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Kevin Elster

by Cousin Wolf

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Kevin Elster was a glove-first shortstop for the Mets in the late '80s and early '90s, and he struggled with injuries for a few years as the game changed around him. Suddenly, by the mid-90s, baseball was on a steroid-fueled trajectory toward unheard-of power numbers, and in 1996 Elster signed with Texas -- one of the game's steroid hubs in those days. When Benji Gil got hurt, Elster became the starting shortstop and had by far the best season of his career, hitting .252 with 24 homers and 99 RBI. One of the crazy parts about that era of baseball is that we just don't really know who did what -- or what impact it had. In this song, I was writing mostly as Elster during the 1995-96 offseason, when he's just looking for work, and considering what I would have done if my options had been to try the same juice everyone else was using or take the high-road home. I'm still not sure, but that's what this song is about. Would anybody even care after all these years?


It's hard to divine
A steady career from a steady decline
The wall from the vines
One step too far from one step behind

Oh, to be saved
And not swept away

At home and exhausted
I told him I'd take any work I could find
And I traded my pride
For .252/24/99

Morality plays
But not every day

So, come on, what would you have had me do?
It was just the lesser of the two
So, come on, there never really was a choice for me to make
If I could hang my head and stay
Or take the high road home

There's not much to tell
When power and glory and might are what sells
The fall guys all fell
But if everyone's guilty no one goes to hell

So, my best disguise
Is to cover my eyes
My eyes...

So, come on, what would you have had me do?
It was just the lesser of the two

At home and forgotten
Just lost in the shuffle after all of this time
So, who cheated who
If I've slipped this far out of sight out of mind?

I used to be scared
But nobody cares

Who cares?


released February 16, 2021
Matt Halvorson: piano, vocals
Jon Halvorson: vocals
Kenneth Maldonado: drums
Andre Calderon: bass, guitar
Barry Cooper: horns
Engineered, mixed and mastered by Jeff Woollen at Raven Cries Recording Studio on Vashon Island, WA.


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Cousin Wolf Seattle, Washington

Cousin Wolf is the indie-folk music project of Matt Halvorson. An earnest, prolific songwriter, Halvorson’s songs plumb the depths of his soul, and he sings each delicate tune with captivating intensity. Stay tuned for upcoming singles from the long-awaited baseball concept album "Nine Innings," set to be released throughout the 2021 baseball season. ... more

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