Walk-Up Songs

Most ball players have a walk-up song – that song that plays as a batter approaches the plate or a pitcher approaches the mound. In fact, through the wonders of Google, I found I was not alone in considering the topic. Luckily, that article is well-organized, which makes up for this one.

Some random thoughts, then, on walk-up songs.

When you’re at the ballpark, if you have an Android or iPhone, you can get a great app called SoundHound to help you figure out what the songs actually are, assuming (like me) you’re older than the players by a generation and have no idea what that racket is these kids are listening to these days.

I think everyone should have a walk-up song, even if you’re not a ball player. Can you imagine a librarian wander in between the shelves, while “Bleed It Out” blares over the speakers?

I want “Pictures of Matchstick Men” to start playing as I approach my computer in the mornings. I don’t know why that song came to mind, but the opening guitar riff would be a great walk-up. It would also scare the hell out of the dogs and the Spousal Unit, but that’s just a bonus.

Wouldn’t a walk-up song be an easy item to change if a hitter is slumping? The songs always seem constant throughout a season. Maybe it’s not your stance, maybe it’s not your swing. Maybe it’s just the wrong song. Perhaps Linkin Park would be a bit more motivating than Katy Perry, say. Of course, if you started changing walk-up songs regularly, this would require even more statistics – on-base percentage could be affected by the genre of the song, the sex of the singer and other musical variables.  Eventually, there would be a statistician dedicated to choosing the right song based on the pitcher, the number of men on base, the number of outs, and so forth. In retrospect, maybe one song is enough. Work through the slump.

It would be interesting to discover what the royalty structure is when the team plays the various songs in public – I assume the park just pays ASCAP or BMI (or both) a flat fee since there is music playing almost constantly during some games, but if you weren’t happy with your salary structure, you could pick a really expensive walk-up song and then laugh inwardly every time you went up to bat.

If you’re a struggling musician, you should consider writing and recording a really loud metal or rap song called “See that Ump? Kill that Mutha.” It would probably get a lot of playtime during the spring and summer months.

When the umpires come out before the game, they really should play “Three Blind Mice”, at least until someone records “See that Ump? Kill that Mutha.”

My favorite comment about walk-up songs was the night a woman sitting behind me mentioned loudly that the opposing team’s songs all seemed to be (how to put this delicately) a bit less than manly. They were playing the usual suspects – “Sexy Lady”, “She’s A Lady”, and so forth. I then overheard her date gently explaining to her that if you’re from out of town, the press box picks your song for you – nobody actually asked for “She’s A Lady” to boom out over the speakers as he approached the plate. Perhaps somewhere there is a player so masculine that playing “I Am Woman” would be seen as ironic as he strode to the plate, but I doubt it.

If  you chose the Star-Spangled Banner as your walk-up song, would the game start over every time you came up to bat?