Major League Baseball players are singing the praises of Pearl Jam.

In interviews conducted as part of MLB Network’s Opening Week coverage, several of the sport’s biggest names tipped their caps to the grunge legends.

“I’d rather talk about Pearl Jam than baseball,” admitted Royals pitcher Ian Kennedy, one of the many players interviewed for the piece.

“They were one of the first rock bands I ever liked,” added two-time World Series champion and current San Francisco Giants outfielder Hunter Pence. “I would be happy to see Pearl Jam anywhere.”

Going even further with his fandom, St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Adam Wainwright listed his favorite Pearl Jam albums. “Ten, Vs., Vitalogy, No Code and Yield were huge, huge parts of my life growing up.” The three time all-star adds that 1996’s No Code ranked, in his opinion, as the band’s most underrated LP.

The full segment featuring players discussing their love of Pearl Jam will air on MLB Network's morning show MLB Central at 10AM ET on July 27. It’s part of a broader collaboration between the two parties, which has seen the MLB Network utilizing Pearl Jam songs in its promotional material for 2020’s Opening Week. The season, which had been delayed for months due to the coronavirus pandemic, officially begins today.

Pearl Jam has a long and well-chronicled history with baseball. Singer Eddie Vedder is an avid MLB fan, proudly supporting his hometown Chicago Cubs. The rocker has led Wrigley Field in renditions of “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” on six different occasions, including game five of the 2016 World Series.

That same year, Pearl Jam played two sold-out shows at Wrigley Field, capturing the performances for their live LP and concert film Let’s Play Two (the title reflecting the catchphrase of legendary Cubs shortstop Ernie Banks).

The band has also previously played shows in the iconic confines of Fenway Park and its “home field,” Seattle’s Safeco Field. Pearl Jam's latest album, Gigaton, came out in March.

 

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