Daydreaming about a fantasy baseball camp? Put some music to your ears, mind and soul, especially with the return of the boys of summer for America’s pastime.
Pretend you are a professional baseball player, maybe for the 2015-16 Carolina League Mills Cup champion Myrtle Beach Pelicans – whose home season begins April 13 – or their parent club, the Chicago Cubs, who rallied from a 3-1 World Series deficit last year to claim the Commissioner’s Trophy.
What tune would you want pumping through the stadium speakers when you come up to bat? It’s a bases-loaded question.
Gary Valentine, a TV and movie actor, and comedian – with roles including Danny Heffernan, cousin to Doug Heffernan (his real-life younger brother, Kevin James) on “The King of Queens,” a CBS sitcom for nine seasons (1998-2007) – answered by phone last week before heading into the studio on a project.
Remembering his song for walking onto stage years ago for standup shows, Valentine named the same number he’d bring with him to the batter’s box: Aerosmith’s “Dude (Looks Like A Lady),” from 1987.
“At one point,” the Long Island, N.Y., native said, reflecting on college days on the diamond, “I wanted to play professional baseball, ... but by the time you’re 22 years old, you’re too old to get scouted.”
For more than a decade, though, Valentine has been a veteran player in the annual “Monday After the Masters” golf tournament, the Hootie & the Blowfish “Monday After the Masters Celebrity Pro-Am” at Barefoot Resort near North Myrtle Beach, for the group’s foundation (hootiegolf.com) in a benefit for various charities.
Then Valentine always spends a night performing at Comedy Cabana, 9588 N. Kings Highway, just north of Myrtle Beach. The tradition continues with shows at 7:30 and 9:30 p.m. Tuesday. (Buy tickets, for $17.50 or $20, at 843-449-4242 or comedycabana.com.)
“It’s great,” Valentine said of this yearly Grand Strand Monday-Tuesday routine. “I love it down there, and I’ve been bringing my wife for the last five years.”
Asked about the USA Sports Weekly March 29 cover page – which tossed around the idea of a New York Mets-Boston Red Sox World Series rematch, under the the headline “Is it ’86 again?” – Valentine, a devout Metropolitans fan who cheered for his team winning that title – agreed: “That sounds right.”
Here’s how some other local notable personalities sounded off on their choices for walk-up music.
From the Myrtle Beach Pelicans, who since 2015, in their first two years as the Class A-Advanced affiliate of the Chicago Cubs, won the Carolina League Mills Cup championship:
▪ Andy Milovich, Pelicans’ president and general manager: “Shut ’em Down” by Public Enemy – “The chorus and baseline are really intense to ramp up the moment. ... Pick up from ‘Hear go the sound of the wreckin’ ball. Boom and pound. When I – shut ’em down.’”
▪ Jen Brunson, Pelicans’ senior director of community development: “Let Me Clear My Throat” by DJ Kool.
▪ Scott Kornberg, broadcaster and manager of media relations for Myrtle Beach Pelicans: “As a pitcher: the ‘Game of Thrones’ theme, because of its intensity of it. I feel like it'd get me zeroed in and focused, ready to smite my opponents. As a hitter, ‘Drops of Jupiter’ by Train, because there's significantly less time for their walk-ups. You need a good sing-along song there to get the crowd into it, and that's clearly the best song ever created.”
Bobby Holland, senior general manager of The Ripken Experience in Myrtle Beach: “Iron Man” by Black Sabbath. – “It immediately gets fans pumped up, has a slow tempo building intro, and then lays down the thunder ... (and) I work for the Iron Man himself, baseball Hall of Famer, Cal Ripken, Jr. Additionally, I won the company (Ripken Baseball’s) ‘Iron Man’ award in 2010 for ‘my tireless efforts, perseverance and dedication toward success, The Ripken Way.’”
Jennifer Averette, executive director of the Grand Strand Miracle Leagues, which gets individuals with disabilities out on the diamond at James C. Benton Miracle League Field in Myrtle Beach: “Unstoppable” by Sia.
Becky Large, executive director of the Champion Autism Network, based in Surfside Beach: “Eye on It” by TobyMac.
Darley Newman, host and producer for PBS’ “Travels with Darley” – with new episodes premiering on ETV, 7-7:30 p.m. Fridays through April 21: “We are the Champions” by Queen.
Jerry Dalton, founder and director of the 12th annual Myrtle Beach International Film Festival, April 17-22 at the Grand 14 Cinema, at The Market Common in Myrtle Beach: “The Power” by Snap, or “Thunderstruck” by AC/DC.
Chip White, whose latest short movie, “Crab Trap” – which he co-produced and filmed in the south Strand – will play in the 5-7 p.m. block on April 22 at the Myrtle Beach International Film Festival: “Come with Me Now” by Kongos – “It just feels like a good pump up the crowd, a ‘Let’s go on the adventure’ kind of song.”
Bill Oberst Jr., Georgetown native and Los Angeles-based actor: “Centerfield” by John Fogerty – “The theme from the climatic home run by Robert Redford in ‘The Natural,’ is just too pompous for anyone else to get away with. ‘Centerfield,’ I could (just barely) pull off.”
Mikey Hough, owner of Water Dog Promotions, who books the artists for every “Mayfest on Main” in North Myrtle Beach – for which Great White, Russell Thompkins Jr. and the New Stylistics, and Blue Monday will perform at 12:30 p.m. May 13: “We Will Rock You” by Queen.
From “Easy Radio,” simulcast on WEZV-FM 105.9 and WGTN-FM 100.7:
▪ Matt Sedota, general manager: “Something orchestral, from a movie score, perhaps ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ or ‘The Natural.’”
▪ Diane DeVaughn Stokes, radio host of “Diane at Six,” 6-7 p.m. Mondays-Fridays, and on the“Inside Out” monthly TV show on HTC channel 4: “You Gotta Have Heart,” from the musical “Damn Yankees.” – “That song’s lyrics are not just an encouragement to ballplayers in the game, but to anyone whose world is upside down. ... That’s what I was singing in my living room as I watched Coach Gary Gilmore and the Coastal Carolina University baseball team take the 2016 College World Series title.”
From WRNN-FM “Hot Talk” 99.5’s morning show, 6-10 a.m. Mondays-Fridays:
▪ Liz Callaway: “Get the Party Started” by Pink.
▪ Dave Priest: “A walk-up song should invite crowd participation, rock, say something about you either through title or lyrics, and intimidate the other team as you stride to the plate. My mind keeps going back to the movie “Major League,” when ‘Wild Thing,’ came over the speakers and the crowd went nuts from the first chord. I was thinking ‘(You Gotta) Fight for Your Right (To Party)’ from Beastie Boys; it goes from the one note being held to ‘Kick it!’ which would get the crowd into it immediately. Maybe ‘Self Esteem’ from The Offspring, another great intro to get the crowd going, or ‘You’ve got Another Thing Coming’ by Judas Priest, because, well, Priest.”
Night Train, Cumulus Myrtle Beach’s operations manager, weekday afternoon drive host on WLFF-FM “Nash” 106.5, and program director for WSYN-FM “Sunny” 103.1: “I Won’t Back Down,” by Tom Petty.
Steve Palisin, who thought of this feature idea last summer, long before his hometown Cleveland Indians, fielding the best team in his lifetime, watched another Watch Series within grasp bounce away: Trisha Yearwood’s “She’s In Love with the Boy,” or George Strait’s “Living and Living Well.” Keeping it country, with that respective royalty to my ears, is the only way onto base for me.
Contact Steve Palisin at 843-444-1764.
If you go
WHO: Myrtle Beach Pelicans, 2015-16 Carolina League Mills Cup champions, in third year as Class A-Advanced affiliate of Chicago Cubs
OPENING HOMESTAND: Against Lynchburg Hillcats, a Cleveland Indians farm club from Virginia, at 7:05 p.m. April 13-15 and 6:05 p.m. April 16; and Buies Creek (N.C.) Astros (Houston Astros), 7:05 p.m. April 17-19.
WHERE: TicketReturn.com Field at Pelicans Ballpark, 1251 21st Ave. N., Myrtle Beach (Enter parking lot from Robert M. Grissom Parkway).
HOW MUCH: $9, $11 or $13 advance – and $2 more on game day. Also, $3 discount for military, with ID.
TELECASTS: All Saturday-Sunday home games air on WWMB-TV 21 – an affiliate with The CW network – with Scott Kornberg on play by play, with guest color analysts.
WEEKLY THEME NIGHTS:
▪ “Backpack Buddies Mondays” – Donate an item from Help 4 Kids’ Backpack Buddies list (help4kidssc.com) – ravioli, pasta or chicken noodle soup with a pop top, as well as Vienna sausage, peanut butter crackers, Pop-Tarts, Ramen noodles, apple sauce, fruit cups, Beenie Weenies, and individual servings of pudding or cereal – for relay to children of needy Horry County families – and receive half-off ticket prices for Monday games.
▪ “Craft Tuesdays” – with $2 draught beers, 6-8 p.m.
▪ “Weiner Wednesdays” – 2-for-1 hot dogs (Buy one, get one free).
▪ “Thursday Thursdays” – Budweiser and Bud Light $1 draughts and $2 cans, 6-8 p.m.
▪ “Foodie Fridays” – with upgrades including a rotation of special meals, such as all-you-can-eat oyster roast on April 14, 6:30-8:30 p.m.
▪ “Locals Appreciation Saturdays,” with $3 discount with local ID (for Horry and Georgetown counties) at box office.
▪ “Family Sundays” – Bring your ball and glove for pregame Catch in the outfield, weather permitting, open 10 minutes after gates open.
INFORMATION: 843-918-6000, 877-918-8499 (TIXX) or www.myrtlebeachpelicans.com.