Baseball is a sport that thrives on the atmosphere. The crack of the bat, the roar of the crowd, and the tension of a close game are all integral parts of the experience.
But there’s another element that’s just as important, though often overlooked: the walk-up song. These are the anthems that players choose to accompany them as they stride up to the plate, ready to take their swing.
We’re going to explore the power of music in baseball, specifically focusing on the walk-up song. This tradition, pioneered by the legendary organist Nancy Faust of the Chicago White Sox, has become a crucial part of the sport, allowing players to express their individuality and set the tone for their performance.
From hard rock to hip-hop, these songs ignite the crowd and get players in the zone.
1. Ozzy Osbourne – Crazy Train
One player who truly embodied the spirit of this tune is Chipper Jones, a legend of the Atlanta Braves. Throughout his 19 seasons with the Braves, Jones consistently chose “Crazy Train” as his walk-up music.
The song became so synonymous with Jones that the team eventually commemorated this connection with a special bobblehead. This wasn’t just any bobblehead, though. When activated, it played the iconic opening riff of “Crazy Train,” forever linking the tune with Jones’ legacy.
2. Moby – Flower
With its repetitive beat and uplifting lyrics, the track serves as an auditory stimulant that invigorates both players and spectators, making it an ideal choice for athletes seeking to maintain high spirits throughout the game. One such athlete is Bryce Harper, the renowned outfielder known for his powerful swing and dynamic playing style.
Harper has chosen “Flower” as his walk-up song, a decision that not only reflects his personal taste in music but also his approach to the game. As the tune’s pulsating rhythm fills the stadium, it sets an energetic and optimistic tone that mirrors Harper’s own mindset as he steps up to the plate.
3. Kendrick Lamar – Humble
Among the players who have chosen “Humble” as their walk-up song are Manny Machado and Joey Votto. These athletes, each with their unique playing styles and strengths have found a common anthem in “Humble,” reflecting their shared determination.
Machado, with his exceptional defensive skills and power-hitting prowess, mirrors the song’s confident and assertive tone. Votto, known for his disciplined approach to the plate and his ability to get on base, embodies the song’s message of staying focused and humble despite success.
4. Led Zeppelin – Kashmir
Two players who have embraced the epic scale of “Kashmir” as their walk-up song are Chase Utley and Scott Kazmir. Utley, known for his consistent performance and clutch hitting, and Kazmir, recognized for his powerful pitching, have both used this tune to set the stage for their appearances on the field.
When Utley goes up to bat or Kazmir gets ready to pitch, the stadium plays “Kashmir” which makes everything more exciting. The song starts off slowly, just like the tension in the game, and gets more intense as the players get ready to play.
5. Montell Jordan – This Is How We Do It
“This Is How We Do It” by Montell Jordan is a fun ’90s R&B song that talks about enjoying success and having a good time. Famous baseball player Derek Jeter really liked this tune and saw it as a source of motivation.
In 1995, when Jeter was about to play in the major leagues for the first time, he asked for “This Is How We Do It” to be played. Even though he didn’t get any hits in his first game, the song showed his confidence and determination to do well.
The song was like a promise from Jeter to himself and his fans that he was ready to give his best in every game. As time went on, Jeter proved that he could live up to this promise.
He became a very important player for the New York Yankees, helping the team win many World Series championships. He played so well that he was eventually included in the Baseball Hall of Fame.
6. The Outfield – Your Love
“Your Love” by The Outfield is a quintessential 80s hit that has found a second home in baseball stadiums nationwide. Its infectious chorus and lively rhythm serve as the perfect prelude to the thrilling action on the field, energizing players and spectators alike.
Colorado Rockies’ outfielder, Charlie Blackmon, has notably adopted this classic as his walk-up song. As the opening chords ring out across the stadium, they signal not just Blackmon’s arrival to the plate, but also the promise of an exciting game ahead.
7. Guns N’ Roses – Welcome To The Jungle
“Welcome To The Jungle” by Guns N’ Roses is not just any rock song. It’s like a call to fight that gets people really excited at baseball games.
The guitar sounds and the way Axl Rose sings in the song make it perfect for players who want to show they’re ready to win. One famous pitcher, Randy Johnson, used the power of this tune to get pumped up before games.
8. Black Sabbath – Iron Man
The song “Iron Man” by Black Sabbath is widely known in the heavy metal genre and is considered a classic. Additionally, it is included in our collection of top songs about monsters.
9. Rage Against The Machine – Killing in the Name of
“Killing in the Name of” by Rage Against The Machine is a tune that embodies defiance and rebellion. This spirit was harnessed by Kelly Johnson, a versatile player known for his time with the Toronto Blue Jays.
Johnson’s choice of this track as his walk-up song reflects his rebellious spirit and determination, setting a powerful tone as he stepped onto the field.
10. Metallica – Enter Sandman
“Enter Sandman” by Metallica is more than just a song for Mariano Rivera, a New York Yankees legend and Hall of Famer. It became an integral part of his persona.
As the opening chords echoed through the stadium, fans knew that Rivera was about to take the mound, ready to close out the game with his signature cutter. This tune became synonymous with Rivera’s formidable presence on the field.
11. Prodigy – Firestarter
“Firestarter” by Prodigy, an electronic music anthem about igniting action and sparking energy, found a unique resonance with Rick Ankiel. Ankiel, a former pitcher, and outfielder, had a unique and inspiring career in Major League Baseball.
His journey from a talented pitcher to a successful outfielder was full of surprising twists, much like the fast and lively beat of “Firestarter”. Ankiel’s choice of this song as his walk-up music reflects his fiery spirit and determination.
12. Duran Duran – Hungry Like the Wolf
“Hungry Like the Wolf” by Duran Duran, an 80s classic that captures the thrill of the chase, found a fan in Kyle Hart, a pitcher in Major League Baseball. Hart’s choice of this song as his walk-up song is a testament to his relentless pursuit of success, reflecting his hunger to succeed in the highly competitive world of Major League Baseball.
13. Blasterjaxx & Timmy Trumpet – Narco
“Narco” by Blasterjaxx & Timmy Trumpet, a song that’s both energizing and captivating, was chosen as a walk-up song by Mets closer Edwin Diaz. Its pulsating beat and electrifying melody make it a great choice for players looking to get the crowd on their feet.
14. AC/DC – Thunderstruck
“Thunderstruck” by AC/DC, a rock anthem that encapsulates the electrifying atmosphere of a baseball game, was chosen as a walk-up song by Noah Syndergaard, also known as “Thor” due to his long golden locks and powerful pitching style. The electrifying beats of “Thunderstruck” perfectly complement Syndergaard’s powerful presence on the field.
15. Lil’ Troy – “Wanna Be a Baller”
“Wanna Be a Baller” by Lil’ Troy is a hip-hop anthem that perfectly captures the ambition and drive that are at the heart of baseball. One player who has harnessed the power of this song is Carl Crawford.
A former Major League Baseball player, Crawford is a four-time All-Star and Gold Glove Award winner. During his time with the Tampa Bay Rays and the Boston Red Sox, he chose “Wanna Be a Baller” as his walk-up song.
Are there any restrictions on what can be used as a walk-up song?
Yes, songs must be appropriate for all audiences and cannot contain explicit language or content. Additionally, the length of the song clip is usually limited to a certain number of seconds.
Can a player change their walk-up song during the season?
Yes, players can change their walk-up song at any point during the season. Some players even choose to switch their songs based on their current performance or mood.
Do all baseball leagues use walk-up songs?
While the use of walk-up songs is most common in Major League Baseball, many minor leagues and college teams also use them.
Can a team have a collective walk-up song?
While individual players usually have their own walk-up songs, some teams do choose a tune to play at the start of the game or during other key moments.
How can I find out what my favorite player’s walk-up song is?
Many teams list their players’ walk-up songs on their official websites. You can also often find this information through sports news outlets or by asking the team or player directly on social media.
Are there any genres of music that are more popular for walk-up songs?
While players choose walk-up songs from a wide range of genres, rock, hip-hop, and country music tend to be particularly popular choices.
Can a player use a song that they or a friend/family member have created as a walk-up song?
Yes, as long as the song meets the team’s guidelines for appropriateness and length, a player can use a song that they or someone they know have created.
In baseball, the walk-up song is a crucial part of the game’s atmosphere. These anthems, chosen by players as they approach the plate, range from hard rock to hip-hop, igniting the crowd and setting the tone for the performance.
Players like Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, and Noah Syndergaard have used music to enhance their game, with tunes like “Iron Man,” “Flower,” and “Thunderstruck” becoming integral to the baseball experience. So, next time you’re at a game, pay attention to the walk-up songs.
They’re not just background noise, but a reflection of the players’ personalities and a powerful tool for getting in the zone.