Re-create a baseball game in your mind using only the music you hear at the ballpark
Baseball is a sound-oriented game. The crack of the bat, the roar of the crowd, the familiar howls of food vendors as they bring an array of treats and confections up and down the aisles ... and so on.
Also crucial to the ballpark experience is the music -- specifically, the individual songs you just know you're going to hear when you go to a game. The same musical cues occur in each game, and the in-stadium public address system plays its role quite consistently. It's all part of the experience.
Let's take a trip to a typical baseball game, shall we?
OK, now that the game's about to start, it's time to get serious. Please stand and remove your caps for the playing of the Star-Spangled Banner.
Accompanying each player to his position on the field is a member of the local Little League team, having the thrill of a lifetime -- set to John Fogerty's "Centerfield."
Fast-forward to the bottom of the first inning
Runners on the corners, one out, the cleanup hitter steps in. The fans are anxious, anticipating a big blast perhaps?
And he hits a three-run double in the gap!
We move now to the top of the third ...
After one-out walk, the pitcher coaxes the opposing catcher to ground into a 6-4-3 double play.
In the bottom of the fourth, the opposing starter is laboring. He's lost command of the strike zone, and is taking his time out there on the mound.
Two walks have put him in a bit of a bind, but with two outs he can slip out of the jam if he makes his pitches. The crowd's getting into it ...
... but the pitcher settles down, making it through the frame with the visiting team trailing, 3-0. The wheels are falling off in the bottom of the fifth, though. With fresh arms warming in the bullpen, he started the inning with a four-pitch walk.
And here comes the pitching coach for a mound visit.
He stays in the game and retires the side to conclude his five-inning effort. He wasn't especially sharp, but he got the job done and kept his team within striking distance.
The top of the sixth inning was met with a bit of controversy, as a fair-or-foul ball down the left-field line led to a replay review.
It's ruled a foul ball. Potential rally quashed, the inning ends quickly. We'll head to the bottom of the sixth on this warm summer evening.
Now, please direct your attention to the scoreboard for some announcements.
The first pitch of the bottom of the sixth is blasted to deep center field, a home run!
We'll head to the seventh-inning stretch with the home team holding on to that 4-0 lead.
And now it's time for some crowd favorite singalongs.
Shout-out to both bullpens for keeping things scoreless in the eighth.
We head onward to the ninth, the home team just three outs away from a win. Here comes the dominant closer ...
... or any number of other songs. The possibilities here are endless ...
(10 pitches later)
Aaaaand that's the ballgame!
BONUS: A few regional favorites, for Los Angeles, New York, Cleveland and Boston, that have become iconic for their baseball game usage ...
For your listening pleasure, here's all of the music above in handy Spotify playlist format, so you can take the ballgame with you wherever you go. Enjoy.
Adrian Garro joined MLB.com in 2016. Throughout his travels, both Bartolo Colon and Vin Scully have placed their hands on his shoulders. Not at the same time, though. That'd be amazing.