The Joe Ryan Experience: Minnesota Twins Pitcher & Lifelong Dead Head

Posted on Tue, Jun 27, 2023 | HOMAGE Blog

The Joe Ryan Experience

There might not be a bigger Dead Head in baseball than Minnesota Twins™ pitcher Joe Ryan, which is why HOMAGE has teamed up with him for a Grateful Dead collection that’s a first-of-its-kind player collaboration for the brand. As part of the collab, we sat down with Joe to chat baseball, the Dead, and jammin’. 

Growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area, in close proximity to the band, the Dead have been a part of the pitcher’s life since childhood. From listening to their music at a young age to having relatives who worked for members of the band, Ryan’s connection to the music and community made a lasting impact on his life and career. 

The Joe Ryan Experience

One particular connection between Joe and the Dead involves a close call between his father and none other than Jerry Garcia. According to Joe’s dad, he crested a hill in Corte Madera and came upon Garcia standing in the middle of the road next to his brand new overheated BMW, smoking away. Joe’s dad swerved and Jerry lived to jam another day, but the incident became part of Ryan family legend.

Joe’s love of the Dead began at an early age - he recalls the surprised reaction of a friend’s mom to his request at age 9 to hear some Grateful Dead on the stereo. Not your typical fourth-grader’s favorite band. And the first sticker on Joe’s first car, a 1971 Triumph TR6? None other than a Grateful Dead original. Now, as a pro baseball player, whether he’s walking out to the mound to the sounds of “Fire on the Mountain” or sharing jam bands with his Twins manager and teammates in the clubhouse, Joe’s love of the music is just as energetic as when he first heard it.

The Joe Ryan Experience

Working directly with Joe, we designed a collection of tees that combine the music, the landscape and the sport that embodies The Joe Ryan Experience. His input helped shape the artwork and allowed us to tell the story of his fandom for the Dead, and the community and connection the band have brought to his life and the lives of all Dead Heads.

This is a collaboration we hope baseball fans will enjoy whether you're a Twins™ fan, Dead Head, or both. Play ball and pay homage.

The Joe Ryan Experience

Check out the JOE RYAN GRATEFUL DEAD Collection

Watch our interview with Joe Ryan

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