Baseball 2011 Begins

The 2011 Major League Baseball season begins tomorrow! In celebration, enjoy Hulu’s presentation of one incredible baseball movie, Pride of the Yankees. ┬áThe film version of Lou Gehrig’s short but brilliant life was a perennial on WPIX in New York, and is part of the lore that helps create the Yankees and their fans’ identity. ┬áLou Gehrig’s farewell speech is still unbelievable years later, but probably not that poignant or shocking to people who have friends or relatives or are suffering from a life-threatening illness.

As a Yankee fan during the 70s, Catfish Hunter was the man, and apparently, Bob Dylan liked him too.

Bob Dylan – “Catfish”

It was backstage at the Peekskill Joan Baez show when I rolled up on Pete Seeger, but even more interesting, Jacques Levy, who co-wrote this baseball classic with Dylan. I realize meeting Pete Seeger and his resistance to my effort to get a “trade shot” of him and Joan Baez is good page in my story, trust me. But Jacque Levy co-wrote “Catfish,” one of Dylan’s most unique songs.

And of course Jim “Catfish” Hunter died of ALS like Lou Gehrig. In the great old movie, Irving Berlin’s song “Always” is a recurring theme to the love story between Lou and Ellie, and I’ve included Willie Nelson’s version below for your enjoyment. By the way thanks to Leigh Montville’s book The Big Bam and others for explaining the rift and importance of the hug Lou got from the Babe on the day he delivered his speech. They hadn’t spoken in years because the Babe and Lou’s wife…

But none of that is in “Pride of the Yankees.” Enjoy and please donate to the ALS Foundation

Willie Nelson and Leon Russell – “Always”

If that wasn’t enough, I also recently read that John Lennon was a fan of “Pride of the Yankees.” The song included a line he took and wrote about in a letter to Yoko from the Bahamas. As the old man would say “you can look it up.”

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