Saturday, March 30, 2013

Baseball Tunes: The Star-Spangled Banner

The first known instance of "The Star-Spangled Banner" being played for a baseball game took place in 1862. However, it was not until World War II that it became customary to play the song before every game. Before the introduction of public address systems, it was cost prohibitive to hire a band so such ceremony was reserved for special occasions such as Opening Day or the World Series.

As most American schoolchildren learn - particularly those who grow up in Maryland, the words to our national anthem were written by Francis Scott Key.  Key was inspired by the Battle of Fort McHenry which he observed as a prisoner on a British ship during the War of 1812.  His poem, "Defence of Fort McHenry," was later set to the tune of "The Anacreontic Song" by John Stafford Smith.  It did not officially become the US national anthem until 1931.

Bold Proposal 2013

Following are the initial 2013 standings for my proposed baseball realignment, essentially based on the European soccer league concept.  The basic idea is explained here.  Last year's final post, including explanations for this year's alignment, is here.

First Division

1. Reds
2. Yankees
3. Braves
4. Giants
5. Rangers
6. Rays
7. Angels
8. Tigers
9. Cardinals
10. Dodgers
11. White Sox
12. Brewers
13. Phillies
14. Nationals
15. A's
16. Orioles

Second Division

1. Diamondbacks
2. Red Sox
3. Rockies
4. Pirates
5. Padres
6. Mariners
7. Mets
8. Blue Jays
9. Royals
10. Marlins
11. Indians
12. Twins
13. Cubs
14. Astros

As always, I will declare my concept a failure if one of my second division teams wins the real-universe World Series. Over the past three years of the experiment, it hasn't happened. Normally, this would be the point in my post where I'd say that I want this to happen.  I want to believe that the balance of power in baseball is more flexible than it actually is.  However, my Orioles are finally in the first division which means, at least according to my theory, they have a better chance of winning it all this year than they did last.


  1. Hm - me thinks I need to actually see a baseball game!
    Interesting stuff

  2. Oh! A newbie!!!

    Laura, should you ever find yourself on this side of the pond, I recommend seeking out a minor league game rather than shelling out for a seat at a big league game. The minors are far more gratifying and far more reasonably priced.

  3. So here's where the men's choir link was supposed to go. :)