For the past 24 years, the Chicago Cubs have carried on the tradition of when TV announcer Harry Caray would lead the crowd singing “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” in the middle of the 7th inning -- always ending with "Now, Let's...Get...Some...Runs!!" What the team has done, after Harry passed away during the off-season, is bring in "guest conductors" to lead the singing. Some are national celebrities, some local Chicago celebrities, and occasionally they just gave a deserving local person the chance. And all continue Harry's tradition of how he began and ended the song.
The team had an online vote by season ticket holders of the Top 10 favorite guest conductors. Though most are national personalities, a few are local so you won't recognize everyone, but they have helpful graphics to put things in reasonable perspective. And performances range from really good to truly terrible to just plain fun. And I've even posted a few of them here on this site.
I don’t want to give away who’ll be appearing, but #4 and #5 are famous in Chicago for being absolutely, horrifically terrible. In fact, half the fun of #4 is watching the reaction of the fans in the stands, as well as announcer Steve Stone in the booth and most especially, showing how otherworldly bad this is, taking away their attention on the game, even the bewildered players in the Cubs dugout, who are used to hearing the singing every game. (As for #5, I actually heard it live, and it was hilarious at the time and remains so.) In fact, I heard several of these live. The only person I'll mention specifically is someone local who you won't otherwise know. It's Gary Pressy, who was the team's organist and accompanied all these "guest conductors" over the years. And when I say "all," I mean all. He played the organ at 2,633-consecutive games and didn't missed a day in 33 years. On the day he retired at the end of the 2019 season, the team had him not just play the organ, but be the "guest conductor" singing.
And I might as well mention Pearl Jam lead singer Eddie Vedder, who you can see below. He's a major Cubs fan, who's been "guest conductor" many times -- and when the Cubs made the playoffs in 2015, he was so upset that Pearl Jam had a concert tour set up and he couldn't attend the games that for the next year, he made sure the band had no tour in October -- which was a good thing because that's the year they won their first World Series in 108 years. That's when he was "guest conductor" below (though there's a bonus treat with it. I shall say no more.)
Sing along... A one, a two, a threeeee --
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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