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    14 April 2015
    Here's To You, Mr. Robinson

    The Baseball Project salutes Jackie Robinson today on the 62nd Anniversary of his first game in the major leagues, the day he broke the color line once and for all as a member of the Brooklyn Dodgers.  It was a long time coming--a point driven home by our visit to the Negro Leagues Hall of Fame in Kansas City last summer--and Jackie was the perfect man for the momental task.  And we tip our hat almost nightly with our song 'Jackie's Lament.'

    When Scott and I began to write the songs that would eventually become The Baseball Project’s debut album Frozen Ropes and Dying Quails, we each already knew many of the subjects we had always wanted to tackle.  Scott had Willie Mays and Satchel Paige, I had Sandy Koufax and Ted Williams.  But one other legend of the game, arguably the most important, just had to be addressed.  Jackie Robinson was not only one of the greatest to play the game but also changed the landscape of the game immeasurably, possibly more than any player before or since.
     
    But how to write about such a monumental figure?  I had read I Never Had It Made when I was younger and was always struck by how hard it must have been for Jackie Robinson to break the color line and endure racial taunts and daily displays of hatred while being specifically instructed that he had to keep his cool, hold his emotions inside and not react or respond to such overt assaults.  The things he must have wanted to say!  The shoves and spiked high slides at second base that had to remain unanswered.  It must have torn him up inside.
     
    I chose a pretty direct lyric and matched with all of our favorite chords of melancholy (major and minor 7ths usually do the trick) to tell the story of pride, sadness and frustration.  And then, on a whim, I added the coda, a reference to Simon and Garfunkel’s 'Mrs. Robinson' — 'here’s to you, MISTER Robinson.'  Our nation turns its lonely eye to you?  Most certainly—but it was Jackie who turned a lonely, isolated but also a most certainly determined and defiant eye to our nation.  And our nation was never the same.
     
    Click to hear Jackie's Lament:

     

    Lyrics:
     
    If I ever get the chance, I’ll let them know just how I feel
    I’d like to speak my mind but that just wasn’t in the deal.
     
    It’s never easy being first to walk down any road
    I’d trade the glory just to crawl out from this heavy load
    You should hear the things they say behind my back
    And when I turn the other cheek, they only sharpen their attack

    If I ever get the chance, I’ll let them know just how I feel
    I’d like to speak my mind but that just wasn’t in the deal.
     
    I run the race but now I find the race is running me
    I try to keep my cool but all this heat won’t let me be
    No matter how hard or well I played
    I can tell you that I never had it made.
     
    I only want to play the game
    I only want to make my name
    For others who never had the chance
    Laid out like some sacrificial lamb
    A long and lonely road
    Until I steal my way back home again

    If I ever get the chance, I’ll let them know just how I feel
    I’d like to speak my mind but that just wasn’t in the deal.
     
    Here’s to you, Mister Robinson!

     


     

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    01 April 2015
    From Ft. Myers to Port St. Lucie

    Our Florida trek has started off quite memorably. We watched the Red Sox trounce the Twins at Jet Blue Park (a/k/a Fenway South) with Max Bat pal and Grapefruit tour instigator Roy Cougle, his young Dutch minor league hopeful Ruar VerKerk and ex-Red Sox and A's lefty Lenny DiNardo. Lenny showed us his 2004 Series ring and we traded tales of baseball and guitars. Mike Napoli hit a shattered-bat homer over the Green Monster. That is power that defies physics.

     

    Next day we set up for a busking set as fans streamed into the stadium. Then Linda threw out the first pitch at Hammond Park and NAILED it. The Twins recovered from last night's drubbing enough to spoil Yankee opening day starter Masahiro Tanaka's final tune-up. Happy to see him seemingly healthy though.  We sang 'Take Me Out' at the 7th inning stretch right out on the field. Thanks to our most excellent host John Kuhn for a great day at the ball park. On to Yabo where we enjoyed excellent Italian cuisine before playing two full sets to an enthusiastic crowd. Guitar hero Steve drew rapturous applause with each solo. I think he was inspired by the amazing Maton guitars that Lenny brought down for our perusal. Thanks to Ryan at the club for treating us right and for all who came down to see us. A full-on day of baseball and music, and that's what we are here for.

     

    Now it's on to Port St. Lucie across Florida on two-lane state highways. No gator sightings yet. Mike is trying to warm up his arm in the van for first pitch honors at the Mets/Cards game. Hope starters Carlos Martinez and Bartolo Colon will be watching.

     

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    04 March 2015
    Grapefruit League Tour

    We've finalized our run of club shows in Florida, with the addition of two Forts.  That's our forte. 

    Thanks to the folks at Yabo in Ft. Myers (March 31) and The Stache in Fort Lauderdale (April 1) for opening their gates to the Baseball Project.

    We'll also be throwing out the first pitch when the Mets host the Cardinals at Tradition Field in Port St. Lucie on April 1, 1:10 p.m.  You haven't seen anything until you see the Baseball Project wind up and cut loose with a chin-high fastball.  

    See "Schedule" for the complete list of confirmed dates, and watch this space for more ball park appearances.

     

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    30 January 2015
    Dang, we have a website!!

    Sometimes one forgets.

    But listen, Beatle people, it's 2015 and as soon as the Seahawks put those cheater Patriots in the dust of their Super-sized rear view mirror, it'll be almost time for pitchers and catchers to report. And with the new season looming it means the Baseball Project will shake off the cobwebs and sharpen our spikes. 

    Which means, first of all, a little trip to the Sunshine State, where most of us will enjoy our first ever Grapefruit League action. We'll be catching games, and maybe even providing some guerilla entertainment before, during or after. Keep your eyes and ears peeled (we are pleasing to both senses). More details on that later. What we can tell you most definitely, is that day games rule, and the night time is the right time to be with the band you love. 

    To that end, we've lined up shows!
    Check 'em out:

    4/2  Orlando @ The Social
    4/3  St. Augustine @ Colonial Quarter
    4/4  Tampa @ Crowbar

    And as if that wasn't cool enough our good pal Chuck Prophet & HIS Mission Express (yeah, he actually owns them) are opening the St. Augustine show. "Willie Is Up At Bat," I'll tell you that much! Now if you come to the Orlando show don't feel slighted - we hope to have a debate between Alan Grayson and Jeb Bush as opening act there! What a mismatch - the brilliant and always right-on Grayson will mop the floor with poor Jeb, but that'd be pretty entertaining, right? And educational! Not sure what will kick things off in Tampa yet but if there isn't a Steinbrenner of some kind in the audience we'll be surprised (and maybe a little disappointed). And we are DEFINITELY putting Sweet Lou Piniella on the guest list for that one.

    So what else? I'll tell you what: a RECORD. We teamed up with the Minus 5 (boy, that was easy - we didn't even have to change our socks) and our awesome label Yep Roc Records for a big ol' 12-inch mini-LP (is that a contradiction?) that captured both bands LIVE at SXSW last year. It's called RED-EYED IN AUSTIN and it's a raw and raunchy blazer, featuring not-so-secret weapon Josh Kantor all-the-way-from-Fenway on the organisms, squeeze box and piano forte. Look for our lil' baby on bleary-eyed colored vinyl way early in the morning on RECORD STORE DAY in April, at your favorite vinyl opiates dealer. Before it's gone gone gone like a Reggie Jackson moonshot. Or an ice cold bottle of Topo Chico.

    But WAIT, THERE'S MORE! Everybody loves the Society for American Baseball Research, and the Baseball Project is no exception.  That's why we are thrilled to announce that we are coming to the SABR convention in Chicago, where we'll be rattling the roof of the Grand Ballroom of the Palmer House Hilton. Our show is on the opening night of the conference, June 25, and we'll donn our finest wool flannel replica uniforms (or maybe those White Sox unis with the shorts). We are really looking forward to this, especially getting surrounded after the show and pummeled by examples of inaccuracies in our lyrics. Or will we??? Maybe there AREN'T any inaccuracies in our lyrics. Come and find out for yourself!

    Let's face it, 2015 is going to be a VERY BIG YEAR. Baseball been very very good to us and shall continue to be!

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    25 March 2014
    New album "3rd" out now

    The Baseball Project's new album 3rd is out today, March 25, and available in our store.

    Also on iTunesAmazon and from Yep Roc Records.

     

    Track Listing:

    01. Stat

    02. From Nails To Thumbtacks

    03. Hola America!

    04. 13

    05. The Day Dock Went Hunting Heads

    06. To The Veterans Committee

    07. Monument Park

    08. Box Scores

    09. They Don't Know Henry

    10. The Babe

    11. They Are The Oakland A’s

    12. Pascual On The Perimeter

    13. The Baseball Card Song

    14. Extra Inning of Love

    15. Larry Yount

    16. A Boy Named Cy

    17. They Played Baseball

    18. Take Me Out To The Ball Game

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    25 January 2014
    Todos Santos Show

    Opening the Town Square show.

    (Con Alex Gonzalez de Los Twin Tones.)

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    26 December 2013
    The Hot Stove Cool Music Concert

    The Baseball Project is excited that the planets have aligned in early 2014, and we finally get to take part in the Hot Stove Cool Music Concert, the legendary annual baseball and music fundraiser shindig, created by Peter Gammons for The Foundation To Be Named Later.  

    We'll be performing as well as numerous other luminaries like Joan Osborne, Tanya Donelly, Bill Janovitz, Gammons himself, etc.  
    The party takes place at the venerable Paradise in Boston, Jan. 11, from 5:30 - 11 p.m.  
    We've been hearing about this event for years, and oft-invited, but truly jazzed that the Baseball Project will make the scene this time!  

    For tickets and more info: http://www.foundationtobenamedlater.org/

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    10 October 2013
    It's that time of year again...

    Time for the best to face off in quest of a ring and Wheaties box, and time for the Baseball Project to announce that they're in the final stages of adding yet another compelling batch of timeless (or at least 'timely') songs to their sporty cannon. Yes, another record of original songs about baseball.  Nothing less and a little bit more, in fact.

    This time around we managed to corral our longtime pal and bandmate Mike Mills to join us for recording, filling out our roster at 5 starters - Steve Wynn, Scott McCaughey, Linda Pitmon, Peter Buck, and Mike Mills. Once again we utilized the top notch recording facilities at The Type Foundry in the bike-friendly hamlet of Portland, OR., and teamed up as usual with studio engineer and fellow baseball junkie, Adam Selzer. 

    You're going to have to wait until Spring Training to hear this latest batch of goodness (available on Yep Roc Records March 30, 2014), but in the meantime you should root around this site and listen to all the old favorites from "Frozen Ropes and Dying Quails" and "High and Inside".  You could also watch video of us singing the National Anthem at Fenway or playing on Letterman, and maybe purchase a t-shirt and look at pictures of us eating glorious diner food and getting stuck in the desert on our way to Spring Training in 2011.

    We look forward to unveiling Volume 3 -  you will laugh, you will cry, you will make some bad moves on your Fantasy Teams...this we can guarantee.  In the meantime, we are glued to our televisions, computers, and radios (in some cases, all at once) as we watch this year's October drama unfold.  Pass the peanuts and grab a PBR.....this one's gonna get good!

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    14 August 2013
    Tired Pony

    In related news, Scott's adventure with the multi-national conglomerate Tired Pony continues.  

    Read all about it at the new website: 

    www.tiredpony.com

     

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Twitter

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Happy to have Leake join Giants but not sure enough of an upgrade to lose 1 prospect.
About 8 hours ago
About 21 hours ago
@Mets get Go-Go Gomez! See you @CitiField, Carlos...
Thursday, 30 July 2015 01:19
RT @MadelnCanada: One Canadian's brilliant response to a photo posted by a U.S. Republican http://t.co/IBPjaSmSoI
Thursday, 30 July 2015 01:15
Great @robneyer article on trade deadline "needs" here: http://t.co/pxcDDyBCN1
Saturday, 25 July 2015 17:15
@ScottMcCaughey5 she'll be listening to Kraut Rock at 6-weeks and probably graduate to free jazz at 3 months.
Friday, 24 July 2015 03:53
MLB report concerning Braves as the trade deadline approaches: "All three of their Johnsons appear to be on the block". Yikes.
Friday, 24 July 2015 00:32
Thursday, 16 July 2015 17:25
@ModJam515 @HawkHarrelson Jack is super down with the BBP....true. He's on speed dial, man.
Thursday, 09 July 2015 20:07
@ModJam515 @stevestone you KNOW we do....
Thursday, 09 July 2015 20:05

Schedule

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  • 2015 Live Shows

  • 2014 Live Shows

  • 2013 Live Shows

  • 2012 Live Shows

  • 2011 Live Shows

  • 2010 Live Shows

  • 2009 Live Shows

Team Roster

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  • Team Roster

    Photo by: Peter Sylvester

    Scott McCaughey (Vocals, Guitars, Keyboards, Bass, Percussion, SF Giants)

    Steve Wynn (Vocals, Guitars, New York Yankees)

    Linda Pitmon (Drums, Percussion, Vocals, Minnesota Twins)

    Peter Buck (12- and 6-string Guitars, Fender VI Bass, Banjo, Washington Senators)

    Mike Mills (Bass, Vocals, Atlanta Braves)

     

    "That’s the true harbinger of spring,” legendary baseball impresario Bill Veeck once opined, “not crocuses or swallows returning to Capistrano, but the sound of a bat on the ball." This year there’s another welcome sign that spring is on the way, that baseball is about to resume its rightful place on the national stage, and that all will once again be right with the world: the new album from The Baseball Project, 3rd, hits the streets a week before the opening day of the 2014 season.

    Formed in 2007 by Scott McCaughey (Young Fresh Fellows, The Minus 5, R.E.M.) and Steve Wynn (The Dream Syndicate, Steve Wynn and the Miracle 3, Gutterball), The Baseball Project began as a way for a couple of fans to pay musical tribute to our national pastime — and maybe score some free baseball tickets in the process. But The Baseball Project has since blossomed into a full-fledged, much-loved band in its own right, one which currently includes drummer Linda Pitmon (Steve Wynn and the Miracle 3, Zuzu’s Petals) and R.E.M.’s Peter Buck and Mike Mills on its official roster, and one whose following and creativity has steadily grown with each release and tour. Along with 17 ace new songs about baseball, 3rd also showcases the band’s musical muscle in ways that 2008’s Volume 1: Frozen Ropes and Dying Quails and 2011’s Volume 2: High and Inside only hinted at.

    “I think this album most represents us as a rock band,” says Wynn. “Both how well we play together, and how long we’ve been playing together in The Baseball Project and in other configurations over the past 30 years. You can really feel it on this record — baseball or no baseball, it’s just a good rock record.”

    3rd is a damn fine rock record, one which approaches the grand old game from a variety of intriguing angles. True legends of the game (“The Babe,” “They Don’t Know Henry,” “A Boy Named Cy”) share the lineup alongside humorous and heartfelt salutes to lesser-known players like “Pascual on the Perimeter,” which recalls the time Atlanta Braves pitcher Pascual Perez got lost on the way to a game at his own team’s ballpark, and “Larry Yount,” which salutes the older brother of Hall of Famer Robin Yount, who hurt himself throwing a warm-up pitch during his first and only MLB appearance. 

    Those with less than savory legacies are present on 3rd, as well. World Series hero and convicted felon Lenny Dykstra gets nailed in “From Nails to Thumbtacks,” while “13” skewers disgraced slugger Alex Rodriguez, and “They Played Baseball” rattles off a whole rogues gallery of major league stars with all-too-human foibles. 3rd contains songs written from the perspective of the stat geek (“Stats,” where the lyrics consist entirely of legendary baseball numbers), the collector (“The Baseball Card Song”) and the diehard Dale Murphy fan (“To the Veterans Committee”). There’s even a song about that infamous 1974 game where Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Dock Ellis tried to bean the entire Cincinnati Reds lineup (“The Day Dock Went Hunting Heads”).

    “We don’t have any rules about what constitutes a baseball song,” McCaughey explains. “It can be anything from a character study of an obscure guy from the 1920s, to something that just happened, to something completely ridiculous like ‘Extra Inning of Love,’ which takes the baseball-as-love metaphor and tries to stretch it as far as it will go. They can be fictional songs or non-fictional songs. The great thing with baseball is, we’ll never run out of things to write about!”

    3rd ends with a rousing version of “Take Me Out to the Ball Game,” the Tin Pan Alley classic that The Baseball Project has performed during numerous seventh-inning stretches at major and minor league ballparks across the country. While McCaughey's not sure what actual present-day players think of the band, The Baseball Project has found a deeply receptive audience amongst baseball writers, broadcasters and team executives.

    “A lot of the assistant GMs or PR people for baseball teams are of the age where they could have been fans of The Dream Syndicate or the Fellows or R.E.M.,” explains McCaughey. “Over the years, they’ve gotten up to having a cool job, and they hook us up. It’s panned out pretty well,” he says, citing behind-the-scenes tours at the Baseball Hall of Fame and Boston’s Fenway Park among his favorite Baseball Project-related experiences.

    “We have a lot of fun in this band,” adds Wynn. “All five of us have had plenty of thrills in music over the years, and experienced things we couldn’t have imagined when we were twenty years old, but this band is a whole different thing. When I was making music in the basement as a kid, I had thoughts of maybe someday playing the Whisky A Go Go, or getting played on the radio — but I never imagined getting to throw out the first pitch at Wrigley Field!”

     

Records

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Music

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Videos

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  • The Baseball Project on The Late Show with David Letterman, June 2008


    The Baseball Project sings the National Anthem at Fenway Park


    The Baseball Project Behind the Scenes Recording Squidbillies Theme Song


    The Baseball Project at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, April 2012


    Steve Wynn throws the first pitch


    The Baseball Project on EXTRA

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