Every Major League Baseball Team’s Victory Song, Ranked
The Giants will host the Royals tonight for Game 3 of the World Series. If the home team triumphs, you can expect to hear Tony Bennett’s “I Left My Heart in San Francisco” echo through AT&T Park after the final out. At Kauffman Stadium, the Royals won’t cap off a successful night with the Lorde song that shares their name, but with the Beatles’ “Kansas City.” Every Major League Baseball team has a win song (or a rotation of several) they’ve selected to celebrate victories at home. Some stadiums cherry-pick crowd-pleasers from the top 40; others have stood by the same hometown anthems for decades.
Needless to say, some of these songs are much, much better than others.
We reached out to all 30 MLB teams to find out their victory song for the 2014 season, and then we ranked them, because of course we did. Our highly scientific analysis accounted for factors like originality, local flavor, timelessness and a heavy dose of arbitrary opinion, and is therefore indisputable and in every way empirically valid. Admittedly, certain cities have it easier when it comes to finding an emblematic track—as far as we know, Frank Sinatra never had a hit with “Cincinnati, Cincinnati.”
Take careful note of your ballpark’s victory song of choice. Depending on what the DJ has in store, you might find yourself rooting for the other team. The countdown, from worst to best:
30. Toronto Blue Jays
This first time we heard “Happy” felt like the millionth time we heard “Happy.” The millionth time we heard “Happy” was about three days later. Anyway, expect something new in 2015—the Blue Jays change their victory song every season.
29. St. Louis Cardinals
The Cardinals didn’t respond to a request for confirmation, but one fan reports that “Timber” was the team’s win song as of April. The good news: It’s not “What Do the Cards Have,” a disconcerting “What Does the Fox Say” parody from the 2013 postseason. The bad news: This isn’t the last time you’ll come across Pitbull in this list.
28. Milwaukee Brewers
American Authors, “Best Day of My Life”
If you feel like you heard this song (which, to be fair, isn’t bad) in every single episode of every single TV show that aired in 2014, that’s because you did.
27. Houston Astros, 26. Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, 25. Oakland Athletics, 24. San Diego Padres [Tie]
Kool & the Gang, “Celebration”
We love this song—if only one team played it, “Celebration” would crack our top 10 for sure—but come on, you guys. We should point out that the Astros also mark wins with Rare Earth’s “I Just Want to Celebrate,” and overall, the A’s have pretty solid taste in music. Oakland plays Weezer’s “Say It Ain’t So” when they lose, and outfielder Josh Reddick hilariously opted for the sultry sax of “Careless Whisper” as his personal walk-up music this season.
23. Tampa Bay Rays
Derren Moore, “Feel the Heat”
Tampa Bay commissioned this song when they rebranded from the Devil Rays to the Rays in 2008. It’s fine.
22. Baltimore Orioles
DJ Khaled, “All I Do Is Win”
21. San Francisco Giants
Tony Bennett, “I Left My Heart in San Francisco”
This is a classic song, yes, and Tony Bennett is a legend, yes, but…is “I Left My Heart in San Francisco” really a victory song? It’s kind of a downer. Let this be a lesson to you: A city reference in the title does not a baseball anthem make.
20. Detroit Tigers
“Go Get ‘Em Tigers”
It takes courage to go full kitsch. In 2014, the team also included “All I Do Is Win” and James Brown’s “I Feel Good” in their victory song rotation.
19. Washington Nationals
Pink, “Raise Your Glass”
Whatever, man. We like Pink. This may have been Nationals Park’s victory song of choice in years past, but we were unable to officially confirm whether it was played last season. On D.C. sports radio, 106.7 The Fan plays Journey’s “Separate Ways (World Apart)” when the Nats win.
18. Pittsburgh Pirates
The Buzz Poets, “A New Pirate Generation”
The Buzz Poets hail from Pittsburgh, so points for hometown pride. We’re also partial to “We Are Family,” the theme song of the Pirates’ 1979 championship season.
17. Minnesota Twins
U2, “Beautiful Day”
16. Miami Marlins
Pitbull, “Echa Pa’lla (Manos Pa’rriba)”
The title of this Latin Grammy-winning track translates to “Move (Hands Up).” Pitbull’s an obvious choice for Miami, but we give them credit for being the only team to choose a Spanish-language victory song.
15. New York Mets
Bachman-Turner Overdrive, “Takin’ Care of Business”
Alas, the team confirmed this year that Citi Field now plays any of a variety of songs to conclude a win, but this Bachman-Turner Overdrive was once the standard. Goofy fight song “Meet the Mets” is also required listening.
14. Atlanta Braves
Zombie Nation, “Kernkraft 400”
As everyone’s favorite all-purpose anthem, “Kernkraft 400” is admittedly totally overused in sports, but that’s because it’s awesome. “Kernkraft 400” is reserved for Braves wins, but regardless of the game’s outcome, Turner Field always ends the night with Ray Charles’ “Georgia on My Mind.”
13. Texas Rangers
Pat Green, “I Like Texas”
The Rangers sure know how to stick to a theme: Get ready to hear “Deep in the Heart of Texas,” too.
12. Chicago Cubs
Steve Goodman, “Go, Cubs, Go!”
“Go, Cubs, Go” made its debut in 1984. Three decades later, it’s still kicking. Wrigley Field is also known for its celebrity-led renditions of “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” during the seventh-inning stretch.
11. Arizona Diamondbacks
Rogers Clyne and the Peacemakers, “D-backs Swing”
Tucson native Roger Clyne—who’s also responsible for the King of the Hill theme—wrote this song as tribute to his favorite team. For a custom-written track, it’s actually pretty good.
10. Seattle Mariners
Jimi Hendrix, “Fire”
Hendrix, you see, was born in Seattle. Safeco Field observes the seventh-inning stretch with “Louie Louie,” the 1963 megahit by the Kingsmen, a homegrown Portland group.
9. Kansas City Royals
The Beatles, “Kansas City”
When the Royals lose at Kauffman Stadium, they play the Wilbert Harrison version of the same song. See what they did there?
8. Colorado Rockies
Joe Walsh, “Rocky Mountain Way”
In 2014, the Rockies unveiled a new theme song, “Take the Field,” recorded by the Colorado Symphony. Sorry, but “Rocky Mountain Way” is way, way better.
7. Cincinnati Reds
Foxy Shazam, “Unstoppable”
Like the D-backs, the Reds spotlight a local talent with their win song: The band Foxy Shazam is based in Cincinnati. Based on this batshit music video alone, we’re on board.
6. Chicago White Sox
The Blues Brothers, “Sweet Home Chicago”
You can’t go wrong with the Blues Brothers. See also: “Let’s Go, Go-Go White Sox,” a team fight song dating back to 1959.
5. Los Angeles Dodgers
Randy Newman, “I Love L.A.”
Randy Newman’s ode to Los Angeles is so goofy and self-deprecating that it stops being goofy and self-deprecating and becomes legitimately iconic.
4. New York Yankees
Frank Sinatra, “New York, New York”
The Sinatra standard is always played after the final out, regardless of a game’s outcome. Yankee Stadium once reserved Frank’s version for wins and Liza Minnelli’s for losses, but put a stop to this practice when she complained.
3. Philadelphia Phillies
Harry Kalas, “High Hopes”
When the beloved Phillies announcer passed away in 2009, Citizens Bank Park played his cover of the Frank Sinatra song during the seventh-inning stretch of the first home game after his death. The team didn’t respond to our request to confirm that it carried on into 2014, but commemorating wins with Kalas’ “High Hopes” soon became a Philadelphia tradition. Major points for sentimental value.
2. Cleveland Indians
The Presidents of the United States of America, “Cleveland Rocks”
The Drew Carey Show theme, recorded in 1997, also serves as a hometown anthem for the Cleveland Cavaliers. We love it. “Hang On Sloopy,” another great song, is frequently heard in the eighth inning at Progressive Field—thanks in large part to its association with The Ohio State University Marching Band.
1. Boston Red Sox
The Standells, “Dirty Water”
“Dirty Water” is literally everything anyone could want from a victory song: It’s timeless, it’s awesome and it’s definitively about Boston without being totally annoying about it. Between that and “Sweet Caroline,” Fenway may very well have the best soundtrack in baseball.