Friday, May 15, 2015

Brian Eno – "Backwater" (1977)

There was a senator from Ecuador
Who talked about a meteor
That crashed on a hill in the south of Peru

And those aren't even the weirdest lines from this song.  Check out these:

But if you study the logistics
And heuristics of the mystics
You will find that their minds rarely move in a line

Or these:

And the shorter of the porter's daughters
Dips her hand in the deadly waters
Ooh, what to do in a tiny canoe?

Click here to read an earlier 2 or 3 lines that discusses how Brian Eno writes song lyrics.

Today is May 15, which happens to be Eno's birthday.  

Happy 67th birthday to Brian Eno!
Of course, a lot of other people were born on May 15 – including 47 men who played major-league baseball.

How do I know that?  Because the Baseball Reference website – – told me so.

In 1983, when my oldest child was born, there was no such thing as the Internet.  So while I was waiting for my new son and his mother to come home from the hospital, I went through the old Macmillan Baseball Encyclopedia page by page and took note of every player who had been born on September 19.  (The Baseball Encyclopedia was a couple of thousand pages long as I recall, and there were 12,000 or so players listed in it.)

There were a lot of good players born on September 19, including Hall of Famers Duke Snider and Joe Morgan and old-timers Yank Robinson, Sadie McMahon, Stuffy McInnis, and Astyanax Douglass.  I was able to construct a good hypothetical baseball team from the players who were born on September 19.  

You can also construct a pretty good hypothetical team from players with May 15 birthdays.

Here's the starting lineup for a May 15 team:

  C – A. J. Hinch.  (The current manager of the Houston Astros, Hinch was a major-league catcher from 1998-2004.)

Justin Morneau
1B – Justin Morneau.  (He's in his 13th major-league season and is a four-time All-Star.  Morneau was the least-deserving MVP of all time in 2006, but we won't hold that against him.)
2B – Brian Dozier.  (The 27-year-old Dozier is playing his fourth season as the 2B for the Minnesota Twins.  Last year, he hit 23 HRs, had 21 stolen bases, and walked 89 times.)

George Brett
3B – George Brett.  (A .305 career batting average, 3154 career hits, 317 home runs – he's in the Hall of Fame and clearly deserves to be there.)

SS – Steve Yerkes.  (Yerkes was a middle infielder for the Red Sox before jumping to the upstart Federal League in 1914.  He played in over 700 major-league games between 1909 and 1916, and was a solid batter and fielder.)

LF – Michael Brantley.  (Brantley is playing his 7th season for the Cleveland Indians.  Last year he hit .327, bashed 20 home runs, and finished 3rd in the AL MVP voting.)

CF – Bill North.  (North was the extremely speedy center fielder for the great Oakland A's teams of the early seventies.  He stole 395 bases in 11 major-league seasons.)

RF – Jimmy Wasdell.  (The well-travelled Wasdell played all three OF positions and 1B for seven different major-league squads between 1937 and 1947.  His career average was .273, and he struck out only 165 times in 2866 at-bats.)

SP – John Smoltz.  (Smoltz won 213 games in his career, had more strikeouts than hits allowed, and made the all-star team eight times.  He's another Hall of Famer.)  

Brian Eno (and friend) in 1977
Brian Eno is English, but I somehow doubt that he would have turned out as a major-league baseball player if he had grown up in the United States.

But he's a Hall-of-Fame-caliber musician, composer, record producer, and visual artist.  

Here's "Backwater," from his 1977 album, Before and After Science:

Click below to buy the song from Amazon:

No comments:

Post a Comment