The 10 Best Major League Baseball Walk-Up Songs

David KenyonFeatured ColumnistMay 2, 2018

The 10 Best Major League Baseball Walk-Up Songs

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    Anthony Rizzo is an elite hitter and walk-up song picker.
    Anthony Rizzo is an elite hitter and walk-up song picker.Stacy Revere/Getty Images

    For many baseball fans, the environment is just as important as the actual game, and walk-up songs can contribute significantly to enjoying a day at the park.

    Whether it plays when a batter steps into the box, a pitcher warms up or a reliever jogs in from the bullpen, music can capture attentionand announce a specific player's arrival.

    But we're not completely focused on individuals. While some songs are linked to a certain playerespecially a closing pitchera handful of anthems and beats trend around the league. Well-known stars and relative unknowns alike use the popular songs.

    Every song highlighted has been featured during the 2018 season, and the list covers several genres.

Icky Thump — The White Stripes

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    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    Alex Avila doesn't demand much attention while in the batter's box as a .241 career hitter, but there's plenty of foot-tapping and head-nodding beforehand.

    The Arizona Diamondbacks catcher walks out to "Icky Thump," a Grammy-winning song by the White Stripes. Since a synthesizer is a major part of the music, the track has a unique beat and sound that's backed by guitar and drums.

    Though the song isn't utilized often anymore besides Avila, Neil Walker also rolled with "Icky Thump" when suiting up for the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Warm It Up — Kris Kross

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    Charles Rex Arbogast/Associated Press

    "Warm it up, Kris!"

    On chilly nights in the Windy City, it's perfect that Kris Bryant steps into the box as Kris Kross' "Warm It Up" blares.

    The young Chicago Cubs star has regularly brought the Wrigley Field crowd to its feet, blasting 94 homers through the first three years of his career. And there's no better way to provide energy than cranking a ball out of the park.

    Hey, that's what he was born to do.

Lovesick Blues — Yodeling Walmart Kid

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    Nothing like a pop culture invasion of MLB.

    Mason Ramsey, otherwise known as the Yodeling Walmart Kid, has won the hearts of Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo and Los Angeles Dodgers utilityman Kike Hernandez. Ramsey sings a rendition of "Lovesick Blues," made popular by Hank Williams.

    Red Sox reliever Joe Kelly also enters to the Unofficial Jam of 2018one even heard at music festival Coachella.

    They're in love, they're in love with this beautiful song.

Stranglehold — Ted Nugent

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    John Minchillo/Associated Press

    When the guitar riff starts playing, Boston Red Sox fans know exactly what's happening: Here comes Craig Kimbrel.

    The fire-throwing closer enters to the sounds of Ted Nugent's "Stranglehold." Considering he's led the MLB in saves four times, that's a song no upcoming batter wants to hear.

    Kimbrel, whose "Welcome to the Jungle" entrance with the Atlanta Braves was also sensational, boasts a save percentage above 90 percent for his career. You could say he puts a metaphorical stranglehold on the opposition.

Circle of Life — Elton John

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    Pablo Martinez Monsivais/Associated Press

    Every player wants to circle the bases. In that case, it's only fitting to hear "Circle of Life" prior to an at-bat, right?

    Yoenis Cespedes certainly feels that way since he uses the song Elton John made famous in childhood staple The Lion King. Although the New York Mets outfielder moved away from the song during the 2017 season, it returned in 2018.

    San Francisco Giants outfielder Hunter Pence previously used it too.

Game of Thrones Theme — Ramin Djawadi

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    Noah Syndergaard took his walk-up song to a whole new level. A standout pitcher for the Mets, "Thor" not only walked out to the Game of Thrones theme, he actually made a cameo in the series as well.

    The hit show has cultivated a devoted fanbase, which has spilled into Major League Baseball.

    In previous years, Atlanta Braves pitcher R.A. Dickey, Washington Nationals outfielder Jayson Werth and Pence all encouraged their opponents to subconsciously bend the knee.

Lemon — N.E.R.D. and Rihanna

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    David J. Phillip/Associated Press

    Although the lyrics are undoubtedly NSFW, there's no denying that the rhythm of "Lemon" makes for an ideal walk-up song.

    Houston Astros star shortstop Carlos Correa, Milwaukee Brewers third baseman Travis Shaw and Kansas City Royals catcher Drew Butera are among the players who use the collaboration between N.E.R.D. and Rihanna before a plate appearance.

    Woo! This beat tastes like lunch. And feels like a home run.

Wake Up — Rage Against the Machine

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    Carlos Osorio/Associated Press

    Relief pitchers, particularly closers, have a difficult job. If they aren't locked in immediately, leads can evaporate quickly with few or zero innings to spare.

    But if Rage Against the Machine's "Wake Up" doesn't get you ready to throw a pitch at 100-something miles per hour, what will? That's the philosophy Aroldis Chapman has used.

    The heavy guitar and drum mixture has sparked Chapman, who has recorded more than 200 saves in a career that has included stops with the Cincinnati Reds, Cubs and New York Yankees.

I Will Always Love You — Whitney Houston

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    Steven Senne/Associated Press

    Whitney Houston's legendary cover sparked a big comeback for the Boston Red Sox in early April. Brock Holt flied out after walking up to the song in the eighth inning, but there's no doubting the power of "I Will Always Love You."

    Following Holt's at-bat, the Red Sox strung together six consecutive two-out hits, flipping a 7-2 deficit into an 8-7 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays.

    "It worked. It worked. It got us going," the utilityman said following the win, per Christopher Smith of MassLive.

    Holt later switched to "I Wanna Dance With Somebody," also by Houston. Whitney lasts forever.

Gasolina — Daddy Yankee

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    Brace Hemmelgarn/Getty Images

    If, for whatever reason, you've never heard this song, please listen to the first 30 seconds of "Gasolina." Do it again. One more time.

    Your head won't stop moving. There go your shoulders. Maybe your eyebrows are doing something funny as well.

    Released in 2004, "Gasolina" is still popular at lower levels in baseball and softball, but Minnesota Twins second baseman Brian Dozier broke it out during the 2018 Puerto Rico Series.

    In 2017, Daddy Yankee's hit claimed the No. 10 spot on Billboard's ranking of the 50 Greatest Latin Songs of All Time. Without hesitation, it's a top-10 walk-up song too.