Monday, August 4, 2008

Baseball and music

My short-story submission to the Memphis Magazine fiction contest included several references to baseball and music, so I was recently digging around for songs about baseball.

Thanks to Matt for directing me to this video of former Memphian Todd Snider's hotel performance of "America's Favorite Pastime" for legendary producer Don Was.

I loved going to The Daily Planet in the early- to mid-90s to hear Snider play. Glad to hear he's doing well, and I look forward to hearing his latest CD, Peace Queer, due out in October.

Check out Snider's
myspace page for another great song, "Mission Accomplished" ("fighting for peace, that's like screaming for quiet") or visit the Todd Snider official website.

But back to "America's Favorite Pastime." It's the story of Pittsburgh pitcher Dock Ellis' 1970 no-hitter against the Padres, apparently while he was under the influence of LSD. I'm embarrassed to admit I'd never heard this funny story before. I also enjoyed this tale from Wikipedia:

Ellis attempted "to hit every batter in the Cincinnati Reds lineup on May 1, 1974. In an effort to prove a point to teammates, Ellis hit Pete Rose, Joe Morgan, and Dan Driessen in the top of the first. The clean-up batter Tony Perez avoided Ellis' attempts, instead drawing a walk, and after two pitches aimed at the head of Johnny Bench, Ellis was removed from the game by manager Danny Murtaugh. Ellis' box score for the game reads: 0 IP, 0 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 0 K."

Is it still considered a wild pitch if you throw the ball exactly where you're aiming?

Chuck Brodsky is another great sports singer-songwriter, and I was lucky enough to hear him a few years back at That Bookstore in Blytheville, Arkansas. I fully intend to get my dad The Baseball Ballads for Christmas one of these years.

Here's a site dedicated to baseball music. (WARNING: Turn down your speakers before following the link!)

Baseball and music: two great tastes that taste great together.

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