By Jacob Stockinger
And the two teams — the Boston Red Sox and the St. Louis Cardinals — that are vying for the world championship trophy (below) both come from cultured cities that boast world-class orchestras: The Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra and the Boston Symphony Orchestra.
I am not really a fan of any baseball team — or of team sports in general — but I do think baseball appeals to a lot of musicians. I know from personal experience that the superstar violinist Itzhak Perlman (below) is a big fan who once announced the updated scores of a world series games with the New York Yankees between pieces and from the stage of the old Madison Civic Center.
I wonder what the appeal of baseball to musicians is.
Maybe it has to do with the rhythm of the game.
For the member of a symphony orchestra or chamber music ensemble, maybe it is the team aspect.
For individuals, maybe what matters is the same kind of hand-eye coordination on which so much music-making on instruments depends – as does pocket pool, archery and target shooting, all of which I also like.
In fact, avid pianist that I am, I love watching baseball pitchers – like the great retired New York Yankees closer Mariano Rivera (below) – but only at home on TV where I can see the pitches relatively close up and also check how the speed is measured and the contortions that batters have to go through to hit the ball.
Throw the ball. Catch the ball. Hit the ball.
Easy game, right?
Anyway here, at the bottom, is the World Series Symphony Smack Down is a link to a story — with some surprises — on The New York Times music blog and to the video (which has overtones of the gang warfare in Leonard Bernstein‘s “West Side Story”) on YouTube.
Listen and tell me in the comments section why your think so many classical musicians like baseball?
And which city has the better symphony as well as baseball team? In other words, no matter who wins the series, I want to know who you think wins the Symphony Smack Down
The Ear wants to hear.