Damn Yankees.

This is about the stage musical. For the film adaptation, see What Lola Wants. For the television film, see Damn Yankees (1967 film).

Damn Yankees is a musical based on The Year the Yankees Lost the Pennant by Douglass Wallop.



Middle-aged real estate agent Joe Boyd is a long-suffering fan of the pathetic Washington Senators baseball team. His wife, Meg, laments this. After she has gone to bed, he sits up late, grumbling that if the Senators just had a "long ball hitter" they could beat the "damn Yankees." "I'd sell my soul for a long ball hitter," he laments. Suddenly, "Applegate" appears. He looks like a slick salesman, but he is really the Devil, and he offers Joe exactly that deal: if he gives up his soul, he will become "Joe Hardy," the young slugger the Senators need. He accepts, even though he must leave Meg. However, his business sense makes him insist on an escape clause. The Senators' last game is on September 25, and if he plays in it, he is "in for the duration." If not, he has until 9:00 the night before to walk away from the deal and return to his normal life.

At the ballpark, the hapless Senators vow to play their best despite their failings. Then Joe Hardy is suddenly discovered and joins the team. Gloria, a reporter, praises him. His hitting prowess enables the team to move up the standings.

Though Joe is increasingly successful, he truly misses Meg and moves into her house as a boarder in his persona as Joe Hardy. They begin to bond, especially over her "lost" husband. Fearful of losing his deal, Applegate calls Lola, "the best homewrecker on [his] staff," to seduce Joe and ensure his damnation. She promises to deliver, and Applegate introduces her as a sultry South American dancer named "Señorita Lolita Banana." She sings a seductive song, but Joe's devotion to Meg proves too strong, even for her. Applegate punishes her by sending her to Hell, where she performs with other damned souls.

Applegate decides to switch tactics to ensure Joe's failure. He releases false information about Joe's true identity being "Shifty McCoy," an escaped criminal and con artist. When Gloria discovers this information, she presses charges, and he is forced into court.

The Senators prepare for the final game against the Yankees for the pennant and worry about Joe, but they vow to think of nothing but winning. Meanwhile, angry fans are seeking him out, so he decides to leave home. As he does so, he tells Meg indirectly that he is her old husband. Meanwhile, Applegate is exhausted by the work he has put into collecting one soul and thinks about the "simpler" times in his long history.

Joe's day in court is on September 24, the last day of his deal. As he technically does not exist, he can't produce any kind of identification. The owner of the Senators, their coach, and even Lola (disguised as "Señora McCoy") testify; unfortunately, their opinions are invalid. Gloria suggests that Applegate take the stand, but he is unable to take the oath due to its provision against lying. "Don't you have another version of that thing?" he asks. Joe realizes that Applegate is simply stalling to keep him from meeting his 9:00 deadline. Applegate claims that Joe "just needs time to think" and sends him to the lower levels of Hell, where history's most famous lovers wait. Lola meets him there and realizes that he truly loves Meg. She helps him by sending him into the final game and delays Applegate by coercing him into a duet.

When Applegate finally arrives at the game, it is 8:55, and Joe is at bat. As time runs out, Meg, her friends, and even Lola begin cheering for him. Applegate uses his powers to give Joe two strikes. The clock strikes nine, and Applegate claims victory, but at the last second, Joe cries, "Let me go!" The deal is broken, and he is transformed back into his old self. Amazingly, he is still able to hit a home run and win the Senators the pennant.

Back at home, Joe rushes into Meg's arms. Applegate appears on the scene, claiming that Joe owes him his soul. He begs Meg to hold him and not let go, and she begins to sing. Applegate promises to make him young again and even ensure a World Series victory. But his powers are useless against their true love, which Lola points out. He shouts that such a thing can't exist, but he is wrong. He and Lola vanish back into Hell, defeated, with Joe and Meg united.

Musical numbersEdit

Act One
  • "Six Months Out Of Every Year" - Meg Boyd, Joe Boyd, Sister, Gloria Thorpe, Husbands, and Wives
  • "Goodbye Old Girl" — Joe Boyd and Joe Hardy
  • "Blooper Ballet" — The Senators
  • "Heart" — Van Buren, Smokey, Rocky, Linville
  • "Shoeless Joe from Hannibal, Mo." - Gloria Thorpe, Senators
  • "Shoeless Joe" (Reprise) - Gloria Thorpe, Joe Hardy, and Ensemble (1994 revival only)
  • "A Little Brains, a Little Talent" - Lola
  • "A Man Doesn't Know" - Joe Hardy and Meg Boyd
  • "Whatever Lola Wants" - Lola
Act Two
  • "Who's Got the Pain?" - Lola and Senators
  • The Game—Rocky, Smokey, and Senators
  • "Near to You" — Joe Hardy and Meg Boyd
  • "Those Were the Good Old Days" — Applegate
  • "Two Lost Souls" — Lola and Joe Hardy
  • "A Man Doesn't Know" (Reprise) - Meg and Joe Boyd

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