Musician: Roger Clyne
Band: Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers
Why he loves the Diamondbacks: “My band was on tour and playing in Chicago when I got a call from the Diamondbacks. They were in the pennant race and wanted to know if I’d write a team theme: a tune to rally the fans for the playoffs. I’m a native Arizonan and was naturally a fan. My kids were also playing on the little league version of the D-Backs. I was on the tour bus and went to work on the song as soon as I hung up the phone.
The song came together pretty quickly and we sent in a demo from the road. I didn’t hear back from the D-Backs for what seemed like a long time, so I called them back to see if they got the demo. They said, ‘yes! It’s a home-run! We love it and we’re using at the games!’ I was at once stoked that they liked it and also horrified that they’d been playing the rough demo version! I asked if we could re-record it, but it was too late. The demo was already ‘out there’ and in the heads and hearts of the team and the fans, so that’s what stuck, that’s what became the official ‘D-Backs Swing.’
Now we’re proud to be the hometown band that wrote the theme for the home team. We’ve played some spirited concerts in the stadium after D-Backs games and will be throwing our CD release concert for our new album Unida Cantina at their spring training ballpark in a few weeks!”
Musician: Billy Nershi
Band: String Cheese Incident
Why he loves the Rockies: “I grew up back east in New Jersey; was born and bred a Yankee fan and played third base throughout high school baseball. In 1981, I went to Telluride, Colorado for two weeks to visit my brother, and 30 years later I still haven’t gotten that return ticket. As a Colorado resident, The Rockies have won me over with their kick-ass spirit. They never give up. Their streak at the end of the 2007 season—winning 21 of 22 games and sweeping both National League playoffs to get to the World Serious—was KILLER!”
Los Angeles Dodgers
Musician: Buzz Osborne
Band: The Melvins
Why he loves the Dodgers: “About seven years ago I became a baseball addict. Living in Los Angeles, the Dodgers are the closest team so I immediately became a huge Dodger fan. The Dodgers are an easy team to love! They have a great history of amazing players including Jackie Robinson, Don Drysdale, Sandy Koufax and Dodger stadium is a fantastic place to see a game. There’s nothing like seeing live baseball!”
How to spot Buzz at a baseball game: Look for his hair.
Musician: Randy Newman
Why he loved the (Brooklyn) Dodgers: “I love baseball. My favorite teams were the Hollywood Stars of the PCL and the Brooklyn Dodgers. What I remember best about the experience of going to a ball game is how beautiful it looked when you came through the tunnel and you saw a green field. It didn’t matter whether it was Gilmore Field (the home of the Stars), the Coliseum (which incidentally was a very odd looking ballpark) or Dodger Stadium. The thrill was the same. I remember seeing a game at the Polo Grounds in New York. I saw Whitey Lockman hit a 270-foot homerun down the left field line to beat the Phillies 1-0.”
Newman’s thoughts on baseball fields: I think that baseball fields are about the most beautiful things in the world.”
San Diego Padres
Musician: Tim Foreman
Why he loves the Padres: “I spent a good portion of my childhood living in Boston, which is to say that I grew up loving baseball and a certain team with red socks. I still do. But after spending most of my life now living in San Diego, I’ve become a die-hard Padres fan too. I guess all those early years pulling for the hard-luck Red Sox prepared me to be a Padres fan as well. But I’m continually proud of what the Padres are able to accomplish without the large payroll of big-market teams, and there’s no better feeling than watching your underdog hometown team playing hard and winning. I’ve already got my tickets and I can’t wait ‘till April!”
Estimated payroll for the 2011 San Diego Padres: $43 million.
San Francisco Giants
Musician: Scott McCaughey
Band: The Minus 5, R.E.M., The Baseball Project
Why he loves the Giants: “The first game I ever attended was an Indians/Giants pre-season game, probably in 1962 or so. I’m sorry to say I don’t remember much about the Indians, but I stared in awe at Mays, McCovey, Marichal, Cepeda, etc. from a scant few feet away. One year later, my family was uprooted from Tucson, and at the time it broke my heart to leave. But when we arrived in the Bay Area, and my Dad took me to the first of many, many Giants games at Candlestick Park, this new home didn’t seem so bad. Over the years my allegiance to the Giants has never wavered, though I avidly embraced the A’s, and then the Mariners, as my other ‘hometown’ teams. And there’s still just about no place I’d rather spend a day or evening than at the ballpark.”
Songs written to commemorate the Giants winning the pennant: One.
Musician: Matt Nathanson
Why he loves the Giants: “I used to think the “baseball parks as church” metaphor was hype from Kevin Costner movies, but standing on the pitcher’s mound, on a perfect day at AT&T park, singing the national anthem to a VERY packed stadium on the Giants opening day, it hit me….baseball is community. It is religion. Mixed in with the smells, the sounds, the sun, was this palpable, contagious sense of togetherness. All these people from different cultures, different classes were there, united by the pride they had for their team.”
Nathanson’s philosophical baseball musing of the day: “It’s rarer and rarer these days to find anything people agree on. Cynical folks think common ground is a thing of the past and that we need to get hip to the new fractured nation. Those people have never been to a baseball game.”