Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Baseball Fans Among My Best Music of 2011 Honorees

As I attempted to cover the countdown of my favorite albums of 2011 from a baseball angle, a common refrain was to identify which artists are fans of what teams. Some of this was based on my prior knowledge, but I also did a lot of internet searching to make these determinations.

So, just for giggles, I thought I'd list all the artists with a baseball affinity here and associate them with the teams to which they pledge their loyalties, at least to the extent I was able to figure out. In doing so, I've unofficially determined what are the most popular teams among my top bands and solo artists of last year. Honestly, I thought the Braves would distinguish themselves, but as you'll see below, this extremely unscientific survey resulted in a three-way tie.

One detail that's worth noting: a couple of these folks don't necessarily have one particular team they consider their favorite, particularly those I determined by listening to The Baseball Project's "Fair Weather Fans." In these cases, I counted them as fans of the teams whose loyalties they appear to have maintained the longest.

In doing my research here, I also found this interview with Wilco where they talk about being baseball fans, but don't really express any devotion to a particular team. Glenn Kotche is sorta "we prefer the Cubs but we also like the Sox," and Jeff Tweedy mentions liking the Red Sox as a kid. But, he also references being from St. Louis and, despite his current status as a Chicago resident, having a difficult time considering himself a Cubs fan. So, he's a little too all-over-the-place for me to count as anything but a fan of the game itself. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

Anyway, for what it's worth, here's what I came up with:

Atlanta Braves

Mike Mills (R.E.M.)
Jason Isbell

Los Angeles Dodgers
Steve Wynn (The Baseball Project)
Stephen Malkmus

Minnesota Twins
Linda Pitmon (The Baseball Project)
Gary Louris (The Jayhawks)

New York Yankees
Steve Earle

St. Louis Cardinals
Will Johnson (Centro-Matic)

San Francisco Giants
Scott McCaughey (The Baseball Project)

Seattle Mariners
Ben Gibbard (Death Cab for Cutie)

Washington Senators
Peter Buck (R.E.M., The Baseball Project)

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