The Art of the Walk-Up Song

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The Art of the Walk-Up Song
Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images
Oakland's Derek Norris and Josh Reddick deserve honorary degrees in the art of the walk-up song.

For professional baseball players, preparing to bat involves more than just hitting fungos and reading scouting reports on pitchers. Selecting the walk-up music sets the tone for every plate appearance at home. Many factors come into consideration, including context, affect and motive.

"Centerfield" by John Fogerty? Too obvious. Meatloaf's "Paradise by the Dashboard Light" featuring Phil Rizzuto? Too long.

Fortunately, MLB.com lists the walk-up music for every player. This is because Major League Baseball has partnered with iTunes—much like their symbiotic relationship with dating site Match.com ("Find other single Astros fans!" and try not to weep)—in a shrewd plot to make more money and increase market share.

First, before you go downloading, it is necessary to delineate the art of the walk-up song. The best choices combine a variety of factors, including reflecting the player's personality, pleasing the crowd, showcasing good taste, amping up the home team, encouraging focus at the plate, intimidating the opposing pitcher and producing favorable results.

This list focuses only on batters, though a special shout-out goes to occasional Toronto Blue Jays closer Sergio Santos for using Rob Zombie's "Dragula." Also, many of the linked videos are NSFW, so just ask your boss and co-workers if it's okay before you start rocking out.

Get ready.

Art (of the walk-up song) school is now in session.

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