There's no shortage of music celebrating the magic and mythology of baseball. There are the obvious choices--"Centerfield" by John Fogerty, "Glory Days" from Bruce, Terry Cashman's "Talkin' Baseball". And there are some slightly less obvious choices that have become staples of my own baseball soundtrack--like Rupert Holmes' "Our National Pastime", "The Cheap Seats" from Alabama, Tom Paxton's "My Favorite Spring" and Orchestra Luna's surrealistic version of "Heart" (from "Damn Yankees"). But there are always new and unexplored fountains of Springtime hope and joy.
Peter Cooper is a Nashville based singer/songwriter who also writes and teaches music. He's played with superstars like Emmy Lou Harris and Bobby Bare, appeared on Jay Leno and David Letterman, and been nominated for a Grammy. And he wrote and recorded a baseball song called "Opening Day" which you can download free from Red Beet Records. It's a sweet slice of Americana (with Apple Pie on the side) for the American Pastime, so run on over to Red Beet and give it a go.
You can also get Peter's "Opening Day" (and a few other tracks) from the wonderful Hungry For Music people, in exchange for a small donation. Hungry For Music is a charitable organization that puts out some great music (specializing in Christmas music and Baseball Music) and invests the proceeds into instruments for kids who otherwise wouldn't have access to instruments or music programs. The cause is wonderful, of course, but the music is some of the best you'll find anywhere and easily stands on its own. Check HFM's 9 Christmas and 2 Chanukah discs here and their dozen Diamond Cuts collections here.
Scattered throughout the Diamond Cuts collections are some great tunes from modern day troubadour and folk singer Chuck Brodsky. Brodsky's songs can also be had in the standalone album "The Baseball Ballads"--top to bottom one of the finest baseball themed albums you're likely to come across. Chuck is a brilliant lyricist and the players and stories he's written about on this collection explore some of the sport's lesser known legends and terrain. My personal favorite on "The Baseball Ballads" is "Dock Ellis' No No" (Dock reportedly pitched a no-hitter while on LSD), but there's not a weak track in the set.
The Pilots had a theme song, of course--"Go Go You Pilots"--which you can catch as part of the collection on the blog Stuff Nobody Cares About. A more contemporary tribute--a real rockin' tribute--was provided by The Young Fresh Fellows for "The Homerun EP". "Go Pilots Go" is easily worth 99 cents to anyone with even a minor fascination for the team that only lasted a year, and should be worth as much to anyone who values good old Ramones styled rock n roll.
We'll leave you with the Baseball Project's latest video, "All Future And No Past" (from "The Broadside Ballads"). Be sure to visit the group at their web site or label. And, though we've barely scratched the surface of baseball music...