Bob Costas, John Smoltz to call Cubs game, sing ‘Take Me Out to the Ball Game’
John Smoltz will be paired with iconic broadcaster Bob Costas for MLB Network’s coverage of Tuesday night’s game between the Chicago Cubs and Los Angeles Dodgers at Wrigley Field.
While hearing Costas call a game will be a treat for baseball fans, the fact that both he and Smoltz will sing “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” during the seventh-inning stretch probably is the one part of the evening the two broadcasters — both of whom have never handled such duties — are facing with some semblance of dread.
Despite some understandable trepidation, Smoltz is looking forward to the novel opportunity to take part in such a time-honored tradition.
“You look forward to the seventh inning in that park unlike any other park based on the tradition of what Harry (Caray) has done,” Smoltz said, via the Chicago Tribune.
Costas, who revered the legendary Harry Caray and held the iconic broadcaster in the highest regard, explained why he’s never sung “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” at Wrigley.
“After Harry died and they started running people through, 1998, ’99, I was asked a few times,” Costas said. “And I always declined because I felt that was Harry’s moment; it was Harry’s creation. Others did it and that’s fine, I just didn’t feel as if I should then. But now, although he’ll always be connected to it, it’s 20-plus years later and it’s a Cubs thing as much as it is a Harry thing, so I’m more comfortable doing it now.”
There have of course been no shortage of luminaries who have sung the song during the seventh-inning stretch at Wrigley, some who were accomplished vocalists and others who were … not so much. Costas is confident he’ll fall somewhere in the middle of the singing quality spectrum.
“I think there have probably been some very good singers along the way,” Costas said. “But most are in the category of just warbling along. I think I’ll probably be better than the worst of them and not quite as good as the best of them.”