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Thursday, March 28, 2002
Updated: April 2, 7:03 PM ET
Steve Earle

Special to Page 2

Steve Earle writes simple, undeniable songs about hope and redemption that stay in your head for days. Like any person worth listening to, he loves underdogs, second-chances ... and baseball.

Steve Earle
Steve Earle had to get the feel of "The Rookie" before writing "Some Dreams."
He was a natural to write a song for the soundtrack to the new Disney movie, "The Rookie," which opened Friday, and a natural for 10 Burning Questions (ESPN and are owned by Disney). Just before he headed off to tour Australia, Page 2's Eric Neel asked him about the music and video for his contribution, "Some Dreams," to "The Rookie" soundtrack.

1. Page 2: Was "Some Dreams" written specifically for "The Rookie" soundtrack? How did you get involved with the project?

Steve Earle: Yeah. They sent me a script and a tape of excerpts, but I felt like I needed to see the whole film, so John Bissell, the music coordinator, arranged a screening when I was in New York on the Landmine Tour.

2. You and the band are set up in a ballpark for the "Some Dreams" video. Where did you shoot it?

Earle: Greer Stadium, our local minor-league park in Nashville.

What's the best part of a video shoot?

Earle: The wrap.

What's the worst part?

Earle: The makeup.

3. What was it about the story of "The Rookie" that appealed to you?

Earle: I love baseball. I'll probably end up one of those old farts who go to spring training in Florida every year and drive from game to game all day.

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4. You're someone whose ups and downs have been well-chronicled. Did you see yourself at all in Jim Morris' story?

Earle: I think every man over 35 sees himself in this story. I cried when I saw it. It's a chick movie for guys.

5. Ballplayers go through rituals and routines to get ready to play. Do you put your "game face" on to get ready for a show? What sorts of things do you do to prepare for a concert? Any superstitions?

Earle: I wear a bandanna on my right wrist. I'm pretty superstitious about that.

6. Other than baseball, what sports do you enjoy most? Do you follow any particular teams these days? Does the tour bus ever make unscheduled stops to catch a game somewhere?

Earle: I'm pretty much about baseball these days. If we're touring during the season, we keep up with the schedules and we make some pretty good games. Last tour, we saw games in New York, Boston, San Diego and San Francisco.

Did you guys play around on the field a little before filming? Did you throw a few off the mound or take a couple of swings?

Earle: I threw some balls for my dog to chase against the outfield walls.

7. I notice you're wearing a jersey for the video, but not a baseball hat. Why not? What's the story behind the hat you're wearing?

Earle: I bought it in Ireland. You got a problem with my hat?

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Roger Clemens is the whole package -- a Yankee and a Texan.
8. Did you play any ball as a kid? Do you remember going to your first game?

Earle: I wasn't very good at sports, but my brother was, so I was an avid spectator.

We didn't have major-league baseball in Texas until I was 7, and by that time it was too late -- I was a Yankees fan and still am.

9. Who were your favorite players to watch back in the day -- who is in the Steve Earle Sports Hall of Fame?

Earle: I was 6 years old in '61 and we got the Yankees on TV -- who do you think?

Mantle, Maris, Berra, Ford. Forget about it.

10. Who are your favorite contemporary players?

Earle: Roger Clemens and Andy Pettitte (Texas boys and Yankees). I'll sure miss Cal Ripken, even as much as I've cussed him.