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Legends On Deck

The Baseball Project

The Baseball Project with my banjo

Music is one of the most important things in my life. I’m pretty sure that I am the only person involved with this site that if given the opportunity to go to a baseball game or a live music show would choose the latter every time, hands down.

Having said that, I have worked in baseball my entire adult life, Except for a six month stint working in shipping/receiving at a Toys R Us during the 1994 baseball strike, I have never received a paycheck that wasn’t either from baseball or another sport due to a job I picked up because of a baseball connection.

I do however, have a way to combine the two….The Baseball Project.

Mike Mills and Brian 3-31-15

Mike Mills and Me on March 31, 2015

The Baseball Project is an alternative rock supergroup consisting of Mike Mills, bass player and founding member of rock and roll hall of famers R.E.M. , Scott McCaughey, guitarist for the Young Fresh Fellows and a musician who has played on albums and toured around the world as a supporting member of R.E.M. , Steve Wynn, guitarist for the Dream Syndicate, the Miracle 3 and the Steve Wynn Band, and drummer Linda Pitmon also of the Miracle 3 and Pretty Babies.  Another founding member of R.E.M., guitarist Peter Buck plays on the band’s studio recordings but typically does not tour.

Great musicians all, and they almost exclusively write and sing songs about baseball. Mills is a Georgia native and an Atlanta Braves fan and both McCaughey and Wynn are fans of the game’s history and together they have penned over three albums of songs about the national pastime.

Among their album releases are “Vol. 1 – Frozen Ropes and Dying Quails” Vol 2 “High and Inside” and “3rd”….Songs include “Buckner’s Bolero” (about the 1986 World Series) , “Panda and The Freak” (Pablo Sandoval and Tim Lincecum), “Ichiro Goes To The Moon”, “Harvey Haddix“, The Day Dock (Ellis) Went Hunting Heads” and “They Don’t Know Henry (Aaron)” among many others celebrating the rich history of baseball and it’s teams and players.

Ten thousand at bats and close to three thousand hits,
And he stole plenty of bases before his legs quit,
As tough to walk as he was to strike out
But there’s only one play that ever gets talked about – “Buckner’s Bolero”  (lyrics by Scott McCaughey)

The Baseball Project toured extensively in March and April, and I was fortunate along with my friend and co-worker Boston Red Sox spring training season ticket manager Jane Simmons to see them at a Fort Myers restaurant/club called Yabo after a Red Sox road game in Port Chatlotte versus the Tampa Bay Rays. It was truly a great evening. I hadn’t seen Mike Mills in about fifteen years, and Jane and I have a co-worker and friend who had taken Scott McCaughey to his first ever Fenway Park game years ago. We all had lots to discuss during set break.

Jane, Brian Scott McCaughey 3-31-15

Me, Brian Scott McCaughey and Jane on March 31, 2015

Former Red Sox pitcher Lenny DiNardo was in the audience as was Minnesota Twins minor leaguer Ruar Verkerk, so the Baseball Project attracted some special guests to the  show.

Earlier in the day the band played a free show and sang the national anthem prior to the Minnesota Twins spring training game against the New York Yankees, (something they have done at numerous major league stadiums including Fenway Park and at the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown),

Give The Baseball Project a listen. I guarantee you will not be disappointed.

baseball project

A Show Flyer.

Brian Mullen

Brian is a Boston native and art school student who took a summer job with a baseball team and never left. He has been employed by the Boston Red Sox in one capacity or another since 1982. He also follows and blogs college basketball. Follow him on Twitter @BostonBrian2015