Craig Finn talks about his love of baseball

From CBS Sports:

Occasionally we here at Eye on Baseball will take a break from watching baseball and branch out to talking to other people about watching baseball. Today we’re talking to Craig Finn, the lead singer of the Hold Steady, who also just released his first solo album, Clear Heart, Full Eyes. Finn’s been known to wear Twins jerseys on stage and plays a guitar with a Twins sticker. He also joined the band the Baseball Project for the song, “Don’t Call Them Twinkies.”

Eye on Baseball: Where did your love of baseball start?
Craig Finn: I started probably with baseball cards. My grandfather owned a company that distributed candy and tobacco, so they had a lot of baseball cards lying around when I was a kid. I’d try to divide them up into all the different teams. When my parents moved to Minneapolis when I was six, I knew the Twins were there and at the time they were in first place and I was moving from Boston and the Red Sox were not in first place — so we’d be moving to a place with a good baseball team, in my mind. But then they collapsed at the end of the season and didn’t make the playoffs. But that’s when I started as a Twins fan. And then, of course, ’87 was the year I got my drivers license, my first girlfriend and the Twins won the World Series, so that was a pretty good fall.

EOB: Can you rank those three?
CF: Well… you know? I don’t want to. My first car, I’ll definitely put down at the bottom. The girlfriend, I just went to her wedding this past weekend. I’m feeling good about how it ended with her. Many years later, I was invited to her wedding, so it ended well.

EOB: And you got another World Series…
CF: Yeah — in ’91 I lived in Boston and was in school. So I wasn’t as emotionally attached to that one. Even though that’s the best Game 7 I’ve ever seen. It’s the best game I’ve ever seen. But I watched it alone, so I don’t have as many fun party memories around that one, I was celebrating on my own. When you look at a lifetime of being a Minnesota sports fan, we have no other championships — no Super Bowl, no Stanley Cups, no basketball. So those are two pretty special moments. … When I moved to New York, I think [my fandom] got ramped up a bit. For one, I had to listen to Yankee fans, so I got more into my own team. But also the contraction thing, the talk about contraction they had — that made me sort of angry and made me realize the Twins really are great. They handled that season by making the playoffs and they were calling them the “Contraction Kids” and I really love that team of the early 2000s. Then I have some friends in New York, my lawyer and a couple of other guys, are huge Twins fans. We get together in New York and watch the Twins. It’s something that keeps growing.

EOB: Is it almost more fun being a Twins fan in New York just because everyone’s a Yankees fan, they win and you can be the underdog…
CF: There’s something great — it’s a small group of friends that I’m always keeping in touch with once baseball season rolls around and then we spend a lot of time together.

EOB: When you’re on the road, is it almost comforting to be on the road during baseball season because you always have a touchstone?
CF: Yeah. And even with the fans, there’s always something to talk about. People ask me about it after shows all the time. You can always watch a game (on the road), but I find it easier to stay at home during baseball season because I have the package at my house and it’s a Tuesday night and we’ve got a game, I’m just going to stay in, watch and make some dinner. It sounds like a good night.

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