Tuesday Tunes: Diamond Ditty #3 – “Wild Thing” by The Troggs

17 02 2015

Here’s my third “Tuesday Tunes” – where I post about a song that has something to do with baseball!  This one comes on the heels of my post about the movie “Major League“.

Artist/Title/Album: “Wild Thing” by The Troggs (From Nowhere, 1966)

The_Troggs From_Nowhere

also: “Wild Thing” by X (Major League soundtrack, 1989)

Major League Blu Ray case

Description:  “Wild Thing” was written by NYC songwriter Chris Taylor in 1965 and first recorded that year by the band The Wild Ones.  But it became famous through 2 subsequent recordings.  The new English band The Troggs recorded the song the next year and that version became a #1 hit.  Jimi Hendrix recorded the song live in 1967 at the Monterey Pop Festival, and he lit his guitar on fire at the end of the song.

Recognition:

  • #1 on the Billboard Hot 100
  • #261 on Rolling Stone’s list of the the 500 greatest songs of all time

How it’s related to baseball:  It’s the most recognizable song from the movie “Major League”.  A cover of the song by punk rock band “X” is played when Ricky Vaughn comes out of the bullpen in the last game against the Yankees.

Life came to imitate art soon thereafter.  Entrance music had been around for relief pitchers for decades, but it had primarily been organists playing clever songs.  Sparky Lyle came out to “Pomp and Circumstance” for the Yankees in the late 70’s, and Al Hrabosky had come out to “Hungarian Symphony #2”.  In 1989, the Chicago Cubs’ new closer Mitch Williams garnered the nickname “Wild Thing” for his blazing fastball and control problems.  The Wrigley Field organist played the song when Williams’ entered the game.

1989 Topps Traded Mitch Williams

Williams eventually moved on to the Phillies, and with the large-scale sound systems now in ballparks, was soon coming out to the actual song played by X.  This gave traction to the idea of rock and metal entrance songs for relief pitchers.

Wild thing
You make my heart sing
You make everything … groovy
Wild thing

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