Baseball and music have always been closely intertwined. The connection grew even stronger over the last few decades with the emergence of walk-up songs. A well-chosen walk-up song inspires both the crowd and the players. Furthermore, as these songs are chosen by players themselves, they provide fans with valuable insight into their favorite players' personalities and styles.
Over the years, players have been walking up to the mound or home plate to the sound of songs from practically every music genre in existence. Even at a single ballgame, you may hear numerous different walk-up songs, spanning various genres from rap to rock or country to metal. Some of them are goofy, some inspiring, and some downright intimidating. Still, the best walk up songs for baseball are those that simultaneously hype up the fans, get the player psyched up as he steps to the field, and intimidate the opposition.
Best Walk Up Songs for Baseball
Enter Sandman - Metallica
In the world of baseball, one of the most iconic rock songs is synonymous with one of the most legendary pitchers of all time. Mariano Rivera, probably the best closer ever, couldn't have picked the better song for his trip to the mound than Metallica's Enter Sandman. The menacing first chords of the song as well as the lyrics of the mythical Sandman created the perfect backdrop before Rivera came on to put his opponents to sleep. Interestingly, although the perfect fit for the former Yankees pitcher, the song really the idea of the team's marketing department. Enter Sandman was actually first used by Billy Wagner, another former All-Star, but it will always be associated with Rivera.
Big Poppa - The Notorious B.I.G
Another song that, although widely popular, is forever linked with one iconic player. Big Poppa by The Notorious B.I.G., a classic rap banger, used to turn the excitement at Fenway Park to eleven as it was the sign that "Big Papi" David Ortiz was about to emerge from the bullpen. The song worked so perfectly because it was the flawless reflection of Big Papi's persona. The slow and groovy jam perfectly embodied the 90' charm and swagger that Ortiz had in abundance. Several other prominent players, including CC Sabathia, A.J. Barnett, and Kendrys Morales, also occasionally used Big Poppa as a walk-up song, but none managed to make it their own in a way Big Papi did.
Thunderstruck - AC/DC
You can never go wrong when AC/DC when it comes to walk-up songs. It seems that any of their hits is enough to get the crowd going but perhaps none more than Thunderstruck. The electric energy of the song and the bouncy guitar intro are the main reasons why so many athletes, not only in baseball, use it as a pump-up tune. The most notable big leaguers to come out to the sound of Thunderstruck are Noah "Thor" Syndergaard, Eddie Guardado, Mark Melancon, and Joh Smoltz.
La Romana - Bad Bunny Feat. El Alfa
While many players opt to walk up to the field to the sound of classics, others, especially younger guys, opt for more contemporary hits. Among those, this catchy tune by the Puerto Rican hip hopper Bad Bunny and Dominican native El Alfa is certainly among the most popular. It's not by accident that many of the players using La Romana as their walk-up song also hail from Central or South America, most notably Ronald Acuna Jr, Rafael Devers, and Gary Sanchez.
Kashmir - Led Zeppelin
The way Kashmir by Led Zeppelin builds up its intensity from the slow intro to the powerful crescendo makes this song almost tailor-made for walk-up music. The electrifying guitar riff is the surefire signal that something serious is about to go down. No matter if you hear it on the state-of-the-art sound system at an MLB ballpark or you've just got the best portable speakers for baseball field and looking to test them out, blasting Kashmir will definitely get everyone around pumped up. Among the players who used it as a walk-up song are Huston Street, Chase Utley, and, unsurprisingly, Scott Kazmir.
Humble - Kendrick Lamar
One of the biggest club hits of the past decade, Humble by Kendrick Lamar, is also one of the most popular walk-up songs across all levels of competition. It's hardly surprising, as it features a strong and uplifting beat and inspiring lyrics about staying humble in success which is something many players can identify with. However, ironically, the most prominent player using this song for his entrance is probably one of the least humble personalities in the MLB, four-time All-Star Manny Machado.
Here Comes the Boom - Nelly
It's hard to find a more appropriate title for a slugger's walk-up song than Nelly's Here Comes the Boom. Choosing this song carries the promise that the power hitter will deliver, but also the risk of looking foolish if he fails to nail the big hit. The song is rather a popular choice across many ballparks, but the most recognizable for it is the former Cardinal, now a member of the Colorado Rockies, Randal Grichuk.
Fly Me to the Moon - Frank Sinatra
Most players go with chart-topping hip hop, rock, or pop hits as their walk-up songs. However, some decide to walk up to the field to something more classic. And, it doesn't get more classic than the Ol' Blue Eyes himself, Frank Sinatra. Needless to say, walking out to the song called Fly Me to the Moon requires a lot of confidence and put plenty of pressure on hitters to nail the dinger to the moon. Still, some sluggers, such as Mets' Todd Frazer, have more than managed to live up to it.
Since the earliest days of the game, music has been an integral part of baseball tradition, as much as sunflower seeds, mascots, or bobbleheads. You can hear various tunes between each inning and at-bat or after the home team scores a run, not to mention the sport's unofficial anthem, "Take Me out to the Ball Game." Still, nothing gets the fans more excited than a good walk-up song. It's also one of the rare opportunities for players from all walks of life, from different countries and backgrounds to truly express themselves even for the short time it takes to get to the pitching mound or batter's box.
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