Skip to content

Big Day Coming for Mets-Obsessed Musician

Longtime indie-rock hero Ira Kaplan, who co-fronts the band Yo La Tengo, is a lifelong Mets fan, and his band is even named after an anecdote about the 1962 Mets. Today is a big day for him, as he’ll be throwing out the first pitch prior to this afternoon’s Mets/Phillies game. I’ll be there with a few friends to cheer him on.

I’ve known Ira for over 30 years and helped him get his arm in shape during a throwing session in East River Park last week. He’s treating his first pitch as a true pitch, complete with a windup and a bit of mustard on his fastball. (By contrast, I treated my recent first pitch at ECU as more of a throw, like I was just playing catch.) Although he’s now 66 years old, Ira can still bring it — I was impressed by his arm and have no doubt that he’ll do well today. Full report to follow tomorrow!

Comments (17)

    “Sugarcube”, the greatest music video ever made. “Ira, get down from there. You’re making an ass of yourself.”

    That’s utterly awesome!

    Paul, if you don’t mind sharing, how did you come to know Ira?

    Yo La Tengo played in Binghamton, where I went to college, in 1987. I already had their debut album and was a fan. I introduced myself to them after their set and gave them a copy of the music zine I was publishing at the time. I moved to NYC a few months later, and we’ve been friends ever since.

    Although I no longer write about music, I remain very connected to that world, and the vast majority of my friends are either directly from indie-rock or indie-adjacent.

    That’s awesome; thanks for sharing it. I knew you had a lot of friends in the indie rock world, but not that your friends included indie rock royalty.

    And Then Nothing Turned Itself Inside-Out is the perfect album for all occasions.

    ALMOST all occasions. I wouldn’t advise playing this record on a pre game get together before a Friday or Saturday night out on the town…however for long late night drives it’s almost too perfect

    Also, “This Stupid World,” released just a couple of months ago, is their best album in years by my count. going to listen to it right now.

    Bizarre coincidence when interests align… Another Uni-watcher here whose favourite band are Yo La Tengo!

    Seen them lots of times over in the UK, the first dance at my wedding was Nowhere Near, and I came all Starstruck when I met my Ira – he came out to sell CDs of the Sounds of Science before a gig back in 2002 – I couldn’t string 2 words together as we tired to work out how to sort out my change!

    Would be great if you could post a video of the first pitch.

    James’ side project Dump has an album of Prince covers that really hits the sweet spot. I can’t wait to read and/or see how well you’ve coached Ira!

    Just found the cassette only release of the Prince covers on discogs.
    Thanks for bringing it to my attention!

    My high school history teacher was Rachael McNally of Sleepyhead – she sometimes filled in for YLT on drums. Really cool, Paul, and not surprising that you are an indie person

    Ha, that’s awesome! I don’t know Rachael super-well, but I did know her and Chris a bit, and I remain good friends with original Sleepyhead bassist Mike Galinksy. Was just emailing with him this week, in fact!

Comments are closed.