The Cardinals trailed the National League wildcard-leading Atlanta Braves by 8.5 games just three weeks ago. Now, it’s a dead heat and they could be heading to the playoffs. Or, they could be setting us up for the biggest tease in St. Louis baseball history (not counting JD Drew, of course).
Regardless, one thing is for sure: with so much at stake over the past two weeks, it already feels like the Cardinals are playing playoff baseball. And if there’s one thing that must be enjoyed during playoff baseball, it’s crappy musical anthems. Because the ’11 season could come crashing down in the near proximity, we suggest you enjoy the following “Cardinals playlist” while you can.
Kool and the Gang – “Celebration”
Origin: The Cardinals 1982 playoff run
Kool and Gang reached the top of the Billboard chart in 1981 with their hit, “Celebration.” The simplistic song title was good enough to encapsulate the local emotion garnered from the Cardinals’ first World Series championship since 1967.
The title was carried over to the “official” seasonal montage produced by KMOX. Pick it up on eBay today for as little as $5.00.
Glenn Frey – “The Heat is On”
Origin: The Cardinals 1985 playoff run
When you think Whiteyball, you can’t help but whistle the legendary saxophone that leads Glenn Frey’s “The Heat is On” and dream about Vince, Ozzie and Willie. The title was also fitting for the harsh St. Louis summers. Temperature references kill in this town.
The also song accompanied the Cardinals October run in 1985, but most importantly, it’s prominently featured as the soundtrack for 1985′s “Heck of a Year” video – which should have won several cinematic awards for its domination on betamax.
Bob Seger – “Shakedown”
Origin: The Cardinals 1987 playoff run
Bob Seger jumped into the mix during the Cardinals’ 1987 playoff run. The Cardinals latched on to the song during the NLCS against the San Francisco Giants, but the song got increasingly popular in the subsequent World Series matchup with the Minnesota Twins.
Because you’ve been so attentive, here’s another Bob Seger nugget: he performed “America the Beautiful” at the first game of the 2006 World Series between the St. Louis Cardinals and the Detroit Tigers. A lot of positive mojo surrounding the Cardinals and Bob Seger.
Then again, Tony La Russa has positive aura around every lead singer from the 80′s.
Vengaboys – “We Like to Party”
Origin: The Cardinals 2006 World Series Rally
As the St. Louis fan base patiently waited for their team to arrive on stage at the World Series ceremony, Vengaboys blared across the Busch Stadium sound system. We’re not sure why or how this song entered the mix in after winning the franchise’s first championship since 1982, but it did. Maybe it was some secretive cross-promotional effort with Six Flags and their scary old dude that dances.
Whatever it was, it sucked.
But it’s a part of Cardinal history now. We must embrace it. Well, kind of.
Black Eyed Peas – “Let’s Get it Started”
Origin: Cardinals 2004 postseason anthem
If you’re thinking that this playlist couldn’t get any lamer with the presence of the Vengaboys, guess again. During the Cardinals playoff push in 2004, a local radio host cut a special version of “Let Get is Started” by the Black Eyed Peas. That’s right, a “special” edition.
What’s odd is that this hip-hop rendition was constructed by Craig Cornett, who worked at 93.7 FM, a country station.
Although, it’s not nearly as weird as million of people being tricked into believable that the Black Eyed Peas are talented musicians.
DJ Casper – “Cha Cha Slide”
Origin: Played over the Busch Stadium PA every five-minutes
Everybody clap. your. hands. (clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap). Clap yo hands, y’all (clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap clap).
We’re not exactly sure why the Cardinals think their fan base needs cheering cues like they’re sitting through a Jay Leno monologue, but that’s the state of anthems in professional baseball Busch Stadium.
Phil Collins – “In the Air Tonight”
Origin: Nick Punto’s 2011 at-bat song
It would be negligent for us to not suggest this year’s Cardinals official unofficial anthem. In a season that saw 23 different players come to the plate, only Pujols, Berkman and Nick Punto have kept the same at-bat music (according to Cardinals DJ, Damon Oliver).
We’re picking Punto’s music as this year’s anthem because his demeanor (read: scrappy) defines the Cardinals persistence and tenacity throughout a season that saw plenty of adversity. The tempo of Phil Collins’ classic also audibly reflects the roller-coaster season. Quiet….then loud. Up….then down.
Besides, Berkman’s at-bat music (“God’s Gonna Cut You Down” by Johnny Cash) is a little too bleak.