Monday, July 29, 2013

Baseball Tunes: Cleveland Rocks

Ian Hunter rose to fame as lead singer of the glam rock band Mott the Hoople.  The band split in 1974 but Hunter kept writing songs.  He wrote "Cleveland Rocks" in tribute to a city he felt was undeservedly the butt of jokes.  An earlier version was called "England Rocks" in order to get the song released as a single but Hunter claims it was always Cleveland's song.  "Cleveland Rocks" is best known to those outside of Ohio as the theme song for The Drew Carey Show (covered in this case by The Presidents of the United States of America).

Almost immediately upon its release in 1979, "Cleveland Rocks" became the city's unofficial anthem.  All of Cleveland's professional teams, including baseball's Indians, use the tune as a victory song.  Then-mayor Dennis Kucinich gave Hunter a key to the city in 1979. 

Full disclosure: my mother is from Cleveland so while I've never lived there myself, I do have some affection for the old rust belt town.  I haven't been back since my grandmother died in '97 and have never visited either the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame or Jacobs Field, the two crown jewels of the city's modern renaissance.  There are quite a lot of other places I'd like to visit first but a pilgrimage might be in order someday.

My Baseball Fantasy

Vermont League: won, 7-3 (89-60-11 overall, 1st place out of 12 teams)
Maryland League: tied, 5-5 (86-65-9, 4th of 10)
Public League: 83 Rotisserie points (3rd of 12)
My Player of the Week: Jon Lester (Starting Pitcher and Cancer Survivor, Red Sox) with 2 wins, 16 strikeouts, a 1.35 ERA and a 0.98 WHIP
Photo via


  1. I always fondly remember this one because of Drew Carey.

    1. Me, too, Tony! In fact, as I was watching the Drew Carey video, I got surprisingly emotional. I never considered myself a big fan of the show but there is such unbridled joy in that opening sequence - just beautiful.

  2. Had no idea that Cleveland was so wonderful. Drew Carey--thank you.

    1. The jokes were not without basis in fact. The Cuyahoga River caught fire not once, not twice but 13 times between 1868 and 1969 - not exactly great PR for the city. But they've worked hard to clean up both river and city over the past few decades. Cleveland has fared better than certain other midwestern cities that have been in the news recently...