Yo La Tengo’s Ira Kaplan will throw the first pitch at the upcoming New York Mets versus Philadelphia Phillies game, slated to take place at Citi Field in Queens, N.Y., on Thursday, June 1, at approximately 1 p.m. E.T. The musician’s appearance coalesces with their long history as baseball fans adding significance to the toss.
The band’s name is derived from the Spanish phrase which translates to “I have it,” an utterance that came into play when New York Mets center fielder Richie Ashburn and shortstop Elio Chacon collided in the outfield during the 1962 season.
As Ashburn extended his glove to catch the ball, he would howl, “I got it!” He ran into Chacon, a native of Venezuela who spoke Spanish and did not comprehend his teammates warning. Thus, Ashburn got in the habit of using Chacon’s native language, shifting his phrasing to “Yo la tengo,” according to a 2009 episode of Kaplan’s Corner.
Kaplan’s first pitch will arrive before their June 9 appearance at the White Eagle Hall in Jersey City, N.J., which kicks off a tight run of dates that will bring the band through Washington D.C., Maine, Massachusetts, and The Great White North, prior to a multi-night stand in Boston and a sprinkling of East Coast follow-ups.
Scroll down to view the group’s announcement via Instagram.