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Seventh-Inning Stretch

At Wrigley Field, they sing. Some are Cubs fans, some are just on publicity tours and wouldn’t be able to tell Ernie Banks (aka, Mr. Cub) from Ernie Broglio (best remembered as the “other player” in the ultimately lopsided trade that sent future Baseball Hall of Fame outfielder Lou Brock from the Cubs to the Cardinals in 1964). They’re ex-Cubs, broadcasters, politicians, local high school and college coaches, actors, and, now and then, even professional singers. They all come out in the WGN broadcast booth during the seventh-inning stretch to sing “Take Me Out to the Ballgame,” a song written by Jack Norworth in 1908, the same year, coincidentally, the Cubs last won the World Series. That Tin Pan Alley song has become the unofficial anthem of baseball and a staple of Wrigley Field since it was first made popular there by broadcast legend Harry Caray.

In that booth, singers are judged by the 40,000 Cubs fans in the ballpark. Typically, they don’t expect much. They’ll forgive you for being off-key but not if you don’t know the words (just ask NASCAR driver Jeff Gordon). Even singers by trade have had rough nights at the old ballgame (just look to rock singer Ozzy Ozbourne). And being a local sports legend doesn’t necessarily let you off the hook, either (just ask Mike Ditka or Steve McMichael).

Some have argued, maybe rightfully so, that it is time to mercifully put this Wrigley Field tradition to an end. They say it has become old, tiresome, stale.

Maybe instead of killing it off it just needs a new spark, something to make it different and interesting or even a little weird or freaky.

Enter Sid Yiddish, Chicago coordinator of the Bathroom Poetry Project, and his throat singing rendition of “Take Me Out to the Ballgame,” performed at the Lovable Losers Literary Revue on May 7. (For those who don’t know, like us here at the Revue, Wikipedia informs that throat singing, also known as overtone chanting, or harmonic singing, is a type of singing in which the singer manipulates the harmonic resonances created as air travels from the lungs, past the vocal folds, and out the lips to produce a melody. The best-known of the traditional forms comes from Tuva, a small autonomous republic within the Russian Federation.)

By popular demand, the Losers now share Sid with the rest of the world, whether it's ready for him or not.  


7th Inning Stretch? from Randy Richardson on Vimeo.
Posted on Friday, May 9, 2008 at 10:41AM by Registered CommenterLovable Losers Literary Revue in | Comments8 Comments

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