An Indie Rock Baseball Tribute: 'Ichiro's Theme'

Ben Gibbard of Death Cab for Cutie is a lifelong Seattle Mariners fan, and such an Ichiro Suzuki devotee he wrote a song about the outfielder. Though he wrote it years ago, he decided this week — when Suzuki was traded to the New York Yankees — was the right time to release "Ichiro's Theme."

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NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This week, fans of the Seattle Mariners learned that Ichiro Suzuki's road to the baseball Hall of Fame will take a detour through Yankee Stadium. Eleven and a half years after he came over from Japan, the Mariners traded the great Ichiro to the Yankees. A couple of years ago, Ben Gibbard recorded a tribute to the electrifying outfielder. Gibbard is the man behind the indie rock darlings Death Cab for Cutie and grew up listening to Dave Niehaus describe his exploits on TV and radio. He decided this week was the right time to release "Ichiro's Theme."

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "ICHIRO'S THEME")

BEN GIBBARD: (Singing) He slaps the ball with the greatest of ease, and when he steals second, he don't say please. If they're not careful, he'll take third too. Oh, Ichiro, it's why we love you. Now, go, go, go, go, Ichiro, rounding third and heading for home. Don't you know he beats the throw. And Dave says on the radio, Ichiro, you're unbelievable. Now, go, go, go, go, Ichiro...

CONAN: Dave Gibbard of Death Cab for Cutie. After three games on road grays, Ichiro makes his debut in Yankee pinstripes tomorrow night in the Bronx. Tomorrow in this hour, Ira Flatow with TALK OF THE NATION: SCIENCE FRIDAY. We'll see you again on Monday.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "ICHIRO'S THEME")

GIBBARD: (Singing) Ichiro, you're unbelievable. Ichiro, you're unbelievable.

CONAN: This is TALK OF THE NATION from NPR News. I'm Neal Conan in Washington.

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