and choreography by Bob Fosse danced by Gwen Verdon. And Ray (My Favorite Martian) Walston as Mr. Scratch.

Shoeless Joe

Field of Dreams

James Horner (1998 Oscar winner, song & score, for Titanic)

1989 Kevin Costner film, featuring James Earl Jones

Shoeless Joe From Hannibal, MO

Damn Yankees (OC 1955)

Rae Allen and Baseball Players

 

Who’s on First?

Play Ball!

Bud Abbott and Lou Costello

Classic comedy routine from 1958

Prologue 1915 — 1923

The Natural (OS 1984)

Music composed & conducted by Randy Newman.

Robert Redford movie that mixes baseball and mythology to tell a story about sin, redmption, and the power of love. Co-stars a luminous Glenn Close. Randy Newman is part of the musical Newman family which includes cousin Thomas (who won for Best Score this year for American Beauty) and uncle Alfred, who wrote a bunch of Oscar nominated and winning scores.
In keeping with the Charlie Brown segment of baseball lore, Newman has been nominated for 13 music Oscars and has yet to win one.

Take Me Out to the Ball Game (written in 1908 by Jack Norworth & Albert Von Tilzer, niether of whom had ever seen a big-league game)

Gene Kelly: Song and Dance Man

Gene Kelly & Betty Garrett, with Hal Mooney and His Orchestra

From the 1949 movie of the same name. Plot synopsis: The Wolves baseball team gets steamed when they find they've been inherited by one K.C. Higgins, a suspected "fathead" who intends to take an active interest in running the team. But K.C. turns outs to be a beautiful woman (Esther Williams) who really knows her baseball. Second baseman Dennis Ryan (Frank Sinatra) promptly falls in love. But his playboy roommate Eddie O'Brien (Gene Kelly) has his own notions about how to treat the new lady owner and some unsavory gamblers have their own ideas about how to handle Eddie. Directed by Busby Berkeley; Gene Kelly and Stanley Donen came up with the story.

Casey at the Bat

Play Ball!

James Earl Jones with the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra, conducted by Erich Kunzel

The classic poem by William Randolph Hearst’s buddy Ernest Lawrence Thayer, written in 1888, and popularized by monologist William DeWolf Hooper, who recited it an estimated 10,000 times during his career.

"The Final Game" from A League of Their Own

Play Ball!

Erich Kunzel and the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra

1992 film directed by Penny Marshall, about the All-American Girls’ Professional Baseball League, created during WWII and lasting until 1954. Score by Hans Zimmer, Oscar winner in 1994 for Disney’s The Lion King.

A Little Brains, A Little Talent

Damn Yankees (OC 1955)

Gwen Verdon

The second of two show-stopper numbers sung by Ms. Verdon. The other, "Whatever Lola Wants", is better known, but we include this number for that reason.

Willie, Mickey and The Duke

Talkin’ Baseball

Terry Cashman

 
*Acronyms and other mysteries defined:
OC: unless otherwise indicated, the Original Cast recording of a Broadway show, along with the date.
OS: unless otherwise indicated, the Original Soundtrack recording of a film, TV show, etc.

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