The Baseball Project
The Baseball Project is a musical group whose name and songs are inspired by baseball.
The group was formed through a collaboration between Scott McCaughey, former leader of The Young Fresh Fellows but best known for his work as a touring musician with the band R.E.M., and Steve Wynn, formerly of the band The Dream Syndicate. The two musicians discovered they shared a passion for baseball and got together to record some music inspired by their favorite sport. It took ten years for the two to record an album, on which they were joined by a couple of other musicians, drummer Linda Pitmon and guitarist Peter Buck of R.E.M. Their first album was released in 2008 and was followed by two more in 2011 and 2014, by which time they had been joined by another R.E.M. alumni, die-hart Atlanta Braves fan Mike Mills. In 2010, they provided a running commentary of the season for ESPN.com by releasing one song per month; those were later collected on an album released in 2011, The Broadside Ballads, that also included additional unreleased tracks from their first two records. Other musicians who have played with the band include Josh Kantor, the organist at Fenway Park.
The Baseball Project's musical genre is alternative rock, with a tinge of roots and folk music. Their songs are about baseball, paying homage to favorite players from the past couched in a lot of baseball lingo and with a humorous outlook, although they do have a penchant for singing about tragic figures. Among their subjects have been Ted Williams, Curt Flood, Mark McGwire, Jackie Robinson, Ed Delahanty, Bill Buckner, Tony Conigliaro, Ichiro Suzuki, Carl Mays, Lenny Dykstra, Luis Tiant, Dock Ellis, Dale Murphy and Pascual Perez, among others. They also have written songs about things such as statistics, Boxscores and baseball cards. The group's recordings have been well-received, turning what was originally a side project done for a laugh into a going concern.
- The Baseball Project, Vol. 1: Frozen Ropes and Dying Quails (2008)
- "Past Time"; "Ted Fucking Williams"; "Gratitude (For Curt Flood)"; "Broken Man"; "Satchel Paige Said"; "Fernando"; "Long Before My Time"; "Jackie's Lament"; "Sometimes I Dream of Willie Mays"; "The Death of Big Ed Delahanty"; "Harvey Haddix"; "The Yankee Flipper"; "The Closer"
- The Baseball Project, Vol. 2: High and Inside (2011)
- "1976"; "Panda and the Freak"; "Fair Weather Fans"; "Don't Call Them Twinkies"; "Chin Music"; "Buckner's Bolero"; "Tony (Boston's Chosen Son)"; "Ichiro Goes to the Moon"; "The Straw That Stirs the Drink"; "Look Out Mom"; "Pete Rose Way"; "Twilight of My Career"; "Here Lies Carl Mays"
- The Broadside Ballads (2011)
- "Al Future and No Past"; "Cubs 2010"; "30 Doc"; "Lima Time!"; "Phenom"; "(Do the) Triple Crown"; "DL Blues"; "The Way It's Gonna Be"; "The Giants Win the Pennant"; "Blood Diamond"; "Golden Sombrero"; "The Ballad of Mike Kekich and Fritz Peterson"; "Dizzy Dean"; "El Hombre"; "The Magic Mitt of Jason Byles"; "Show Up to Work Every Day"
- 3rd (2014)
- "Stats"; "From Nails to Thumbtacks"; "¡Hola America!"; "13"; "The Day Dock Went Hunting Heads"; "To the Veterans Committee"; "Monument Park"; "Box Scores"; "They Don't Know Henry"; "The Babe"; "They Are the Oakland A's"; "Pascual on the Perimeter"; "The Baseball Card Song"; "Extra Inning of Love"