07/31/2008 10:37 AM ET
Hank Snow's last gift to country
Singer leaves baseballs to the Hall
By Doug Miller / MLB.com
In 1939, the National Baseball Hall of Fame opened in Cooperstown, N.Y., and in 1967, the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, inspired by the baseball version, opened in Nashville. In other words, the Grand Old Game and the Grand Ole Opry have gone hand in hand for a long time. In honor of the recent Hall of Fame celebration in Cooperstown, MLB.com/Entertainment went to the Country Hall recently and dug up some interesting connections between country music Hall of Fame members and baseball. Today: Hank Snow.
NASHVILLE -- When Hank Snow wrote the following line in his classic tune "Lady's Man," he might have been fibbing just a little bit.
"Now you may like a baseball game, but as for me that's much too tame," he sang. "I get my thrill just bein' a lady's man."
While there's no doubt that Snow was indeed a lady's man, he also was a baseball fan, too. Not to mention a no-doubt Country Music Hall of Famer.
Snow, the Canadian-born legend who blended expert songwriting and singing with the creativity to branch out and include other styles of music -- Latin, jazz, blues, Hawaiian and gospel, among others -- into his honky-tonk repertoire.
Country fans worldwide know tons of his songs, including hits "I'm Moving On," "The Golden Rocket," "Rhumba Boogie," "I Don't Hurt Anymore," "The Gold Rush is Over," "A Fool Such as I," "Yellow Roses," "Conscience, I'm Guilty" and "I've Been Everywhere."
Snow released over 800 recordings between 1936 and 1985, and 85 of his singles reached the Billboard charts from 1949 to 1980. He was elected into the Country Hall in 1979 and passed away in 1999 at the age of 85.
From his wild childhood to days working on a fishing trawler in the North Atlantic to his introduction by Hank Williams at the Grand Ole Opry, Snow personified country music.
And after he died, he gave back to the Country Hall, having bequeathed in his will a large collection of memorabilia.
Proving his love for baseball all the way to the end, Snow left the Country Hall a few items that came as a surprise.
"He gave us three autographed baseballs," says the Hall's director of media relations, Tina Wright.
"One from the 1961 Tigers, and two from the Minnesota Twins -- 1971 and 1976."
Find out more about Hank Snow by visiting the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in Nashville.
Doug Miller is a Senior Writer for MLB.com/Entertainment. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.