Written In The Stars: An Abbreviated History Of Postseason Promos

Pitcher C.J. Wilson of the Texas Rangers in the dugout in the fifth inning while taking on the Tampa Bay Rays during Game One of the American League Division Series at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington on September 30, 2011 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

Take an audio-visual journey back in time and re-discover your favorite postseason promos from the 1980s to today.

You're sick of it. I'm sick of it. Everyone you follow on Twitter is sick of it. All of your Facebook "friends" are sick of it. 

No, I'm not talking about the Kardashian-family media empire. That's a post for another day.

It's the Major League Baseball postseason commercial on MLB Network and TBS featuring the song Written in the Stars by Tinie Tempah. Just as a refresher, here's one version making the rounds:

Actually, the song was composed by Tinie Tempah (Patrick Okogwu), Eshraque "iSHi" Mughal, Eric Turner and Charlie Bernardo and is performed by Tempah "featuring" Eric Turner. Here's the official trailer for the song:


That's right. The song is largely Tempah rapping about growing up with financial insecurity in the inner city contrasted with Eric Turner's booming, uplifting chorus. But we only hear Turner's uplifting chorus because, well, I guess MLB and TBS didn't think the rap was inspirational enough. 

Maybe they should have stuck with Kid Rock or Bon Jovi.

Kid Rock's Born Free provided the soundtrack for TBS's coverage of the 2010 MLB postseason. The CD -- also titled Born Free -- was the first by Kid Rock without a parental advisory. Now, that's inspiring! Here's the long-form version of the promo. 


I think Kid Rock just lucked into the 2010 postseason gig by writing a song with the word "born" in the title. Bon Jovi headlined TBS's 2009 postseason promos with We Weren't Born to Follow. Now that's a song for the playoffs! Heroes! Leaders! Legends!

Not really.

Lead singer Jon Bon Jovi described the song as "about working people picking themselves up by their bootstraps in hard times."  Ah, now I see the connection with Written in the Stars.  

Here's the long-form version of the 2009 MLB postseason promo:


Bon Jovi had an in for the 2009 postseason promo, as he had starred in TBS's playoff commercials in both 2007 and 2008. No "up from your bootstraps" message in those years. Just "good ol' small town America is great and I have no idea what this has to do with baseball." The song was I Love This Town. Just imagine if we'd all been on Twitter in 2007. There would have been millions of insane tweets with some version of these lyrics:

Yeah let the world keep spinning round 'n' round

That is where it's goin' down, down, down

That's why I, love this town

That's why I, keep co-min' round

If you're feeling indulgent or you're just bored, watch both the 2008 version (immediately below) and then the 2007 version. Tell us in the comments which one you liked better. For obvious reasons, I'm guessing Mets fans will like the 2008 version better. 


 


And that brings us to the end (or the beginning, depending which way you're counting) of TBS's coverage of the MLB postseason. 

From 2001-2006, FOX had exclusive broadcast rights for all MLB postseason games. No "happy small town" or "up by your bootstraps" themes for FOX in those years. Just scary, menacing, you never know what will happen themes (it is FOX after all). Like this promo for the 2004 MLB postseason:


NBC broadcast the lion's share of MLB postseason games from 1994-2000, sharing rights with FOX from 1996-2000. Those were the days. No songs. No menacing dramas. Just the dope: which teams are playing, when the game will be shown, and a few highlights.

Here's an example from the 1995 Divisional Series:


If the 1990s gave us promos with team names, the 1980s were the heyday for players. Yes, the players! The ones who pitch, hit, run, catch and throw. Well, at least the ones who pitch, as showcased on this 1986 promo for the League Championship Series to be broadcast on ABC:

Alas, that's as far back as the video wayback machine known as YouTube takes us for MLB postseason promos.

There is one more video, though. It's not for the postseason but for the legendary Monday Night Baseball on ABC. Put on your bell bottoms and hukapoo shirt for this one--it's from 1979.  

Oh, how I miss hearing Keith Jackson's voice. Sure beats getting whacked over the head with Tinie Timpah.

Wendy Thurm also writes about baseball at HangingSliders and FanGraphs. You can follow her on Twitter @hangingsliders.com.

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