"OK Blue Jays"
Song by Keith Hampshire and "The Bat Boys"
Released1983 (1983)
RecordedEastern Sound
Songwriter(s)Jack Lenz and Tony Kosinec
Lyricist(s)Alan Smith, Pat Arbour, and Tony Kosinec
Producer(s)Jack Lenz and Tony Kosinec

"OK Blue Jays" is a baseball song played during the seventh-inning stretch of home games of the Toronto Blue Jays, a Major League Baseball team based in the city of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The song includes references to the team's roster and events from the 1980s.[1] It was released in 1983 and charted 47th on RPM's singles list.[2] It was written by Jack Lenz and Tony Kosinec and is performed by Keith Hampshire and "The Bat Boys".[3][2] The song was remixed by Rob Wells and Chris Anderson in 2003.[4]

By 1986, the single had sold over 50,000 copies and was certified gold.[5] In a pre-game ceremony in 1986, Jimy Williams accepted a gold record from a recording industry representative before a game against the Milwaukee Brewers.[6]

The Blue Jays song was conceptualized by Alan Smith, Creative Director at JWT Direct. He wrote most of the lyrics together with copywriter Pat Arbour, although the first verse was written entirely by recording artist Tony Kosinec of the Lenz/Kosinec jingle house, which was hired to write the music and produce the song under Smith and Arbour's direction. The project was approved and supported by Blue Jays executive Paul Beeston. Lenz stated that Beeston "wanted the song to be fun, but not to promise too much because the team was OK".[7]

The original version of the song was about two and a half minutes long, but the version played during the seventh-inning stretch is 58 seconds long.[8] During its play, the Blue Jays JForce cheerleaders lead fans in simple stretching activities, such as clapping and fist-pumping. When the song was first introduced in 1983, a group from Fitness Ontario would lead fans in calisthenics exercises.[9] The lyrics state:[7]

The song refers to eight teams; in order, they are the Chicago White Sox, Boston Red Sox, Los Angeles Angels, Texas Rangers, New York Yankees, Cleveland Indians, Detroit Tigers, and Oakland Athletics.[7] The original version referred to the Milwaukee Brewers instead of the Los Angeles Angels.

Two individuals are mentioned by their given name only. The first is Dave Stieb, about whom the song states:[10][1]

Dave's put down a smoker
A strike
And you've got no doubt
(You're out!)

The lyrics were later changed to "Jays throw down a smoker".

The second individual mentioned is "Billy",[10] referring to Billy Martin, who had been the manager of the Oakland Athletics in 1982 and had his third stint as manager of the New York Yankees in 1983.[9]

We'll beat the A's so bad it'll make Billy blue

The refrain of the song is:[7][1]

OK Blue Jays!
Let's play ball!

The song ends with the sound of a bat swung by Willie Upshaw striking a pitched baseball.[11]

Personnel

The Bat Boys

Production

References

  1. ^ a b c Miller, Doug. "The Bigs List: Ballpark traditions". Major League Baseball. Retrieved 2009-06-02.
  2. ^ a b "RPM 50 Singles". RPM (through Library and Archives Canada). September 17, 1983. Archived from the original on October 8, 2012. Retrieved 2009-06-02.
  3. ^ "Keith Hampshire Music". Keith Hampshire Official Homepage. www.keithhampshire.com. Retrieved 2010-06-25.
  4. ^ Chubb, Christine (14 August 2015). "Flashback Friday: A history of Blue Jays songs, official and very unofficial". CFTR (AM). Retrieved 24 November 2016.
  5. ^ "Baseball Almanac". The Bryan Times. June 27, 1986. Retrieved 2009-06-02.
  6. ^ Clarke, Steve (2013). 100 things Blue Jays fans should know & do before they die. Triumph Books. ISBN 9781623682385.
  7. ^ a b c d "Just in case you didn't know: 'OK Blue Jays' has verses". Global News. The Canadian Press. 8 October 2015. Retrieved 24 November 2016.
  8. ^ O'Connor, Joe (7 October 2016). "OK, Blue Jays: Meet the singer behind Toronto's iconic baseball song". National Post. Retrieved 9 October 2016.
  9. ^ a b Pentis, Andrew (5 August 2012). "Stadium Songs: Toronto Blue Jays". ESPN. Retrieved 24 November 2016.
  10. ^ a b Graham, Jennifer (8 October 2015). "'OK Blue Jays' song written when team was 'kind of OK'". The Canadian Press. Retrieved 24 November 2016.
  11. ^ Smith, Matthew (18 October 2015). "2015: A Home Run Hit List for the Toronto Blue Jays". Geeks and Beats. Retrieved 24 November 2016.