IronBirds’ 7th-Inning Stretch
By: CJ Harbach and Olivia Hemmerich
Take me out to the ball game, Take me out to the crowd…The unofficial anthem of baseball is known throughout any ballpark. The lyrics are familiar to any baseball fan; for that matter they are familiar to anyone who has ever been to a ballgame. Each 7th-inning stretch fans rise from their seats to honor a tradition. Ripken Stadium is no exception to this sacred ritual…For it’s one, two, three strikes, you’re out, at the old ball game. And if you’re an IronBirds’ fan you know that it is not time to take your seat yet.
Where did you come from, where did you go? Where did you come from, Cotton-Eye Joe?… The tune starts a frenzy of stomping feet and a steady beat of clapping hands. This event, unique to Aberdeen, certainly spices up the otherwise predictable 7th-inning stretch. “The Cotton-Eye Joe,” is not a recent novelty to fans and staff at Ripken Stadium. This year marks the Birds’ ten-year anniversary. Over the past decade a lot has changed here in Aberdeen- Conrad’s Crabs, food venues, the pavilion; but we are proud to continue the beloved 7th-inning entertainment.
“It’s not nerve racking learning steps, its nerve racking in the fact that it’s tradition,” shared Flight Crew extraordinaire, Shawn Hill. “And you don’t want to buck tradition.” Getting up on top of the dugout to dance is not in your typical job description. The IronBirds’ Flight Crew throws out all inhibitions to stomp, clap and twirl along with 6,000 riled up fans.
Even seasoned professionals, after years of experience will trip themselves up dancing on the dugout. Check out Maverick (IronBirds’s PA Announcer) on Ripken Stadium’s Ten Year Anniversary— Click to Watch Maverick’s Cotton-Eye Joe