With proceeds benefitting both the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum and the Jackie Robinson Foundation, producer Jeff Campbell has apparently had no problem attracting many talented contributors to his concept of compilations of baseball songs and poetry. After all, it is the rare compilation producer who can brag that he has attracted Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan, or the Reverend Jesse Jackson to provide tracks. He points out that there are a lot more rock & roll songs about baseball than about tennis, and it is no doubt the truth, although one would hate to draw conclusions about anything based on the common subjects of rock songs. And the music and artists contained on these baseball volumes, of which this is the first, go well beyond the genre of rock, encompassing bluegrass and even new age artists, to be exact. The 25 tracks contained here contain a good deal of poetic and spoken word interludes, and the selections jump around in time between modern recordings and those from as far back as the mid-20 century. The subject matter keeps the material on the light and up-beat side, although there is the temptation to wax philosophical when it comes to subjects such as Satchell Paige's secrets of life. (This turns out to be the longest track, so old Satch must have had alot of secrets.) All in all, a grandly entertaining set produced with care and polish which should be a favorite of baseball fans from the moment they set their eyes on the CD itself -- it has been designed to look a baseball.
AllMusic Review by Eugene Chadbourne