Hipper than Werth

Everyone has a band with an 80s Phillies jones these days, or at least 80s baseball. Hardcore fans have Dykstra, whose members include one Vaughn Hayes, whose breathless growls you probably hear on tracks like “One Nut Kruk.” Psyched-out hippies have Von Haze, whose languorous drone recalls Joe Boever trying to throw a strike. Hipsters who’ve worn out their R.E.M. and Pavement LPs (who doesn’t own vinyl? please) but miss the Blue Jays and Indians being relevant have Candy Maldonado (who also happens to make a really pathetic Halloween costume). Even Hoboken’s own Yo La Tengo owes its name to His Whiteness.

True, up north, bands worship at the altars of 80s hockey gods, and enough red-blooded grunge bands from the states prefer 80s basketball. But 80s baseball remains the Coke, the Mercedes, the cool jazz of sports band names among the hipsterati.

Who else will be welcomed into this hipster pantheon someday? What other obscure, ironic, or memorably bad 80s (or 90s, or 00s) players will become heroes of the Barbary, or Kung Fu Necktie, or (we can only dream) Johnny Brenda’s?

My nominations:

Hee Seop Choi— would probably be a ska band (“Hee Skeop Choi”?) who grew up Dodger fans in Orange County during the Paul DePodesta era

Dread Lowrie— obviously, a Boston reggae band (e.g. white Harvard alum Trustafarian Red Sox fans, or, Vampire Weekend meets Dread Zeppelin)

Ricky Bones— think Muse meets Band of Skulls, or, welcome to the Twilight: Part IV soundtrack

Outside of the realm of baseball:

Jukka-Pekka Seppo— sounds Scandinavian, but isn’t– think Hüsker Dü

Réal Cloutier, or simply Cloutier (so as not to exclude him or him)– Canadian, no doubt; somewhere in the Tragically Hip/Rheostatics/Odds realm

Polamalu— obviously, an Angry Samoans tribute band

Zarley Zalapski— a Pittsburgh ZZ Top cover band (would that be redundant?)

Of course, “DeJesus” would totally rock too, but it’s been taken.


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