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37 LET THE BIG HORSE RUN
John Stewart, 1975
After Secretariat won the Triple Crown in 1973—with record times that still stand at Churchill Downs and Belmont—the country clamored to see the colt race. But he never ran west of Chicago. Secretariat retired to stud, leading to this plea from Stewart to the horse's owner. Once you get past the clichéd opening, the singer implores, "Please Mrs. Tweedy/I saw him on the TV/Send him out to run in the California sun."
38 DID YOU SEE JACKIE ROBINSON HIT THAT BALL?
Buddy Johnson Orchestra, 1949
Two years after Robinson broke the color barrier in baseball came this assertion of pride in an African-American ballplayer by a black bandleader. It climbed as high as No. 13 on the charts, a measure of the excitement Robinson brought to baseball but also a window into the changing cultural scene in America.
39 THE BALLAD OF EDDIE KLEPP
Chuck Brodsky, 1996
Brodsky specializes in wonderful folk songs about baseball. In this one he keeps alive the memory of the first and probably the only white player to appear in the Negro leagues. Brodsky misspells his hero's name—it's Klep—but he gets the record straight on the born-under-a-bad-sign ballplayer who faced reverse racial discrimination as a pitcher for the Cleveland Buckeyes in 1946.