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Top of the 3rd--The Baseball Project

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While most actors would rightfully steer away from reading the phonebook for dramatic effect, Richard Burton did exactly that on The Tonight Show years ago.  Most of us think it worked; Burton managed to make it fairly dramatic, as dramatic as the white pages can probably be. The Baseball Project’s third release, 3rd, begins with the baseball equivalent of the white pages—stats—and it actually works, too.  Just as the phonebook was not Burton’s most compelling performance, “Stats” is not the best song by The Baseball Project on 3rd, though it does prove a point.

“Stats” complements “Box Scores” perfectly and many of us can relate to it in some way, the comfort of pouring over Henry Chadwick’s great American invention, box scores, and getting lost in them; every lucky person has a version of “box scores.”  There are stories there for those who can read them.


Stories are where The Baseball Project really shines, there and great musicianship.  Put those two things together and the result is pretty amazing, even for a group that is limited to baseball for its subject matter.  It certainly helps to know some of the baseball stories in advance, though it is possible to hunt up and research what you don’t know from the songs.  The story of Dock Ellis was one of those for me and it’s a great story and a catchy tune.


The bonus tracks (making it a 22 track album) are worth the extra cost, especially “Spring Training in New Orleans” and “Why Melky Why?” (the latter having a Kinks sound to it).  There are some contemporary pieces as well; the songs range from the early days of the sport to “A-Rod’s troubles with “13.” They even manage to get a love song in there, an accomplishment for tunes limited to baseball, with “Extra Inning of Love.”

I doubt they care, as there is plenty of joy in the delivery of this music, but we hope the baseball theme does not scare away potential fans of The Baseball Project and their music.


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