“I had a friend / was a big baseball player back in high school / he could throw that speedball by you / make you look like a fool…”– Bruce Springsteen
Music and sports go together naturally, so why not guitars and baseball? Just in time for opening day is Fender®’s MLB Stratocaster®. Get your scorecards ready because Fender® is in the line-up and leading off with a new line of Strats, modeled after some of your favorite big league teams. What took so long?
Add Fender to the MLB Roster
Whether it’s the Yankees ‘ Mariano Rivera warming-up with Metallica’s heavy metal classic, “Enter Sandman,” the Boston Red Sox rallying around “Sweet Caroline,” or the Chicago Cubs keeping alive Harry Carey Jr.’s tradition of singing “Take Me out to the Ballgame” during the seventh inning stretch, many big league teams and players have become associated with a particular song. It goes to show, music plays an important role in America’s favorite pastime. The folks at Fender® think guitars do, too.
The legendary California-based guitar company has unveiled 13 new Stratocasters® featuring 12 different teams and one All-Star model. By the way, these are not just electric art boxes or chintzy team souvenirs.
According to Fender.com, “Each highly collectible guitar features unique team imagery alongside genuine Fender craftsmanship for a long-lasting instrument that appeals to generations of sports and music fans.”
Choices include the Arizona Diamondbacks, Boston Red Sox, Chicago Cubs, Detroit Tigers, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, Los Angeles Dodgers, Milwaukee Brewers, New York Mets, New York Yankees, Philadelphia Phillies, San Francisco Giants and St. Louis Cardinals. Plus, there’s an attractive red and blue 2014 MLB All-Star Game Strat with official graphics signifying the event’s host, the Minnesota Twins.
But What Do You Get With The MLB Strat?
The MLB’s silhouette and headstock call to mind a tunefully vintage vibe while the insignias evoke an enthusiasm frequently connected with team sports. In essence, Fender® has successfully brought music and baseball together in a distinctive way. The visual effect of the MLB Stratocaster® is truly inspiring. Perhaps the collection will turn up at the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown some day.
Each Strat has “high-definition imagery,” a clear sealant and glossy top. The Arctic White and black base coats accentuate custom logos that stand out with added definition. That applies to all of the guitars.
Neck and Body
The MLB Strat sports a slim 25.5″ scale length “C” shaped maple neck with 21 medium jumbo frets; the maple fingerboard has black dot inlays.
The back of the neck has a satin urethane finish while the front is gloss. There is something else you won’t find on other Strats. The neck plate, behind the guitar, is laser-etched with an MLB emblem. Besides that, the synthetic nut is 1.650″wide.
The tonewood on Fender’s® MLB is alder.
Solid-body aficionados will find the characteristic “SSS” standard single coil pick-up configuration. Mixing and blending is done by way of a five-position pick-up switch, one master volume and two tone control knobs. There’s nothing cutting edge here.
Also present is a typical Fender® 6-saddle synchronized tremolo.
Price and Availability
The MLB Stratocaster, manufactured in Ensenada, Mexico, has an MSRP of $799.99 USD. These Strats are available directly from Fender, MLB.com and eventually at a handful of stadiums.
Fender.com mentions how Arizona blasts the “D-Backs Swing” by The Peacemakers after winning home games. Do you think anyone in the band plays a Diamondbacks Strat?