Paste magazine has a cool feature timed to Opening Day of baseball season in which musicians who are fans of all 30 MLB teams talk about their love of the game, and of their teams.
Steve Wynn cheers for the Yankees, Erin McKeown goes for the Baltimore Orioles, John Legend likes the Cincinnati Reds (he grew up in Ohio, though since he went ot UPenn he apparently he also likes the Phils), Wale roots for the Washington Nationals and Ira Kaplan of Yo La Tengo is a Mets fan.
But you want to know who spoke up on behalf of the Phillies, right? Well, the Phils get two in Los Lobos saxophonist Steve Berlin, who grew up in Abington, and Man Man leader Ryan Kattner, who you might have noticed has a baseball related nom de rock in Honus Honus.
The entire Paste piece is here. Excerpts from what Berlin and Kattner told the music and culture magazine are below. That's a picture of the Phillies celebrating winning the World Series in 1980, an event Berlin vividly remembers. Thanks to Jason Isbell, who I fear is a Braves fan, for calling my attention to this.
Steve Berlin: “I lived through as an eight or nine-year old the infamous collapse of ’64 when they were nine games ahead with 12 to play and lost to the Cardinals. I remember vividly going to school and praying that Philly didn’t lose that day, and they did. It’s a lifelong connection—the first game I ever went to with my dad was one of the longest games ever…it was like a 22-inning game against the Cubs at Connie Mack [Stadium], which really dates me, but f- it.
I remained a lifelong fan—I remember in ’80 when they won it all, it was so overwhelming that they actually won that oddly enough…nothing else in my life had been as powerful or intense as the idea that the Phillies finally won a World Series. Instead of it making me happy…stuff that I used to enjoy wasn’t as much fun because it wasn’t as cool as the Phillies actually winning this thing. It took me a while to get my head right, it was just so intense…so yeah I’m fan.”
Honus Honus (Ryan Kattner): “I was a military brat, so I moved around all the time. I was a constant fan of Nolan Ryan as a little kid. I sent him birthday cards and stuff and would get autographed pictures back. My father was a lifelong Cubs fan—a lifelong sufferer. I grew up watching the Cubs and was a Ryne Sandberg fan. But then I moved to Philly for school and that’s when I became a Phillies fan.
[The Phillies] are just f--ing tough dudes. I love their pitching staff too, obviously. Most of the team is home grown, and the Phillies just sucked for so long…It was the Philly curse, because they weren’t supposed to build any buildings taller than City Hall. Once they did, that’s supposedly when the curse happened and no team would ever win a championship…until we finally broke it.