|ESPN.com: Music||[Print without images]|
No-hitters are back in style in a big way this season, but if a major league hitter can finally get the first Triple Crown in 43 years, it would certainly be a flashback to the 1960s.
That has inspired The Baseball Project to release the '60s pop-styled "(Do The) Triple Crown," the latest in the band's season-long Broadside Ballads series of songs that the band is giving away for free all season on ESPN.com. Listen to it in the box at right and download it by clicking here.
Although the players mentioned in the song have faded a little in one statistic category or another, singer and guitarist Steve Wynn and his Baseball Project bandmates try to capture the magic that would sweep the nation if Detroit's Miguel Cabrera, Texas' Josh Hamilton, Cincinnati's Joey Votto or St. Louis' Albert Pujols makes a strong run at the first Triple Crown since Boston's Carl Yastrzemski led the American League with a .326 batting average, 44 home runs and 121 RBIs in 1967.
If that happens, baseball fans will be singing and dancing along to Wynn's "(Do The) Triple Crown" chorus:
Yastrzemski and Frank Robinson, who captured the Triple Crown with Baltimore by batting .316 with 49 home runs and 122 RBIs in 1966, make special "guest" appearances at the end, but guitarist Scott McCaughey said they didn't intend to honor those baseball greats with the song.
"I only added the Yaz-Robbie bit at the end at the very last minute," McCaughey said in an e-mail. "It seemed to make sense, because yes, Steve and Linda [Pitmon, TBP's drummer] were obviously paying tribute to the '60s dance craze songs when they cut the basic track. I jumped on that by adding the always pleasing cheesy organ sound that harkens back to that time."
McCaughey doesn't think any of the current players can off the Triple Crown, but he said American League RBI leader Cabrera (93) has the best chance despite being eight home runs behind Jose Bautista's AL-leading 34 and sitting third in batting (.341) behind AL leader Hamilton's .355 average heading into Tuesday's games.
"Jose Bautista is going to make it hard for him," McCaughey said. "And it's easier to hit homers in the Rogers Centre than at Comerica Park.
"That being said, you can never count out 'El Hombre.' He could get hot and bring that average up … yeah, he could do it. But it's obviously gotten so very difficult these days."
Wynn likes Pujols' chances (NL-leading 83 RBIs, second with 28 homers and fifth with a .313 average) at catching Washington's Adam Dunn (30) for the home run lead and making up the gap on Colorado's Carlos Gonzalez, who leads the National League with a .327 average.
"My money's on Pujols. That guy can put together a hot streak like nobody's business," Wynn said in an e-mail.
Jim Wilkie is the editor of The Life and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.