Category Archives: Rock ‘n’ Roll

The Best Song About Baseball Players: “Ichiro Goes to the Moon”

“Ichiro Goes to the Moon” by the mighty Baseball Project takes the #1 spot in this SB Nation survey, beating out songs about Ken Griffey Jr., Hank Aaron, Jackie Robinson, Joe DiMaggio, Willie Mays, Stan Musial and other greats. Here’s my first post about the tune, including this live version I filmed in 2011…

Ichiro Rock #8: Take Care

From the Village Voice music blog comes The Athlete Rap Albums We Should’ve Gotten in the ’90s. I get that these are fictional albums, though I’m not sure if they’re spoofing of any existing albums in particular…

Ichiro Suzuki – Take Care

Track Listing

1 – Over My Dead Ichiro

2 – Shot For Ichiro

3 – Headlines (About Ichiro)

4 – Ichiro Love

5 – Take Ichiro

6 – Ichiro’s Room

7 – Buried Alive (Ichiro)

8 – Under Ground Ichiro

9 – We’ll Be Ichiro

10 – Make Ichiro Proud

11 – Ichiro Knows

12 – Ichiro / Good Ones Go Ichiro

13 – Doing Ichiro Wrong

14 – The Real Ichiro

15 – Look What Ichiro Done

16 – HYFR (Ichiro)

17 – Ichiro

18 – The Ride (feat. Ichiro)

Hypothetical The Source Rating – 1 Mic

You know, for a second this album actually tricked me into thinking it was a classic. That was a close one.

Note that Ichiro didn’t actually play for the Mariners in the ’90s — he was still in Japan.

Ichiro Rock #7: “Ichi-Rock” by Mark Rivers

This 2001 song comes from a one-track CD I recently bought for cheap on eBay by a guy named Mark Rivers. The front cover is in the above video; this is the back cover…


Here are the lyrics, if you wanna sing along…


Ichiro vs. Bernie Williams

Ichiro has worn uniform #51 since 1992, when he was an 18-year-old rookie playing for the Orix BlueWave in Japan. When he became a Mariner in 2001, he was at first reluctant to wear 51, since it was previously sported by former Mariner pitching sensation Randy Johnson. However, he agreed to it anyway: “I’m very fortunate the Mariners would let me wear 51, and I’ll work hard not to damage the reputation of the number.”

On Monday, upon his trade to the Yankees, he had to give 51 up. In New York, the number is closely identified with beloved Yankee outfielder Bernie Williams, who played his entire pro career in the Bronx between 1991 and 2006. The Yankees haven’t retired Bernie’s number, but they won’t let Ichiro wear it, either. So, Ichiro is now #31.

What other connections do Ichiro and Bernie have? Not much, though they both appeared on a 2001 Upper Deck baseball card (above), and they both have recorded solo albums on acoustic guitar…

Actually, that second album was recorded by some other Ichiro Suzuki. My bad.

Ichiro to the Yankees: The Day After

Here’s some Ichiro/Yankee stuff I found online this morning, like all these gifs

…some cool art…

Oyl in Tokyo

…a newly released song by Seattle resident/Mariner fan/Death Cab for Cutie dude Ben Gibbard, titled “Ichiro’s Theme”…

…a bit of silliness…

…and a couple interesting links: Sportspress Northwest‘s exhaustive compilation of highlights of Ichiro’s 11-1/2 seasons in Seattle, and the Japanese reaction.

More to follow.

Ichiro Rock #6: At-Bat Music

Culled from a variety of sources, these are some tunes that have accompanied Ichiro’s Safeco Field at-bats over the last decade…

“In Da Club” by 50 Cent
“Lady Marmalade” by Christina Aguilera, Pink, Lil Kim and Mya
“In the Ayer” by Flo Rida
“Jump” by Flo Rida
“Sugar” by Flo Rida
“Shut It Down” by Pitbull
“S&M” by Rihanna
“Identity” by Ringo Shiina
“Yokushitsu” by Ringo Shiina
“The Sweet Escape” by Gwen Stefani
“All I Do is Win” by T-Pain
“Take It to da House” by Trick Daddy
“Yeah!” by Usher
“Super Mario Brothers Theme”

The dumb illustration comes from this Seattle Weekly article.

Ichiro Rock #5: “Ichiro” by Terry Cashman

Cashman has milked his dopey 1981 novelty hit Talkin’ Baseball far beyond its worth, with customized versions for nearly every Major League team (as well as for The Simpsons, which is actually kinda cool).

His Ichiro tribute is a generic, mid-tempo rocker, though he rolls his Rs whenever he sings “Ichiro,” presumably for authenticity.

From the 2002 EP Talkin’ Baseball: Seattle Mariners.

Ichiro Rock #4: “Ichiro!” by Xola

In the early ’90s, when Xola was known as Kid Sensation, he recorded the hiphop tune “The Way I Swing” with guest rapper Ken Griffey Jr. Unlike The Kid, Ichiro doesn’t rock the mic on “Ichiro!”, but Xola did get him to license his name to this song, which was played at Safeco Field and sold locally as a CD single during Ichiro’s 2001 rookie season. The disc was then released in Japan in 2002, featuring four tracks: the original version, a new 2002 version, the “Club Groove Remix” and “Mad Flava Remix” (at least one of the remixes was by Sir Mix-a-Lot). The track again appeared on the 2009 Kid Sensation CD Back Home. According to this, “Ichiro reportedly thinks the song is ‘cool.'”

Ichiro Rock #3: “Let’s Go! Ichiro” by the Ventures

After opening with a promising surf-rock riff, this tune is mostly just a mix of guitars, horns, and the title sung ad nauseum over a dumb dance beat. Though the Tacoma legends are big in Japan (pandering much?), for this stinker they oughta be kicked outta the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame. From the EP Songs for Baseball Players (2001).

Ichiro Rock #2: “Go Go Ichiro” by Supersnazz

A two-minute garage-rock blast by the all-girl Japanese band, shouting the title over and over like crazed fans who are genuinely stoked about their subject. From the compilation CD Seattle ..A Baseball Town (2004), in which Ichiro gets additional shout-outs in “Baseball Hero” (also by Supersnazz) and “2001” by Presidents of the United States of America frontguy Chris Ballew.

Ichiro Rock #1: “Ichiro Goes to the Moon” by the Baseball Project

You’ll hear the rest, now hear the best.

I shot the above video at last night’s show at Seattle’s Tractor Tavern. Lyrics…

He’ll have a seven course meal that Yumiko his wife prepares, and for his second stomach, two ice cream bars and six chocolate eclairs. 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, a patented sliding catch. For those who haven’t worshipped yet, you must succumb to bowing soon. There’ll be nothing left to prove when Ichiro goes, Ichiro goes to the moon. When Ichiro goes, Ichiro goes to the moon.

At age 40 he’ll turn to pitching with a fastball that hits 95, a knuckler that defies gravity, a curve with a twelve-to-six dive. Don’t put him on a pedestal, just treat him with respect. He seeks but his own approval, and earns all that he gets, he earns all that he gets. There’ll be another curtain call, a spacesuit in the trophy room. And I won’t be surprised at all, when Ichiro goes, Ichiro goes to the moon. When Ichiro goes, Ichiro goes to the moon. When Ichiro goes, Ichiro goes to the moon.

Listen to the studio version here, from the Baseball Project‘s 2011 album, Volume 2: High and Inside. In the liner notes, the song’s writer Scott McCaughey says…

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. Many have come, and some have made a mark, but there simply is no other Ichiro, from Japan or elsewhere. With his style, discipline and respect for the game, he’s a beacon of light for Seattle and baseball in general. I believe he can do anything he sets his mind to.

McCaughey also wrote about Ichiro in issue #19 of the baseball fanzine Zisk. In his short piece Keep Your Head Up Ichiro, he describes the song as…

My tribute to both the self-assurance and the humor that makes Ichiro so damn cool. The guy can pretty much do whatever he wants. I feel like if he wanted to build a rocket ship in his basement, he could do it. I wouldn’t bet against him. The song is also a tribute to his prowess at eating. Despite his slim build, the guy can really put it away. I respect that. I super-respect that!

Here’s another live version.

During the season I’ll examine a handful of other Ichiro tunes out there, but don’t get too excited — none are as good as this.