Ballpark music

Two teams, two classic songs in Monday’s New York Times.

I’ll admit to a soft spot for the instrumental rendition of the Yankees song — it reminds me of better days, of games played on WPIX with Phil Rizzuto and Bill White in the announcers’ booth in the late ’70s and early ’80s, back when Yanks announcers were more like the Scooter — entertaining and fun, rather than annoying and pompous.

And you can’t argue with Terry Cashman’s family friendly “Willie, Mickey and The Duke (Talkin’ Baseball).”

But what could be more fun than the original “Meet the Mets” song?

“It has been parodied (“Step right up and beat the Mets!”), but 47 years after it was introduced, it manages to express the team’s unaggressive image.”

—Richard Sandomir, NY Times, April 25, 2010

The song might have been an adman’s device, but it’s catchy, sing-able and enduring, and, in its original glory, is a throwback to a different time.

Bring the kiddies, bring your wife / Guaranteed to have the time of your life.

On top of that, can anyone really defend the modern stadium experience of decibel-breaking rock, almost always the same songs from stadium to stadium, from town to town, from coast to coast? It’s like a mall of game-day public address production.

For that matter, may Eddie Layton and Jane Jarvis rest in peace, but can their legacies receive a little more due, as they seem to have received recently at CitiField and, for that matter, at Devils hockey games, of all places? (Probably the only thing keeping you awake at a Devils game.)

More organ music, less rock. I know I’m fighting a tsunami-sized tide here, but a guy can dream, can’t he?

We go to a lot of Single A games locally, and they’re great fun, if not always great baseball. That said, I’m happy they lay off the volume dial and don’t pound you into submission with a wall of sound. They’re worlds better than the local minor league hockey rink, whose game-day booth staff seem to come from the unimaginative Gary Glitter school of arena production (minus the conviction, of course).

Back to Meet the Mets.

My new favorite line from Meet the Mets that I (ashamedly) never realized existed?

“Oh, the butcher and the baker and the people on the streets / Where did they go? To meet the Mets!”

It’s too bad that most of us live in a world where there are no butchers or bakers — outside of a chain supermarket, that is —  or, for that matter, people on the streets — they’re all in their cars and SUVs. But I digress / Just meet the Mets.


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