The Great American Baseball Box is a baseball fanâ€™s dream because, other than the National Baseball Hall of Fameâ€™s archives, this is quite possibly the greatest collection of historical baseball recordings ever assembled. It is a portable audio Cooperstown that enlightens and entertains the listener about Americaâ€™s pastime. Contained within the box, whose cover is textured like a base, are four CDs that offer up over four hours of baseballâ€™s legacy.
Disc 1 is a collection of music thatâ€™s associated or influenced by the game. The theme from every seventh-inning stretch, â€śTake Me Out to the Ball Gameâ€ť, performed here by The Andrews Sisters, and the lesser known â€śItâ€™s A Beautiful Day For A Ball Gameâ€ť by The Harry Simeone Songsters capture the fansâ€™ enthusiasm for a day at the ballpark. Players are memorialized in songs like â€śDid You See Jackie Robinson Hit that Ballâ€ť by Count Basie & His Orchestra, â€śI Love Mickeyâ€ť by Teresa Brewer and the songâ€™s namesake, Mickey Mantle, and â€śCatfishâ€ť by Bob Dylan. The joy of playing the game is expressed in John Fogertyâ€™s â€śCenterfieldâ€ť and Peter, Paul & Maryâ€™s â€śRight Fieldâ€ť. Itâ€™s not all fun, though, especially when your favorite team is a perennial loser. Dedicated fans can go a whole lifetime without seeing their team find success. Steve Goodman turns that frustration into laughter with â€śA Dying Cub Fanâ€™s Last Requestâ€ť.
Disc 2 features the games. These clips are not only classic baseball moments, but some have grown to such iconic heights in our culture that people who donâ€™t know their context know them. It transports the listener back to a time when a wonderful storyteller wouldnâ€™t just deliver the play-by-play, but instead would craft a tale so wonderfully that you felt like you were in the stands.
Highlights include â€śThe Shot Heard Round The Worldâ€ť when New York Giantsâ€™ Bobby Thomson homers against the Brooklyn Dodgers to win the National League pennant. Russ Hodgesâ€™ classic call â€śThe Giants win the pennant! The Giants win the pennant! The Giants win the pennant!â€ť is one of the most legendary moments in radio history. New York Giantsâ€™ Willie Mays robs the Cleveland Indiansâ€™ Vic Wertz with an over-the-shoulder catch in Game 1 of the 1954 World Series immortalized simply as â€śThe Catchâ€ť. Ted Williams hitting a home run in his final major-leaguer at bat.