The official start of the 2012 Major League Baseball season began in the very early hours of Wednesday morning when the Seattle Mariners defeated the Oakland Athletics 3-1 in 11 innings.  The rest of the league will follow suit after April 4th, creating excitement and hope in every fan.  This week on "The Playlist", we will salute the great American past-time though songs you may have never thought of.

Baseball is an obvious theme in at least one or two classic songs, but we like to take liberties on The Playlist, so you will find references to positions on the field, to Major League team nicknames, to people and references associated with baseball.  We did find a way to salute the "Phightin' Phillies" in one way or two, but nothing for the sad Mets fans (and I'm one of them).

On this version of The Playlist, we will not include music from former Yankee Bernie Williams (although he is an accomplished jazz guitarist), or former White Sox pitcher and Cy Young winner Jack McDowell (who had a 90s Rock-Pop band name Stick Figure), but you will feel the crack of the bat and the smell of hot dogs in the air.  Time for The Playlist to Play Ball!

Goo Goo Dolls -- Take Me Out To The Ball Game (the classic 7th Inning stretch song sung at Chicago Cubs games by celebs, and the Goos recorded a version to promote MLB)

The Outfield -- Your Love (from their album "Play Deep" the Brit band must have loved baseball, and the success of their one Top-10 hit in 1986)

3rd Bass -- Pop Goes The Weasel (the play on words of the "Hot Corner", the rap trio were a One-Hit Wonder in 1991)

Damn Yankees -- High Enough (how Phillie and Met fans describe the team in the Bronx)

Nelson -- Love And Affection (featuring the Twins Matthew and Gunner Nelson, and their #1 hit in 1990)

Bruce Springsteen -- Glory Days ("I has a friend who was a baseball player ....... He could throw that speed-ball by ya!")

Train -- Calling All Angels (including Vineland's own Mike Trout, who will be a big star in L.A. soon)

Whitesnake -- Here I Go Again (some types of Diamondbacks are white snakes)

Night Ranger -- Sister Christian (it's fact that the Rangers play most of their home games at night because of the summer heat in Texas)

Nelly / Tim McGraw -- Over and Over (one for all Phillies and Mets fans from the son of the late Tug McGraw)

Ace Of Base -- The Sign (catchers give The Sign to the pitcher, coaches give The Sign to the base runners, and if an Ace = 1 then the band represents 1st Base)

Beastie Boys -- Sure Shot ("I've got more hits than Rod Carew" in the 1994 Alternative and Dance hit of 1994, and the Hall of Fame baseball player is also mentioned in Adam Sandler's "Hanukkah Song")

Smash Mouth -- All Star (from the CD Astro Lounge, this is what all players individually hope to be by July)

Don Henley -- The Boys Of Summer (has described baseball players in many ways, is the title of a book about the Dodgers in the 50's, and a documentary film title of the Caribbean Little League who won the World Series a few years back)

Nick Lachay -- What's Left Of Me (Top-5 Pop hit in 2006 for the part owner of the Seattle Mariners minor league team in Tacoma)

Meatloaf -- Paradise By The Dashboard Light (featuring the baseball play-by-play in the song from the late Yankee announcer Phil Rizzutto)

The Lemonheads -- Mrs. Robinson (The cover that features "Where have you gone Joe DiMaggio" was a Top-20 hit in 1992)

Glass Tiger -- Don't Forget Me When I'm Gone (#2 hit in 1986, and I could not use Eye Of The Tiger for Detroit because that is from Rocky!)

John Fogarty -- Centerfield (The definitive baseball song!!!)