Saturday, January 15, 2011

Baseball: A Film by Ken Burns

How I've never seen this before is beyond me. I considered myself a Baseball enthusiast, but up to now I didn't know squat about the true history of the game. If you've ever seen a Ken Burns documentary, then you know the feeling you get when watching. Even the first episode of the riveting documentary chronicling the history of the game made me feel like an expert. I'm not an expert...but Ken made me feel like one.

A couple of interesting points that I was unaware of (yes, I took notes):

- On the first baseball team (Cincinnati Red Stockings) the players made $1400/ yr. That was 7 times the average american salary. Right now the MLB minimum salary is 9 times the average.
- The first real organized baseball game between two professional teams was June 19, 1841 between the New York Knickerbockers and the New York Atlantics. This was 141 years, to the day, before I was born.
- "King" Kelly may be my favorite baseball player of the 19th century. He was the archetype for the next 100 years of baseball player bravado.
- My favorite new quote about baseball, "In baseball, the best man is he who plays best." - Fleet Walker.

I'll keep you updated on my experience over the next 9 discs.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

My 2010 Pre-Game Playlist

As Stated in my Mike Diaz Interview, i'm not a man of superstition...more like compulsiveness. I listened to the same 5 song playlist exactly 1 hour before each baseball game that I started. Let me run down the list for you:

- Passion Pit: "Make Light", Manners

This band rocked my universe this past year. The album just makes you other way to put it.

- Phoenix: "1901", Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix

Ok, so everybody has heard this song. A lot! I was a late follower of the band, but that didn't keep me from making "1901" my walk-out song this year, too.

- Acceptance: "Take Cover", Phantoms

Older album that I can't seem to get over. Catchy rock anthems from beginning to end, but "Take Cover" is the one song to rule them all (I've been re-watching the LOR trilogy).

- Manchester Orchestra: "Shake It Out", Everything To Nothing

Led by my high schoolmate, Andy Hull, this band has been a part of my pre-game listening experience since early college. They released their 3rd album Everything To Nothing and it has been in the CD player ever since. Andy and I haven't talked in a while, but he can be sure i'm still listening.

- Gustav Holst: "Jupiter: Bringer of Joy", The Planets Suite

You didn't think that I could get through a playlist without throwing you a curveball (sorry, it was too easy). I love Classical Music. I think it's genetic. Anyway, this is my favorite piece from my favorite classical composition. It's 6 minutes of, well, JOY! For whatever reason it gets me in the right frame of mind to pitch. Listen to it and tell me you don't feel like you have sparks shooting out of your fingers afterward.

I need new suggestions for this coming season. Bring 'em on. If they make the cut then you will get credit for it publicly. Isn't that what we all want in the end?