Monday, August 12, 2013

Baseball Tunes: Don't Stop Believin'

Millennia from now, cultural historians will ponder the eternal appeal of two songs released in 1981.  The first they will know because it never truly died.  As long as there are dance clubs in the universe, Soft Cell's "Tainted Love" shall live forever (Dr. Who fans know this to be true but I actually had the theory first - wife will confirm). The second one they'd forgotten about for a time.  In fact, it had a funny habit of disappearing for years, even centuries at a time.  Then it would emerge again to capture the imagination of a new era.  It is a song of hope, of determination, of destiny used to inspire athletic heroes and angst-ridden preteens alike.  Even the name of the band suggests epic adventure.  That second song, of course, shall be...

"Don't Stop Believin'" by Journey

As far as sports go, my strongest association with the song is Detroit Red Wings hockey games.  The sound system cuts out so the crowd can yell the "born and raised in south Detroit" line.  Never mind the fact that there is no south Detroit.  Or, there is but it's more commonly known as Windsor, Ontario.

Other teams frequently co-opt the song, though.  In recent years, baseball's Chicago White Sox, Los Angeles Dodgers and San Francisco Giants have all used it as an inspirational anthem.  Lead singer Steve Perry is himself a native Californian and a die-hard Giants fan.  Apparently, he didn't like the Dodgers using it one bit!

"Don't Stop Believin'" was one of three top 10 singles released from the band's most successful studio album, Escape.  Both "Open Arms" and "Who's Crying Now" charted higher but 32 years on, there's little doubt as to which track has the strongest legacy. 

I must credit Suze with finding this one a while back - definitely worth sharing:

Some will win.
Some will lose.
Some were born to sing the blues.
Oh, the movie never ends.
It goes on and on and on and on...

My Baseball Fantasy

Vermont League: won, 9-1 (105-64-11 overall, 1st place out of 12 teams)
Maryland League: lost, 4-5-1 (94-76-10, 4th of 10)
Public League: 82 Rostisserie points (4th of 12)
My Player of the Week: Anibal Sanchez (Starting Pitcher, Tigers) with 1 win, 19 strikeouts, a 2.45 ERA and a 0.75 WHIP
via Wikipedia

Sad tale: I lost to my daughter in the Maryland league this week - my daughter who stopped paying attention to her team almost the same instant she started, back in March.


  1. Thank you for telling me that there is actually no south Detroit! I was gonna fake it & agree with the hockey crowd, figuring that there IS a south Milwaukee and a south Chicago.

    I love it that you went to Michigan's UP recently. That takes real energy.

    1. I suppose the city has a geographic south but there is, in fact, no part of town called that. No South Side.

      The UP's gorgeous. I don't know if we'll head that way again anytime soon but I am drawn to northern Wisconsin and northern Minnesota - never been.

    2. The UP is really nice, well worth visiting (but definitely in the summer).

    3. I'm glad we went. The best part, for me, was seeing Lake Superior - truly awe-inspiring.

  2. Very nice post, Squid. This song means a huge amount to me, but it'd take me 5000 words to attempt to explain why. Even with that, my final words would probably be "You hadta be there..."

    1. Thank you, Cyg. There is something about this tune. I could teach it to kindergartners or high school seniors and they'd think it was the coolest thing ever.

  3. The 80s had so much good stuff. I'm looking forward to a doco on 80's music coming soon on tv. Great stuff!

    1. That sounds fun. Australia only? Do you have a title for it? I might be able to catch it through streaming somewhere.

  4. "As long as there are dance clubs in the universe, Soft Cell's "Tainted Love" shall live forever (Dr. Who fans know this to be true but I actually had the theory first)."

    I feel like a loser Doctor Who fan — what did I miss?

    1. Not a loser! You just need to re-watch "The End of the World," the second Christopher Eccleston episode.

    2. OK, that's a pleasant enough exercise! :)