The Baseball Project is a band featuring R.E.M.'s Peter Buck, Young Fresh Fellows' Scott McCaughey, the Dream Syndicate's Steve Wynn, and his wife, drummer Linda Pitmon, who geek out about their favorite baseball players and teams over power-pop riffage. See, indie nerds can play sports.
Their new album, Volume 2: High and Inside, is on deck for a March 1 release via Yep Roc, and it features an all-star lineup of collaborators, including Yo La Tengo's Ira Kaplan, the Hold Steady's Craig Finn, the Decemberists' Chris Funk and John Moen, and Death Cab for Cutie's Ben Gibbard.
Gibbard sings a tribute to his home team, the Seattle Mariners. Listen to "Ichiro Goes to the Moon" below, exclusively at SPIN.com.
The song, written by McCaughey and featuring Gibbard on backing vocals, nods to outfielder extraordinaire Ichiro Suzuki.
"When Ichiro broke the 'Japanese Position Player Line' and started his major league career with both Rookie of the Year and MVP honors, it looked to start a huge influx of Japanese players to the U.S.," McCaughey tells SPIN. "Many have come, and some have made a mark. But the truth is, there is no other like Ichiro, from Japan or any other country. With his style, discipline and respect for the game, I believe he's been a beacon of light for Seattle and baseball in general. And I firmly believe he can do anything he sets his mind to."
Which includes going to the moon. In the song, McCaughey and Gibbard sing, "By day he builds a spaceship; it's got a periscope and hatch / At night he might go five for five, with a patented sliding catch / For those who haven't worshipped yet, must resort to bowing soon / There'll be nothing left to prove, when Ichiro goes, Ichiro goes to the moon."
Listen to "Ichiro Goes to the Moon" below, then hit a homer in the comment section.
LISTEN: The Baseball Project, "Ichiro Goes to the Moon"