May 24, 2010
I was talking to Dee the other day about something that I find to be one of the coolest parts of the game of baseball and its inherently individualistic nature, walk-up intro music. There is no other team sport in which every player on the field gets so many exclusive moments. A Hall of Fame NFL lineman could go his entire career without ever hearing his name over the stadium loudspeakers, yet even bottom rung Major Leaguers get three to four chances on average to strut out into the spotlight. Even high school varsity teams throw on players’ own personal pump-up tunes on their way to the plate. I didn’t play baseball long enough to get to walk out in front of a cheering stadium to a song of my choosing; the closest I have to compare is whatever I put on my IPod before a big ski run, but I totally understand the motivation of music and think it has a particularly interesting place in the game people come here to read about.
In my research on the topic I came across an article published Sunday in the Sacramento Bee that beat me to it, pretty much summing up everything I wanted to say about the topic along with a lot of big league insight that I would not be able to provide. It’s really worth checking out, and big ups to back to back Cy Younger Timmy “Dirty Hippy” Lincecum on selecting The Doors’ Break on Through. You are now firmly cemented as my favorite active player (more on that later). Another interesting bit I came across actually talked to the music people behind the scenes for all 30 MLB teams and got the skinny on all of them. So I’m going to save myself a lot of time on this one and get straight to what I wanted to do with this piece in the first place. I know all the guys that write on here have at some point walked out to their own intro music, along with most of the people who are reading here on a regular basis, and I’d love to hear what you guys’ thoughts are on it. What did you walk out to and why? If you’ve never had the pleasure of walking up to the plate to cheering fans and your own musical motivation, think for a minute that you’re in the on-deck circle of your favorite stadium and your team needs a big hit. What’s it gonna be? I want to hear from you on this one, Golden Sombrero Nation.
Dee: the three walk-up songs i remember using were shook ones, gun ballad by the pharaohs (paz’s verse), and the whoa instrumental from bad boy. i really thought all of those beats were just heavy and brought me to the competitive and focused state of mind i needed to be in. i have heard some of the guys i go to dental school with, who also happened to play in college, say a lot of shit about players who use hip-hop as their walk-up jam like that we are all fake thugs and wankstas. it’s not like a could not have found a great punk rock piece that i would have loved. the problem is that even 3-chord punk songs demand more than the 5 or 6 seconds it takes to walk from the circle to the box. all of those hip-hop tracks i mentioned used samples that were only around 4 seconds and then looped. i really feel like battle rap is the way to go with walk-up songs.
Mark Wilcox: At Grynul, I walked out to a beat mixed by Griff and Hodges a few summers ago when we were drinking beer and watching Chris dominate his guitar. Apart from it being a pretty dark and intimidating beat, I liked it for the memory it conjured. Having a cold one with friends will forever be a favorite pastime; I could relax and think about how cool it was that I was there when that little piece of intellectual property was created. Plus I knew no one else in the world walked out to that shit. Confidence and comfort were the reasons I chose my walk out music.