Thursday, February 14, 2013

No Trouble with the Curve

The week-long look into music in baseball will wrap tomorrow with a look at just a few of the best walk-up songs in the game today but today is the walk-up to the walk-up. I didn't hit a lot of home runs in my college career. I hit four. So I remember all of them. One came on Easter weekend my senior year, the other three came a year earlier. Two came during the same inning of the same game, but my first one came on the "road" a few weeks earlier. Our field at Mount Union was under water so we drove 15 minutes down the road to Walsh University to play Brockport State (NY) who was ranked in the top 25 at the time.

It was a day much like yesterday's intersquad on the turf. Cold, but not freezing, but we had a periodic appearance from the sun and there was a possibility for flakes at any time. By definition, it was freezing. We knew this from the outfield from the marquee on Market Ave. shuffling through random announcements and occasionally a "32°" would light up along with the current time. Talking about the temperature was all the outfielders could do to keep occupied during the mound visits and pitching changes.

We were trailing 2-0 at the time and I led off the bottom of the 4th. We were technically on the road so we didn't have our walk-up songs. My walk-up at the time (I used a dew that season) was "Dirty Frank" by Pearl Jam. It wasn't necessarily the best song for a walk-up song but anyone who chose Pearl Jam for a walk-up song usually chose  "Even Flow" and I wanted to pick one no one else had used. All that really mattered was the first eight seconds anyway so the rest of the song didn't matter.

One of the starting pitchers who threw earlier in the week was designated as the DJ for the day. Joe McIntyre (not this one) worked at the campus radio station and ended working a few years in the business after graduation so he was the perfect man for the job. We were fans of the alternative and grundge rock scene so he played a lot of Alice in Chains, Live, and the Stone Temple Pilots. I'm not sure but I think he used his own CD's he brought with him on the drive from Alliance to Canton, which would explain why he had the song which played during the middle of the 4th inning.

One of the bands I was a big fan of, at that point in time I had seen them live only two or three times was Our Lady Peace, who I mentioned in yesterday's post. They had a few singles on the air at the time but were still relatively unknown, at least among the college students I knew. Joe Mac decided to go off the charts for his selection of "Big Dumb Rocket". I pretty much loved all the songs on the album but this was an underrated track. Appreciating the choice, I gave a tip of the cap towards the press box to Joe Mac before I walked to the plate to acknowledge the effort. It was the fourth track on the album Clumsy, and it was the 4th inning...spooky, right? Ok, so it was a coincidence. So after the 2-2 curve ball hung out over the plate and I connexted connected with the ill-fated pitch and drove it over the right-centerfield wall to cut the lead in half. I had to chuckle as I crossed home plate and glanced to the press box because as a pitcher, he naturally tried to take credit for the blast. An inning later, Mr. All-America, Chuck Moore tied the game at two with a solo shot and won it with a sac fly in the last of the 7th as we walked-off with a 3-2 win.

It was a great day all around, but it may not have been without the proper song choice between innings. So choose wisely when selecting your batting practice playlists, the songs between innings, and your walk-up songs, because its the little details that derail your dreams.

I am not a publicist, manager, or even a roadie for the band, but I just wanted an excuse to listen to this song. So here is one of the songs shuffling through my iPod, from their latest album Curve, here is "If This Is It" by Our Lady Peace.

Part 3: The Space Between
Up next: The Walk-Ups

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