Every now and then 500 Level Fan is lucky enough to be given an exclusive look at new and exciting baseball related items, anything from books to speaking engagements.
Today I am excited and privileged to present the latest instalment of the wildly successful “Songs on a Pink Couch” series by renowned musician Darrin Davis.
The song – “The Gashouse Gang” – was partially co-written by yours truly and will appear on Mr. Davis’ upcoming album “Almost Home” (to be released later in 2014). The album is based on the life of Davis’ grandfather Fred, who grew up on the farmlands of Ontario in the 1930’s. “The Gashouse Gang” is about Fred’s love of the game of baseball and is based on the great St. Louis Cardinals team of 1934, featuring Dizzy and Daffy Dean.
Part of what I love (and everybody loves) about baseball is its tradition. The game has changed tremendously since the 1930’s, yet at the same time it hasn’t changed at all. Each player in the modern game draws comparisons to those of yesteryear and many of the terms used in the ’30’s are still spoken today.
For that reason, I thought I’d present a short glossary of the terms used in “The Gashouse Gang”.
Ebbets Field – The home of the Brooklyn Dodgers from 1913 – 1957, with some of the craziest field dimensions of all time (297 feet down the right field line and 484 (!!!) feet to centre)
Red Barber – Radio broadcaster for the Cincinnati Reds, Brooklyn Dodgers, and New York Yankees across four decades (1934 – 1966)
Spartan wireless – Ontario manufactured tube radio popular for listening to baseball broadcasts in the 1930’s
Lou Gehrig – Nicknamed the “Iron Horse”, Gehrig was a star for the Yankees from 1923 – 1939, playing in a major league record 2,130 consecutive games, a record that stood until 1995.
Lefty Gomez – Star pitcher for the New York Yankees (and later the Washington Senators) from 1930 – 1943. He won five World Series titles with the Yankees.
Murderers Row – Nickname for the first six batters of what many believe to be the greatest baseball team of all time, the 1927 Yankees, featuring Earle Combs, Mark Koenig, Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Bob Meusel, and Tony Lazzeri (soon to be replaced by the June version of the 2014 Blue Jays – Kawasaki, Cabrera, Francisco, Tolleson, Kratz, and Lind.)
Dizzy, Daffy and the Gashouse Gang – The Gashouse Gang was a nickname given to the 1934 St. Louis Cardinals, the World Series Champions featuring All-Star pitching brothers Paul “Daffy” Dean and Jay “Dizzy” Dean. The team was referred to as the gashouse gang due to their propensity to wear unwashed, dirty, and smelly uniforms on the field, and their generally shabby appearance.
Pine Tar – A sticky material produced from the carbonization of pine wood and used by baseball players to improve the grip on bat handles.
Diamond Thirst – A term coined by lifelong baseball minor league players to describe why they can never leave the game (Kevin Costner’s line referring to this was actually cut from Bull Durham – true story)
Ty Cobb – Considered by many to be the greatest player in the history of the game. Considered by all to be the most vile, rude, racist, and miserable man to ever play. Was known to sharpen the spikes of his cleats to cause maximum bodily harm to infielders as he slid into second or third base. Once beat up an armless, heckling fan with a shoe.
Enjoy the tune – and be sure to purchase the album to hear 500 Level Fan’s vocal debut!
To pre-order a copy of “Almost Home” by Darrin Davis, please click here.
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Also check on the Darrin Davis Band on Facebook.