Today we aim to have a little fun with two of our favorite topics – Baseball and Rock ‘n Roll.
We got to thinking about some of the most iconic bands and artists from the music world and what legendary pitchers they brought to mind. In honor of Walter Johnson, who was born on this day in 1887 and is arguably the greatest pitcher in history, we bring you a dozen recording artists and their pitching partner. Try not to read too much into it: just go with the flow and enjoy.
Rolling Stones = Cy Young. Denton True Young is baseball’s all-time leader in wins, losses, innings pitched, starts and complete games. Like Young, the Stones have put up big numbers: hit songs, albums, drug arrests and years on tour.
Led Zeppelin = Randy Johnson. Both are big, bold, in-your-face and otherworldly. An argument can be made that each is the best of all time. The Big Unit’s slider is Bonzo’s drumming, while his fastball is Jimmy Page’s guitar — and both acts are awe-inspiring.
Ray Charles = Warren Spahn. Geniuses who revolutionized their craft, the hurler and the pianist both belong in the G.O.A.T. discussion. Although each is most certainly deserving, neither ever has enough flash to emerge as the winner in that conversation.
The Eagles = Tom Seaver. California cool and quietly dominant, their brilliance cannot be fully appreciated until their entire body of work is considered. The Eagles topped the charts with their first record, while Seaver was Rookie of the Year. Both outshined their peers, neither ever took a night off and both were utterly fantastic.
Boston = Vida Blue. Each burst onto the scene as if destined to be the G.O.A.T. Boston’s debut album is legendary, but by their third LP the band had lost its grip. Vida debuted as 1971 AL MVP, Rookie of the Year and Cy Young Award winner. The following season, he went 6-10.
Bachman-Turner Overdrive = C.C. Sabathia. The Yankee left-hander is a six-time All-Star and won the 2007 Cy Young Award. The Canadian rock group has sold nearly 30 million albums worldwide. Both are reliable, rotund, and really good at Takin’ Care of Business.
The Beatles = Walter Johnson. The Fab Four released 22 straight chart-topping albums in less than a decade. The Big Train averaged at least 26 wins a season for ten years. Both are the best in history and leave a legacy that will never be matched.
James Brown = Joe McGinnity. Brown was the hardest working man in show business. McGinnity pitched more than 340 innings in seven of 12 big-league seasons and twice topped 400. Both demonstrated an unparalleled work ethic.
Santana = Juan Marichal. Santana has sold over 100 million records and won ten Grammys. Marichal won more than 20 games six times in seven seasons and made eight straight All-Star teams. Yet neither of these Latin legends get the recognition they deserve. Santana’s Abraxas LP is comparable to Marichal’s 16-inning gem against Warren Spahn in 1963.
Jimi Hendrix = Mariano Rivera. Both chased perfection as soloists. One of the greatest guitarists of all time, Hendrix fashioned a sound all his own, separating himself from his band while delivering virtuoso performances. The virtually unhittable Rivera is simply the best closer in baseball history.
Guns ‘N Roses = Dwight Gooden. Their debut performances were epic. GNR opened with Welcome to the Jungle, Sweet Child o’ Mine and Paradise City. Doc went 24-4 with a 1.53 ERA while winning the 1985 Cy Young Award. Both crapped out due to their Appetite for Destruction.
Elvis Presley = Bob Gibson. Elvis integrated R&B, gospel and country into his music, creating what today is called Rock n’ Roll. Gibby combined an overpowering fastball, knee-buckling curve and pinpoint control, inventing what today is called filth. These legends not only left a cultural mark that spanned generations, they were so dominant that they forced rule changes. The Ed Sullivan Show screened Elvis only from the waist up, while MLB lowered the pitching mound because nobody could hit Bob Gibson.
Bob Seger = Fergie Jenkins. Seger was a hit machine and was at his peak for a decade. Jenkins posted six straight 20-win seasons. Both were All-Stars but were never the best in the game, perhaps due to timing as much as anything. Seger had to compete with Fleetwood Mac, the Eagles, and the Stones, while Fergie pitched at the same time as Seaver, Gibson, Marichal and Jim Palmer.
Have another musical act and the pitcher they remind you of? Reach us via Facebook, Instagram or Twitter @ DailyDSports.