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Baseball, Parliament’s “Mothership Connection” and a T-Shirt

Alright, where’s this going? A little baseball history courtesy of, by way of Craig Calcaterra’s column “Cup of Coffee.”

George Clinton the fearless leader of Parliament, Funkadelic, the P-Funk All-Stars and other variations has said, “Put a glide in your stride and a dip in your hip, and come on up to the Mothership”- the first law of Funktonian physics.

One follower was the great baseball player Dave “The Cobra” Parker (2,712 hits!). Dave famously wore an inspirational t-shirt with what turns out were not just made up for baseball bashing, but originated with a Parliament song.

Original shirt on Dave Parker:

In April 1976, Parker was standing at the bar of a club after a game and was inspired.

“I thought that if my (Pirate) teammates saw me strut into the clubhouse, cool and confident, wearing a badass message that there would be nothing to worry about,” Parker wrote. “Because that’s the mindset you need to succeed at this level. So that’s where the T-shirt came from.”  He went to a shop that sold records and made shirts and had that shirt made. It has persisted through many iterations and it appears though widely sold he never made any money on shirt sales.

Here’s Evan Longoria then of Tampa wearing one:

Evan Longoria (with a lot less style) wearing a copy of Dave Parker’s original shirt.

The shirt has continued to show up and motivate players nearly fifty years later as Luke Voit of the NY Yankees gave it a NY twist as well.

Luke Voit inspired shirt , and the Yankees bopped 267 home runs in 2018 so maybe there is something to it.


One common thread is that it looks like neither George Clinton, Dave Parker, nor Luke Voit made any money off the t-shirts inspired by theirs.


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