Originally published on KDHX.org
Make no mistake: the Baseball Project is anything but a bunch of rookies.
Comprised of Peter Buck and Mike Mills (R.E.M.), Scott McCaughey (Young Fresh Fellows), and Steve Wynn and Linda Pitmon (Dream Syndicate), this supergroup formed in 2007, donning the moniker that connected their love of baseball and have released all of their material with Yep Roc Records.
Most supergroups form in order to bolster their collective star power and play packed stadiums, sell more tickets. But here, the opposite is true; this is a group formed solely by the admiration of our national pastime — a passion project for some of rock’s heavy hitters. Though they are all founding members for their own groups, TBP is a team effort and they play together in a very fun way.
Each song is a mini-history lesson in baseball and doubly, appeals to fans of the game, as well as fans of the music. You might think this a clever gimmick, but think of all of the history and references that the band draws upon — it’s a repository of information rife with songwriting possibilities. With three well-received albums already under their belt, the band creates foot-tapping rock and roll while repurposing some of the sport’s best statistics into lovable, catchy rock, with out-of-the-park hooks that keep you listening for more.
The three cuts tracked here exclusively for KDHX showcase a close knit group of friends with a great side project that continues to capture the attention of fans.
“Larry Yount” highlights the extraordinarily abbreviated career of former Houston Astros relief pitcher, Larry Yount, who is credited for playing only a single game, but never even threw a pitch. It’s an acoustic and piano ballad to an unrealized career in the majors and a stark contrast, pitted next to the final song in the collection titled “13,” which details the infamous Yankee third baseman Alex Rodriguez. A dark song, set in a minor tone, it reflects A-Rod’s quick yet questionable rise to stardom as well as the public fallout with his image due to drug use. “I bet you learned how to dope in Texas / just like everybody did,” the song sneers. “It might have helped if you showed remorse / but you don’t know what that means.” It’s obvious the band has little love for him.
In “Box Scores,” the group details their love for the classic scoring method by recanting all of the modern baseball methods that have superseded it. “I don’t need a website recap / No highlights on ESPN / Baseball tonight is outtasight / But the box score is my best friend.” It’s a fun and infectious little tune that will make you turn on the Cards game, and have some great tunes to hear between innings.
What began as a side project is now turning into a hit-heavy outfit that is capturing big league hooks for baseball and rock fans of all ages.