baseball: fsu @ unc, game three, originally uploaded by minervacat.
Baseball-related music content: the Baseball Project, an Athens, GA supergroup made up of members of R.E.M. and the Minus 5 among others, released one of my favorite albums of 2008, Volume One: Frozen Ropes and Dying Quails. Georgia indie rock songs about obscure baseball trivia; what wasn’t for me to fall completely in love with? They’re currently hard at work on Volume 2, to be released sometime in 2011 on Yep Roc, but before that happens, they’re periodically releasing individual free songs about the 2010 MLB season via Yep Roc and ESPN. I love that. It’s current topical content, it’s how the internet should be used for promotion and distribution, and by involving ESPN, they’re bringing the music and the baseball parts of what they do directly together. The first track, “All Future and No Past”, is available now, in ESPN’s imbedded column in the article here.
Smart folks. And they make great music, too.
I would be remiss if I didn’t share my two favorite tracks from that first album here, available behind the jump:
[The Baseball Project — “Harvey Haddix”] About Harvey Haddix, who once pitched 12 innings of perfect baseball and lost it in the 13th inning. (Also always reminds me of 2009’s 25-inning NCAA regional game between Augie Garrido’s Texas juggernaut and Mik Aoki’s sassy, upstart Boston College team. Between them, Austin Wood (Texas, 13.0) and Mike Belfiore (BC, 9.2) threw 22.2 innings of scoreless baseball. Wood actually threw 12.1 innings of no-hit baseball. It was amazing and incredibly reckless coaching on the parts of both Garrido and Aoki; Wood’s draft stock dropped because of it, but it remains the most intense, amazing thing I have ever watched on crappy streaming internet video.)
[The Baseball Project — “Gratitude (For Curt Flood)”] Curt Flood is the man who made free agency happen; he refused to be traded, refused to continue playing for the Cardinals after they attempted to trade him, and is generally considered the father of modern day free agency, like free agency or lump it. He ruined both his career and his life in this pursuit; so the Giants could pay Barry Zito a ridiculous amount of money to suck. Curt Flood deserves respect and to be a household name.
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2 Comments Add yours
That is a COOL idea for an album.
the best part of it is that you can tell it was written by very literate baseball fans; people who know their history and how it relates to the present state of baseball. (which is one of the reasons i really love “all future and no past”, too.) it’s kitschy, sure, but it’s very smart, very well written, very well thought out niche-y kitsch.