XM is celebrating the start of baseball season with the return of the "Play Ball!" channel. The microchannel will air all day on March 29th and March 30th on XM Live (ch 120).
And in what looks to be an interesting shift of focus towards the intertubes: XM will be extending the channel for a third day - on March 31st - for online listeners only.
The Play Ball! channel will play more than 400 songs about the game, from "Talkin' Baseball" to the Dropkick Murphys' rocking version of the Boston Red Sox fight song "Tessie." Between songs, you'll hear vintage audio clips, including classic baseball announcer calls ("The Giants win the pennant!"), comedy routines (George Carlin's "Baseball and Football," Garrett Morris as ballplayer "Chico Escuela" on "Saturday Night Live"), clips from the Bugs Bunny cartoon "Baseball Bugs," episodes of XM's "Baseball Confidential" interview show, the Rev. Jesse Jackson's 1972 eulogy for Jackie Robinson in Harlem, old-time radio dramas (Vincent Price's "Baseball Murder"), and a lot of other amazingly cool stuff.
The channel weaves the songs and spoken-word content together to create a sort of "theater of the mind" experience that's very, very cool... and very, very un-terrestrial radio.
"I think baseball runs emotionally deeper than any other sport," Brutus said. "The very nature of how the game is played can lift you up, or break your heart, more than any other game. The Play Ball! channel will make you realize how inspirational baseball has been to all kinds of artists for more than a hundred years. You find songs about baseball in most every genre of music. We are going to play literally hundreds of these songs to celebrate the start of the season, and celebrate the passion that people have for the game."