Thank Caray, Chicago for popularity of 'Take Me Out to the Ballgame'
CHICAGO -- For Joe Rios, the nerves show up 81 times a year. And always in the seventh inning. He's usually standing in a Wrigley Field hallway, listening to Jeff Gordon, Ozzy Osbourne or some other celebrity lead 40,000 Cubs fans in "Take Me Out to the Ballgame," worrying about everything that could go wrong.What if the mike stops working? What if the singer forgets to cue the crowd and the organist with "a one, a two, a three?" What if he or she forgets the words? Or refers to the ballpark as "Wrigley Stadium"? But the man who has spent the past 10 seasons in charge of Wrigley's seventh-inning show never worries about one thing: the performance itself. "If they sound great, that's a bonus," Rios said. "If they sound bad, well, that can be pretty funny. You could say it adds to the Harry way of doing things." And that, after all, is the reason why, since 1998, Bea Arthur, Horatio Sanz, Muhammad Ali, Richard Petty, "Macho Man" Randy Savage, Hank Stram and so many others have stood in that television booth and belted the famous baseball jingle -- as a tribute to Harry Caray.
|• Punch Brothers|
|• Gretchen Wilson|
For some of these well-traveled professional entertainers, you would think this is nothing to them. It's a baseball game. But they are scared out of their wits. And then the second they're done, they don't want to leave. They want to do it again.
--Joe Rios, the man in charge of Wrigley Field's seventh-inning entertainment, on those who sing "Take Me Out to the Ballgame"