The second and final ‘Joe Walsh Day’ event of the SP78 Replay season kicked off with an August 8th match-up between the Pirates and Cubs at Wrigley Field, where the Joe Walsh solo album But Seriously, Folks… was played in its entirety during the late-afternoon game at site AZ15, commemorating the day when the album hit platinum sales in 1978. After the record was listened to during the remaining four National League games scheduled for that date, the celebration moved to the American League, where the Orioles and Blue Jays met this past weekend for the 35th Anniversary Game at Toronto’s Exhibition Stadium.
The game, won by the Orioles 6-0, featured the title’s LP as its media source; the album remains the most listened-to record ever spun during SP78 play. Earlier this season, on May 31st, the first ‘Joe Walsh Day’ was held throughout the major leagues, on the date in 1978 when the record went gold. The album, which climbed to #8 in the US, featured the single ‘Life’s Been Good’, which peaked at #12 on the Billboard Hot 100 list and remains Walsh’s highest-charting song of his solo career.
The album will continue to be heard during the six remaining games on the AL schedule, and will feature a selection of LP, CD, cassette, and digital files as source material. But if it weren’t for the intervention of SP78 commissioner Todd Benefiel, the record may not have been heard—in any form—at any of the August 8th games. “Apparently, someone made the decision that Andy Gibb’s latest release Shadow Dancing would be honored, at all ballparks on the last day of July,” a stern Benefiel told C-SPAN. “I vetoed that plan almost immediately, and suggested that my favorite album of all time, But Seriously, Folks…, deserved another day of recognition.”
As Walsh did during the first of his tribute nights, he’ll make an appearance at one of these games as well, the ‘Baseball Night on C-SPAN’ doubleheader that will pit AL East leader New York against second-place Milwaukee at a sold-out Yankee Stadium, a pairing that will wrap up the August 8th slate. There he’ll sing a medley of songs between games of the twinbill, and will perform 1974’s cut ‘Time Out’ during the seventh-inning stretch of the second game, as he did over twenty years ago at the May 31st contest between the Jays and Red Sox at Fenway Park in Boston.
“I think it’s fantastic that Statis Pro Replay has chosen to play my recording during all fourteen games of this Tuesday’s schedule,” Walsh said from his hotel prior to the first game in Chicago. “I had a hell of a lot of fun back in May, and I’m sure this time around will be just as cool.”
For A’s outfielder Joe Wallis, however, a repeat of May 31st is not something he’s looking forward to. “Someone had told me they were having a ‘Joe Wallis Day’ at our home park,” he said. “I should’ve known something was up when I remembered we didn’t have a game scheduled that day…or when I realized that I’d never in my life recorded a best-selling album.”
The next ‘Joe Walsh Day II’ event will take place this weekend, when the Twins meet the Mariners in an AL West showdown at Metropolitan Stadium in Minneapolis.