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Wednesday, September 24, 2008
Updated: September 25, 2:02 PM ET

AN INTERVIEW WITH PHILLIPS, CRAIG & DEAN



Not your typical at-bat song band.

Little-known Texas-based Christian rock band Phillips, Craig & Dean sings "Saved the Day," Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton's at-bat song. We talked with Dan Dean about his band's relationship with Josh, how it has affected their sales and which song would inspire him at-bat.

MAG.COM: How did Josh Hamilton wind up using your song as his at-bat music? DAN DEAN: I had dinner with Josh during the first week of the season and when he said he was a fan of our music I gave him a copy of our CD, Top of My Lungs. I had no idea there was such a thing as an at-bat song. A little while later, I started getting calls from buddies who had gone to Rangers games who were like, "Man! Josh Hamilton is playing your song!" I couldn't believe it.

How did you guys meet? His father-in-law promoted one of our concerts several years ago, and I live in Dallas. After Josh went through his difficult period, his father-in-law called me up and said that Josh was a big fan, and why didn't I come to dinner to meet him and his wife and family—so I did.

What were your impressions of Josh? By then, I had already heard his story. But I was surprised, because I saw a young man who was almost kind of shy. It was obvious he knew he'd been given a second chance and that he was going to make the most of it. He's reticent to talk about himself, which is pretty refreshing.

What did you say to him when you found out he was using your song? Actually, we haven't really had a conversation since that dinner, because we're both on the road so much. I sent him a text message about it. I also texted him when he and his wife had a new baby. We mostly hold dialogue through his father-in-law, but Josh knows we're really excited about it and we really appreciate it. He's been such an inspiration to so many people.

How has it affected your sales? You'd have to ask our record company (laughs). But seriously, it hasn't hurt, especially in the Dallas/Forth Worth area. There was an article in the paper about the Rangers at-bat music, and there were a ton of calls and emails asking about Josh's song. It's gotten us some press. We're really excited and grateful for it, also because Josh has such a remarkable story that fits with the message of our music. He says his faith in Christ got him through all his difficult times, and we couldn't be more proud of him.

Have you heard the song in the stadium yet? I have! It was one of the coolest experiences of my life. I never dreamed in a million years I'd hear one of our songs at a baseball game. I've gotten the chance to go to two games this season. Of course, one was rained out. But I hope to go again before the season is over.

What would your at-bat song be? Probably "Beautiful Day" by U2. It's one of my favorite songs. It's about boundless optimism, and gives you the feeling that anything is possible.