Steve Sax with the Late Tommy Lasorda
Baseball has had its share of All-Stars who doubled as proficient musicians, a fact which came to mind last month with the passing of Charley Pride. Although his baseball career was brief, Pride still was one of the special talents who reached the highest levels in both baseball and music.
More often, the opposite occurs when the two worlds meet in one person. Baseball is usually where the bi-talented pro starts, pursuing a musical career after his playing days have come to an end.
The best example might be Yankees great Bernie Williams, who has since retirement became a coveted session guitarist in a variety of genres. World Series hero Scott Spezio, whose performance lifted the Angels over the Giants in the 2002 Fall Classic, moonlighted as a guitarist in a rock band.
Right hander Bronson Arroyo is also recognized for his musical performances, as he plays guitar and sings at some top-notch venues. Ruben Sierra, one of the greatest switch hitters of all time, has recorded a number of musical CDs of salsa music.
Whether or not they are musically-inclined, a bunch of baseball players have names similar to instruments. Here is a roster of guys who fit the category, excluding the many named Bell.
First Base, A. J. Reed
Had quarterback Doug Flutie chosen baseball instead, he may have replaced this former lefthanded slugger from the Houston Astros.
Second Base, Steve Sax
The legendary Dodger infielder, who suffered from throwing issues late in his career, would serve well in the brass section.
Shortstop, Rob Picciolo
After a career spent mostly with the Athletics, the man with a name resembling the smallest orchestra piece became an instrumental coach.
Third Base, Gordie Windhorn
This utility man spent three years with four teams, starting with the 1959 Yankees.
Left Feld, Kevin Bass
Although he sounds like a four-string guitar, Bass actually swung a wooden instrument with much success for the Astros of the Eighties.
Center Field, Jeffrey Hammond
Baltimore relied heavily on this talented player, whose name he shares with a famous organ maker.
Right Field, Bryce Harper
After winning a Most Valuable Player award, Harper pulled a lot of strings and signed a record free agent contract with the Philadelphia Phillies.
Catcher, Bob Uecker
It is fun just imagining the popular Milwaukee broadcaster wearing a Hawaiian shirt, while plucking an instrument mostly associated with Don Ho.
Designated Hitter, Sam Horn
As a powerful part of lineups in both Boston and Baltimore, Horn blasted an average of twenty home runs a year.
Pitcher, Frank Viola
The instrument has a pitch somewhere between a violin and a cello; the man pitched very successfully between the New York Mets and Minnesota Twins.