MINNEAPOLIS — "Take Me Out to the Ballgame” is one of the most popular songs in baseball.
But, now that seventh inning stretch classic has a new sound.
And, a Minneapolis man is part of the change.
Lewis McCaleb competed in the MLB Remix national contest powered by SoundCloud and won. As the grand prize winner he received a trip to Cleveland for the All-Star Game and other festivities. Plus, he performed his version of the song at PLAY BALL PARK Saturday.
McCaleb, who is known in the music industry as Lewiee Blaze, created the lyrics for the song. His friend, McKinley West, created the beat. The two traveled to Cleveland together.
When performing, McCaleb showed his love for the home team by rocking a Twins jersey. But not just any jersey –recently retired number 7.
He performed on the same stage as Bernie Williams, a five-time All-Star and Grammy-nominated guitarist.
On its contest page, MLB said entries were evaluated by a Rock & Roll Hall of Fame committee and judged on creativity, instrumentation, and performance.
McCaleb, 21, said he normally writes lyrics first. But this time was different.
He walked into a recording booth and freestyled. He was able to record the song at the High School for Recording Arts in St. Paul.
McCaleb says the remix pays homage to what already existed but is “beefed up with a hip-hop sound.”
West, 18, said adjusting the time signature was a challenge. He listened to the original version of the song for about two hours trying to determine chord structure.
McCaleb said he was surprised when he received a call from a MLB spokesperson letting him know he won.
“I feel like this was our home run. I didn't think I would win,” he said adding life has thrown him some curve balls. “I've entered in competitions before and I have always lost.”
McCaleb uploaded the song via SoundCloud. You can hear his tune here.
McCaleb said his first experience at a baseball game was in 2017. Then, he worked for a Minneapolis based cleaning company.
Now, he is looking forward to attending a game as a performer and lifting fans.
The Twins’ Senior Vice President of Operations, Matt Hoy, along with Matt Hodson were impressed by the remix.
“It is fantastic. It is what people want to hear when they come to the ball game. They want something that is upbeat and fun and gets you fired up,” Hodson said. “I want to see it going over our loud speakers.”
And on Saturday it did. While in Ohio, McCaleb said he received messages on Snap Chat and Facebook saying his song was played and their photo was displayed on the jumbo-tron at Target Field.
For him, that was a home run.
“That is what I love. There is no place like home. This entire experience, Minnesota has supported in a tremendous fashion,” he said. “I am grateful for the opportunity and to be able to have something like this on my list of accomplishments is everything.”