There is nothing in this world quite like seeing a baseball game live. While football can be great live, even the most diehard of fans will admit that the game translates much better to television. With baseball, many purists will argue exactly the opposite.
For many, seeing baseball live in a Major League stadium can be a religious experience. It’s a pilgrimage to the temple that turns the most cynical of adults into innocent children. The hot dog works as a time machine and tastes just like it did the first time you stepped into those hallowed walls. People will come, Ray.
Seeing a game works on all your senses. The taste of the food, the sight of the entire field that’s no longer hidden by television, the familiar-yet-foreign feel of the bleachers against your body, the smell of peanuts, and the sounds…the wonderful sounds.
W.P. Kinsella, author of the book that became Field Of Dreams, once wrote: “The crack of the bat, the sound of baseballs thumping into gloves, the infield chatter are like birdsong to the baseball starved.”
It’s a beautiful quote, but it’s a quote that makes it abundantly clear that W.P. Kinsella never attended a Major League Baseball game in 2019.
The birdsong to the baseball starved has evolved and taken on a different body. The infield chatter has been replaced by easily accessible top 40 hits. Every outcome in the game has a song paired with it and those songs become a part of the baseball fan’s lifeblood. While the players will change and each hitter’s walk-up music is always fluctuating, the stadium’s soundtrack never does. Like the dive bar that never updated the jukebox, the song remains the same.
Every team has their own soundtrack, but this one belongs to Milwaukee, the Brewers, and their fans. These are the songs that you hear at every Milwaukee Brewers home game.
EMF — “Unbelievable”
There is a ground ball deep in the hole on the left side. The third baseman knows it is an impossible play and only makes a modicum of effort. The shortstop should probably do the same, but he continues to go for it. There is no way that the shortstop can get to this ball and even if he does, there is no way he can make the throw. Still, he tries.
Then he does the impossible, he gets to it and makes the “Unbelievable” throw to first. The out is made, the crowd is on their feet, and the Billboard Hot 100’s July 20th, 1991 #1 single blasts from every speaker in Miller Park.
Blur — “Song 2”
If the Brewers score, you are hearing this song. Sacrifice fly, throwing error, wild pitch, base hit bringing in the runner; it’s all the same. The Brewers score, Miller Park plays Blur. Rinse and repeat.
Blur wrote “Song 2” while hungover as a way to mock grunge and the songs that were becoming hits in America at the time. Naturally, it became a huge hit in America.
Bachman Turner Overdriver — “Takin’ Care Of Business”
For it’s one, two, three strikes you’re out at the old ball game.
This is one of a few songs that the Brewers use after a strikeout, but it might be the best because it is the least on the nose of the bunch.
Other strikeout songs include:
- LL Cool J – “Mama Said Knock You Out”
- Queen – “Another One Bites the Dust”
- MC Hammer – “Can’t Touch This”
The only thing this list is missing is Keely Smith’s “Swing, Swing, Swing“ for maximum precision.
Motley Crue — “Kickstart My Heart”
There are multiple times in every Brewers game when they want you to cheer. Some of them are earned and make sense in the context of the game, while others seem to exist solely to keep patrons from quiet moments of personal contemplation.
This banger from the Crue most often plays while the multiple screens in the stadium read “MAKE SOME NOISE!!!” This song is meant to work as a shot of adrenaline to the crowd. Considering this song was inspired by the time that Nikki Sixx died and needed paramedics to shoot his heart with adrenaline to save his life, it morbidly fits.
House Of Pain — “Jump Around”
During the 8th inning break of every game, this song plays because…um, Wisconsin Badgers football. That’s it, that’s the whole reason. This one is definitely a weak point in the playlist and a complete failure to be original. What’s next, Todd Rundgren when the Brewers score a run?
New Kids On The Block — “Hangin’ Tough”
The Brewers’ hitter has two strikes on him and a pitcher that is desperately working for the third, but the Milwaukee batter won’t let it happen. He fouls off pitch after pitch, in the ultimate battle of batter and pitcher. How long will it go? Forever? It could go forever, there is no rule against it. Will this be the time?
As more and more balls are fouled off, the batter doesn’t give up. He is “hangin’ tough” and Miller Park’s staff answers with the seminal work of New Kids On The Block.
Violent Femmes — “Blister In The Sun”
There are times when Miller Park would like you to clap and there is no better way to get people from Wisconsin to clap than to play the opening guitar riff of this song.
Les Misérables — “The Confrontation (Instrumental)”
(Note: The version used at Miller Park could not be found. This version featuring Neil Patrick Harris and Jason Segel is much more fun.)
It’s late in the game and the Brewers are getting to the opposing reliever. There are runners on and the pitcher is in trouble. His manager comes out to talk and Miller Park plays…this orchestral version of the “The Confrontation” from Les Misérables. What?
Much like strikeouts, Miller Park uses a variety of songs for mound visits. The songs range from far too on the nose (“Take Me Out” by Franz Ferdinand) to clever (“Little Less Conversation” by Elvis Presley) to “Over My Head,” but “The Confrontation” is on another level. Mixed among bonafide pop hits is this song from a 1980 musical based on a 1862 novel about a guy who went to jail for stealing bread in 19th-century France. Bravo, Miller Park. Bravo.
Bob Marley — “Three Little Birds”
One of Bob Marley’s all-time classic songs, “Three Little Birds” has been covered by both Jason Mraz and Alvin And The Chipmunks, appeared on multiple television shows and movies, and would probably be even more popular if everyone didn’t think it was called “Every Little Thing Is Gonna Be Alright.” This song is undeniable. It’s also the last song you want to hear at Miller Park because this is the song that plays when the Brewers lose.