It’s America’s favorite pastime, Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Ted Williams and Sandy Koufax. These are some of the more notable names who have shaped America’s game. Baseball is as American as apple pie. Punk rock on the other hand is like pop music’s bastard brother. Joey Ramone, Joe Strummer, Greg Graffin, and Henry Rollins are some of the names that helped shape punk rock. So is it possible that a parallel might be drawn between the high-priced spectacle that is the world of professional sports and the down and out DIY of the punk rock world?
Baseball Punx is out to draw that parallel, while sports doesn’t always find itself embraced in the alternative world of punk music. The comparison’s however that could be drawn between the two are undeniable. Admittedly, million dollar contracts, chartered jets, and luxury motels might be a far cry from tour vans, greasy bars and strangers couches. However underneath all that baseball is among the more progressive pro sports leagues. Embracing LBGTQ players and fans alike baseball has done an admirable job of trying to end the homophobic, macho, misogynistic attitudes that are unfortunately still present in many locker rooms around the world. At the same time baseball doesn’t try to silence the players and fans from voicing their displeasure with the state of politics or the injustices of modern-day America.
Likewise it could be said that it wasn’t long ago the punk rock scene was just as full of homophobic, macho, misogynistic attitudes that make the sports world an uncomfortable place for those with alternative lifestyles. However over the years the punk scene has grown up and become a much more all-inclusive space, while also still being the conscience of America as well as the voice for the voiceless.
The ups and downs of America can be tied to both baseball and punk rock. You may have noticed that punk rock is suddenly making an impact in the music world for the first time since that Bush fella was president, and that’s no coincidence. While the NFL faces criticism for players kneeling for the anthem and the NFL turning it’s back on those players MLB has shown support for players who wish to make a “statement”, and while there is still backlash MLB isn’t blaming those players for decreased ratings.
Having more than ninety years on punk rock baseball has clearly had more time to change with the times. While both have grown and become more inclusive there’s still lot’s of work that needs to be done. But as a person who grew up in the homophobic, macho, misogynistic world of highly competitive sports, my escape from that world was punk rock and I never looked back, but now that I have I’m happy to see that the world of sports is starting to come into the 21st century. Just as I’m happy to go to a punk rock show and see people of all shapes, colours and lifestyles.
Baseball Punx does a great job of drawing the many comparisons I’ve outlined above, it’s a great piece. It’ll make you think, the people and bands in the documentary do a great job of giving us insight into why they enjoy baseball and even love it in some cases, but it also shows us how far we’ve come and how far we still have to go. Do yourself a favor and check it out below and be sure to check out the Baseball Punx website here. Besides how many of you know who Scott Radinsky is and why he’s the most awesome pitcher to have towed the rubber in MLB?