Favorited ex.fm Songs

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

A Tribute to Baseball Music

Besides music, my other big hobby that I waste my free time on (as well as plenty of time that probably shouldn't be free time) is watching/reading about/discussing baseball. Thus, when the two worlds collide, it seems only natural that I should highlight that collision.

On Monday, longtime Seattle Mariner Ichiro Suzuki was traded to the Yankees, seemingly out of nowhere. If you're a baseball fan, you know how big of a deal this was as he had been the face of the franchise for the last 12 years (even if his skills had declined in recent years). If you aren't a baseball fan, maybe Death Cab for Cutie / The Postal Service singer Ben Gibbard can help explain his significance:

The song that he mentions, embedded below, is an ode to Ichiro Suzuki and his strong arm, baserunning skills, hitting prowess, and overall awesomeness.

Just last week, in my post about the new Macklemore & Ryan Lewis song supporting same sex marriage, I included their ode to the late Seattle announcer Dave Niehaus. Baseball themed musical supergroup The Baseball Project also recorded an Ichiro themed song, "Ichiro Goes To The Moon" for their most recent album.

While you may be thinking that the Mariners hold a monopoly on being the target of baseball themed songs, there are plenty of others too. Craig Finn of The Hold Steady is an unabashed Twins fan (and even gave a shoutout to Twins' manager Ron Gardenhire who had just recently won manager of the year when I saw the band perform in Iowa). Last March, I posted his ode to Twins teams past and present, "Please Don't Call Them Twinkies."

My parents named me after former Cubs second baseman (and Hall of Famer) Ryne Sandberg, and I grew up a Cubs fan (although I have since reformed). One of the songs I recall listening to on car rides growing up was "A Dying Cubs Fan's Last Request" by Steve Goodman. The song is about a Cubs fan on his death bed (who would have thought from the title?) who can't help but be a diehard Cubs fan despite their years and years of failure. Cubs fans can get a bad rap sometimes, but it takes a lot to stick with a team after all those years of coming up short.

Yesterday, Stereogum had a post about 6 indie songs inspired by baseball featuring Eddie Vedder, Belle & Sebastian, The Mountain Goats, Dropkick Murphys, Todd Snider, and the Craig Finn song I mentioned above. Click the link to check out those along with their write up.

The music at baseball games has always been of interest to me as I'm sure it is for similar baseball / music nerds. Fortunately now, there is a website called Designated Hits that allows you to look up most current player's batting / pitching music. The website is complete with links to sample or buy the music as well. While my musical tastes don't mesh with those of most ballplayers (lots of hip hop, country, classic rock, hard rock, and metal), it's fun to look through and there are some hidden gems. Some highlights include Nationals pitching phenom Stephen Strasburg using "Seven Nation Army" by The White Stripes, Royals pitcher Greg Holland using MGMT's "Electric Feel," and Rockies OF/1B Tyler Colvin coming out to bat to "Holdin On To Black Metal" by My Morning Jacket. The site is still in the early stages, but the creator appears active on Twitter (@designatedhits) and seems intent on keeping it up to date.

I'm sure I could find plenty more baseball / music tie-ins to ramble on and on about, but I should probably stop before I get even more carried away. If you have any favorites I'm missing, I'd love to hear about them in the comments.

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