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4 Weird Baseball-Themed Novelty Songs

June 17, 2016

For some reason, baseball seems to inspire more songs than any other sport.

“Fat is In”

Terry Forster was a journeyman relief pitcher who played for five teams in the ‘70s and ‘80s, including the Los Angeles Dodgers when they won the 1981 World Series. When he was traded to Atlanta in 1983, he put on a lot of weight, eventually reaching a listed 270 pounds. Forster became the subject of a running joke in 1985 on Late Night With David Letterman after the host called him “a fat tub of goo.” Forster took it in stride, and made an appearance on Late Night: he came on staging eating a sandwich. Capitalizing on the brief attention, Forster recorded a novelty song—attributed to “Terry and the Lovehandles” called “Fat is In.”

“Go Joe Charboneau”

Cleveland Indians pitcher Joe Charboneau burst into Major League Baseball in 1980. Fans truly thought Charboneau was the key to reversing the team’s decades-long string of losing seasons. In his rookie season, he hit .289 with 23 home runs and 87 runs batted in—a team leader for the latter two. He was also very colorful. He frequently dyed his hair weird colors and was often spotted in the dugout opening beer bottles with his eye socket and then drinking the beer out of a straw…through his nose. He was named the American League Rookie of the Year, but his career flamed out less than two years later. Still, he inspired “Go Joe Charboneau,” which became a huge hit on Cleveland radio. It’s now so obscure we couldn’t find a clip, but here are some of the lyrics:

Who’s the newest guy in town?

Go Joe Charboneau.

Turns the ballpark upside down.

Go Joe Charboneau

Who’s the one to keep our hopes alive?

Go Joe Charboneau

Straight from seventh to the pennant drive.

Go Joe Charboneau

Raise your glass, let our a cheer

Go Joe Charboneau

For Cleveland’s Rookie of the Year!

“Heart”

“Heart” is among the more famous standards to originate in a Broadway musical. It’s from the 1955 baseball-meets-Faustian-bargain show Damn Yankees, but it’s probably better, although incorrectly known as “You Gotta Have Heart.” But because it was about baseball, the roster of the 1969 “Miracle Mets” recorded a version of “Heart” during its first World Series-winning season. The record was sold at Shea Stadium, and the team even performed it on The Ed Sullivan Show.

“Get Metsmerized”

When the Mets made their second World Series run in 1986, team members once again cut a record. This time it was “Get Metsmerized.” A rap song (clearly inspired by the Chicago Bears’ “Super Bowl Shuffle”) stars like Dwight Gooden, Darryl Strawberry, and Lenny Dykstra take turns on the mic. The brainchild of outfielder George Foster (“I’m George Foster, I love this team / The Mets are better than the Big Red Machine”), the players didn’t get permission from their ballclub before recording and pressing records of the song, so they couldn’t sell it at Shea Stadium.

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