We know that famous athletes often get to have special songs associated with them. Back in the day, they used to compose special songs for players like Willie Mays (“Say What? Say who? Say Willie!“) or Jackie Robinson (“Did you see Jackie Robinson hit that ball?“). Joe DiMaggio was immortalized in “Mrs. Robinson” by Simon and Garfunkel. Even today, really great closers get to lay claim to popular songs they use as their theme music when they enter from the pen.

andysheetstigers.jpgBut one ballplayer who almost certainly never expected to have a special song, let alone a special song composed specifically for him which mentions him by name, is Andy Sheets.

Those of you who have really good memories will recall Andy Sheets as a journeyman utility infielder who hit for a .216 batting average and 19 home runs in parts of 7 seasons with the Mariners, Padres, Angels, Red Sox, and Devil Rays.

Yes, that Andy Sheets, the guy at least one blog has called “a poor man’s Mike Benjamin.” Ouch.

hanshintigersfan.jpgBut now Sheets is playing in the Nippon Professional Baseball league, serving as the everyday first baseman for the Hanshin Tigers, who are Japan’s answer to the Boston Red Sox in a number of ways.

One of the ways the Tigers resemble the Sox is their hyper-emotional fans, who are the most fanatical of all the Japanese teams. They insist on writing a special song, not just for the stars, but for every player on the team, and belt out that player’s song at the top of their lungs, not just in crucial situations, but every time he comes to bat for the entire season.

And thus Andy Sheets finds himself with his own song, named after him, and dedicated to his glory:

http://tigers-hm.net/03sheets.html

(Even if you can’t read Japanese, all you have to do is click on the play button in the middle of the screen)

Not that Sheets isn’t at least somewhat deserving of his own song. In four seasons in Japan he’s compiled a .299 batting average and blasted 86 homers.

andysheetstigers03.jpgAnd just in case you are curious as to what it all means, this is my English translation of the glorious lyrics of the glorious Andy Sheets Song!

Andy! Andy!

Let’s start a contact-hitting revolution!

Hero for a new generation, Andy Sheets!

Here’s a chance! It’s a hit!

Here we go!

Oh, Andy! Here we go!

Andy! Andy!

By the way, if this demo version intended to help fans learn the song doesn’t sound all that impressive, you’ll just have to imagine a packed house at Koshien Stadium, shaking the place to its foundations, and screaming this at the top of their lungs. Also, imagine about 50 more drums, hundreds more horns, and thousands more whistles.

I don’t think “awe-inspiring” is too strong a word.

3 Responses to “Andy Sheets: Hero for a New Generation”

  1. Paul Moro says:

    The best thing about Japanese baseball may actually be the fans. Go to pretty much any stadium over there and the crowd is often deafening. Everyone seems to know exactly what they’re doing, when to sing these songs, when to beat their drums and to what exact rhythm.

  2. Unfortunately, the contact-hitting revolution will NOT be televised.

  3. Hallo, I’m an Italian boy. I didn’t know the baseball very well before moving to Japan for work.

    Now, after 5 years:

    - I’ve become a big fan of the Hanshin Tigers;

    - I go to the stadium 5-7 times a year;

    - I like the atmosphere of the Japanese stadiums very very very much!!!!

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