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Best Baseball Songs Ever: Steve Goodman – A Dying Cub Fan’s Last Request

April 17, 2011

Steve Goodman – A Dying Cub Fan’s Last Request (1983)

Ahh, play that lonesome loser’s tune. That’s the one I like the best … What we got here is The Dying Cub Fan’s Last Request.”

Steve Goodman’s masterpiece is simply the greatest baseball song ever written and certainly one of the most heartbreaking songs of all-time. And that would probably be the case even if the songwriter’s circumstances weren’t as tragic as the fate of the Cubs themselves. Steve Goodman had been living and dying with leukemia since the late 1960s and when he wrote this prescient ballad, he only had about a year left.

To add salt to the wound, Steve Goodman would die eleven days before the Cubs would play their first post-season game in 39 years. It would have been a great day. Goodman was scheduled to sing the National Anthem and although he didn’t make to Wrigley Field in body, surely he was there in spirit.  His pal Jimmy Buffet pinch hit and the Cubs went on to win the opener 13-0. The Cubbies won again the next day 4-2 and were now one victory away from going to the World Series for the first time since “the year we dropped the bomb on Japan.” In traditional Cub fashion, defeat was snatched from the jaws of victory: they lost three straight in San Diego. They’ve been waiting for next year ever since.

As the dying man’s friends surround him on his deathbed:

He whispered, “Don’t Cry, we’ll meet by and by near the Heavenly Hall of Fame.”
He said, “I’ve got season’s tickets to watch the Angels now,
So it’s just what I’m going to do.”
He said, “But you the living, you’re stuck here with the Cubs,
So it’s me that feels sorry for you!”

Steve Goodman – A Dying Cub Fan’s Last Request MP3

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