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Pepper Martin and the Gashouse Gang were in a questionable band that couldn't really play

Pepper Martin once got his teammates to join his band

We can't deny it: We love it when baseball players decide to share their musical talents with the world. Sometimes we get Bryce Harper lip syncing to The Temptations, and sometimes we get Ozzie Smith covering Sam Cooke. But pop music and baseball go way back -- yes, further back than this:

The Gashouse Gang, the nickname for Cardinals team that won the 1934 World Series, wasn't the only group to come out of St. Louis in the '30s. Outfielder Pepper Martin got some of his teammates together and started a band called the Marvelous Musical Mississippi Mudcats. It included pitcher Bill McGee, Frenchy Bordagaray, Ripper Collins and Bob Weiland, and … well, maybe "musical" was the wrong adjective.

We'll let Thomas Barthel tell you. From his book, "Pepper Martin: A Baseball Biography" (emphasis ours):

"Martin could be heard yelping at strategic moments … as the boys tried to make it through the standards in their repertoire. Said Martin, "We play everything - we play anything - whether we know it or not,' as well as any instrument anyone gives them whether they can or not …" It was said of the group that it was rare that they finished a tune at the same time.

But in '36, Collins was traded to the Cubs and Martin's Mudcats lost a musician. Happily, during a Cubs-Cardinals game on Sept. 10, 1938, they got the band back together. In the photo above, you can spot Collins thanks to his Cubs jersey. From left to right, the rest of the group is: Bordagaray, McGee and Martin himself resting his leg on a bat. Pitcher Bob Weiland is playing glove in the back.

Does it really matter that they're not playing real instruments? Let's ask Barthel again:

"It made no difference to anyone that the band really couldn't play."

Still, it was probably a small mercy that they were just pretend-jamming with their bats. 

Read More: St. Louis Cardinals