Major League Baseball: Top 5 Entertaining Walk-Up Songs
In Major League Baseball, you can learn a lot from a player’s walk-up song. At the very least, it tells you what kind of music the person likes and possibly is a nod to his hometown or country.
Generally, the songs are meant to get a player in his “zone” or put him in a place where he’s tuned in at the plate and feels confident about smacking a hit off the pitcher.
This yields a smorgasbord of tunes, ranging from Latin music to country to hip-hop to pop.
The stream of popular music genres is a hit with fans, because it’s just that—popular. In most instances, the song choices are predominantly serious. They put the players in the right state of mind.
However, the occasional lighthearted jewel turns up.
None of the following tunes are jokes, but the general consensus is that they aren’t the greatest hits of The Beatles or The Rolling Stones.
Honorable Mention: Clint Barmes — 'Don’t Stop Believin''
Clint Barmes, formerly of the Pittsburgh Pirates, uses Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin’” as his walk-up music. The 1981 power ballad has shown some serious staying power thanks in part to being covered on Glee, but also thanks to its general relatability.
Barmes has carved out a long career himself. The former Rockies infielder has received at-bats for three franchises since 2003.
5. Jayson Werth: 'Werewolves of London'
Conceptually, Warren Zevon’s “Werewolves of London” is pretty unheard of. Then again, so is the volume of Jayson Werth’s beard.
The former Phillies outfielder drove in 82 runs with a .849 OPS last season, with the tune as one of his walk-up songs. Werth garnered MVP votes as well. He’s previously used the Game of Thrones theme in the same capacity.
4. Tony Cruz: Matthew McConaughey’s Hum from ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’
While not an actual song, McConaughey’s hum has a cult following the size of numerous hits.
Cardinals catcher Tony Cruz apparently thought it would be a good idea to use it as his walk-up music. And it must have worked. The catcher posted career highs in at-bats and runs batted in during the 2014 season.
3. Tony Sanchez: 'Let It Go'
From Disney’s Frozen, “Let It Go” makes McConaughey’s hum look like a YouTube video with three views and made it all the way to the Oscars.
Sanchez, the Pirates catcher—yes, another catcher named Tony—adopted the song as his choice for walk-up music. Similarly to Cruz, Sanchez rode the Disney hit to a career year, posting improvements in batting average, runs batted in, hits and plate appearances.
2. R.A. Dickey: ‘Game of Thrones’ Theme
R.A. Dickey hasn’t found the same Cy Young-like success he found in New York with the Blue Jays, but he has showed some impressive taste in music.
The pitcher’s usage of the Game of Thrones theme is commendable, as is his deployment of “The Imperial March” (the Darth Vader music) from Star Wars. Dickey’s taste in music is about as unique as his signature pitch, the knuckleball.
1. Michael Morse: 'Take on Me'
Possibly the best crowd interaction in Major League Baseball today occurs when Michael Morse steps to the plate. The well-traveled slugger walks to the plate to A-ha’s hit “Take On Me.”
When you can get a crowd to sing along, you know you’re doing alright with your choice of music.
It’s fantastic to witness on video, but witnessing it in person is an even greater joy. Having heard the display in the ballpark, I can tell you that it’s pretty fantastic. Also fantastic? The usage of 1980s music at a time when everyone is gravitating toward current material.
All stats courtesy of Baseball-Reference.com unless otherwise noted.