Anti-List: The Pitcher List Writers’ Walkup Songs

“Anti-List” is Pitcher List’s newest section where writers get to discuss the fun aspects of baseball with deep analysis and stats left at the doorstep.

One of the best parts of a baseball game can be a player’s walkup song. Most famously, there was Mariano Rivera with Metallica’s “Enter Sandman,” and there was Yoenis Cespedes with “Circle of Life,” (which is honestly one of my personal favorites). But a walkup song is important—it sets the tone for your entrance, it gets the crowd pumped up. So I asked some of our writers here at Pitcher List what walkup songs they would choose if they were in the Major Leagues. Some chose batter walkup songs, some chose closer walkup songs, some chose starting pitcher warmup songs, some chose a combination. Here’s what they said.

Nick Pollack

Closer song: “Cochise” by Audioslave

“Cochise is simply the perfect closer song. It has your unique intro that pulls in the crowd, the moment of heaviness to get them excited, the catchy melody they want to sing along with, and even a chorus that represents a closer itself—go and save yourself, take it out on me. There isn’t anything more you want in a closer song. Not to mention, the song is dope and I like dope things.”

Batter song: “Funkytown” by Lipps Inc.

“Whoever doesn’t like this song is wrong. If you play Funkytown and it doesn’t put you in the mood akin to ‘yeah, I can do whatever amazing stuff I want’, then you have to question your life choices that made you who you are. That’s the eye of the tiger. That’s the attitude I want when I have to endure 100mph and a wicked slider that I definitely should not make contact against.”

Alex Fast

Batter song: “Goodbye Horses” by Q Lazzarus

“I don’t want a song that’s going to pump me up, or a song that’s going to remind me not to fly open or get me focused; I want a song that’s going to throw an opponent off of their game. I want a song that, when a pitcher hears it, they think, “What the heck is this?” or “What kind of sick person would choose this song?” When I step into the box, if I see any slight indication that they’re thinking that, I’ll know I’ve already won the AB.”

Ben Palmer

Batter song: “Space Jam” by Quad City DJs

To my understanding, Francsico Lindor has used this song as his walkup song, and that just makes him one of my favorite players ever. QCD’s Space Jam theme song gets you pumped up, how could it not? And I mean, if you’re a batter, is there any better message you want to send to the pitcher than “Come on and slam?” Exactly. WORK THAT BODY WORK THAT BODY MAKE SURE YOU DON’T HURT NOBODY.

Closer song: “The Hellion/Electric Eye” by Judas Priest

Technically what I want as my closer song is the intro to “Electric Eye,” which is called “The Hellion.” When you’re coming in as a closer, you want something awesome, something threatening, something foreboding, something that tells the hitter you’re about to face “It’s over man.” I think “The Hellion” does all of that.

Dave Cherman

Batter song: “Cinderella Man” by Eminem (starting at 0:18)

“The song is less a challenge to the pitcher and more a declaration of war and when I come to bat, the pitcher had better know that he’s stepping into the ring with someone who is never going to give up and will overcome any odds to emerge victorious. It’s all about intimidation.”

Pitcher song: “Avengers Suite” by Alan Silvestri

“For my mound song, I chose The Avengers theme song. The rationale is said best in Avengers: Age of Ultron. When Stryker asks if Hydra could hold off the Avengers, his crony meekly replies “…they’re the Avengers.” This song would instill hopelessness in the batters lining up to face me. Just like Loki, the Chitauri, Hydra, Ultron, and soon, Thanos, fell before The Avengers, this song tells hitters that they’re about to fall before me.”

Austin Bristow II

Batter song: “You Make My Dreams Come True” by Hall & Oates

“Assuming I had the talent to play Major League Baseball, I figure I’d be a player similar to Francisco Lindor, constantly smiling and having fun playing a kid’s game. “You Make My Dreams” is the ultimate feel-good song! It’s hard not to smile and dance a bit when that catchy keyboard intro starts up!”

Pitcher song: “My Shiny Teeth and Me” by NateWantsToBattle (originally by Chip Skylark)

“Picture this: NLCS, Padres @ Braves, bottom of the 8th, game tied at 2 a piece. The Bravos manager calls on the righty out of the pen to hold the tie.

Cue the music.

As the bullpen door swings open, Chip Skylark’s dreamy voice wafts through the stadium, charming men and women alike. The Smile Cam captures kids and fans flashing their biggest, goofiest smiles across the jumbotron. Amidst all of this, Austin Bristow II, uniform number 0, jogs to the mound and tosses his last few warm-up pitches. Before the inning starts, he steps behind the mound, crouches down, and draws a big toothy smile in the back of the mound dirt. He grabs the rosin bag, straightens up, and gets to work.”

Chris Davies

Batter song: “We Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere” by The New Respects

“I chose this song because it’s upbeat, catchy, makes folks want to get up and move, AND also has a defiant message, which seems important when you’re going up to bat to beat up on some dude’s stuff.”

David Fenko

Batter song: “The Touch” by Stan Bush

“Perfectly nerdy and cheesy 80’s power rock. Always nice to invoke a savior parable while stepping up to the plate (especially in clutch situations).”

Mike Guzman

Batter song: “How to Be the Man” by Riff Raff, Slim Thug, and Paul Wall

“It follows the two essential rules of good walkup music, good bass levels and a clean chorus that can play for about 30 seconds without them having to censor anything.”

Pitcher song: “Goldberg WWE Theme (Invasion)” by RAW Inc.

“Shout out to Brad Goldberg. He got it right. No theme fits better for the walk from the pen to the mound.”

Nate Watt

Batter song: “Live and Learn” by Crush 40

“Crush-40’s signature brand of speed and pounding electric guitar give the song an air of intensity, properly priming the hype machine for an at bat.”

Jamie Sayer

Batter song: “Low Light” by The Kents (starting at 1:52)

“This song is one of my best friend’s band and he’s always pushed me to be my best, so whenever I hear this song I get chills and it pumps me up quite a bit, so I think it would be the perfect song to walk up to in preparation to hit a bomb.”

Travis Sherer

Batter/Mound song: “The Boss” by James Brown

“I picked this because I want no one to mistake who the boss is. Look at me, you know what you see? You see a bad mutha. Seriously, whenever I hear this song people stop what they are doing, curl their lip and nod their head. That’s what I want whenever I enter anywhere. I’d probably get someone to follow me both to the mound and the batter’s box carrying a cape too. They’d try to put it on me to shut me down, but I’d throw it off.”

Noah Pflueger-Peters

Batter song: “Guns of Brixton” by The Clash

“The opening bass line that slowly builds into the main riff is so badass and the subtle, building aggression of the song’s intro really pumps me up. Plus, I just really like the Clash.”

Pitcher song: “Take Me Out” by Franz Ferdinand (0:40 to the end)

“Though the irony of coming in as a pitcher to a song called “Take Me Out” isn’t lost on me, I love the song too much. I figure I’d start it with one of the best breakdowns I know, as it launches the song into a classic riff and chorus.”

Alex Drennan

Batter song: “1612” by Vulfpeck (0:57 – 1:12)

“The water in Flint, Michigan couldn’t have been that bad if it’s produced voices like Antwaun Stanley’s. Supporting UMich products is also atypical of an ND grad, but how can you not get jazzed listening to this funky, low volume group? This would be a walkup song you’d never forget. If only my name were Frank Sinatra…”

Kyle Frank

Batter song: “All Star” by Smash Mouth

“All Star is a song that I’ve always loved and it gets me hyped and energized no matter the time. Every time I step up to the plate, I wanna play like an All Star so this song would definitely put me in the right mindset.”

Pitcher song: “Danger Zone” by Kenny Loggins

“Put very simply, hearing that song directed towards me would make me feel like the most badass guy on the field. My confidence would be through the roof and I would have enough adrenaline to start throwing Aroldis Chapman type heat.”

Scott Chu

Batter song: “Mama Said Knock You Out” by LL Cool J

“I have a background in being an attorney/advocate for low-income and/or marginalized people, and with that comes a lot of cases where you either know you’re going to lose (but have to try because they deserve it) or where you need to come from behind to make it work. My supervising attorney, who was also a beat poet from DC, told me to listen to this song before cases to get pumped. Regardless of situation, there were lyrics to get you ready for lots of scenarios. If I’m coming in when the team’s behind – “Don’t call it a comeback, I’ve been here for years, I’m rocking my peers putting suckers in fear…” If I’m coming in and we have a chance to build a lead – “I’m gonna knock you out. Mama said knock you out.” If I’m a pitcher and the bases are loaded – “Don’t you call this a regular jam, I’m gonna rock this land, I’m gonna take this itty bitty world by storm and I’m just getting warm”. It’s the song that keeps on giving!”

Rich Holman

Batter song: “Riot” by Three Days Grace (starting at 0:44)

“However, especially in Philly, the possibility of a legit Riot starting has approximately a 69% chance of actually occurring. Those chances increase in the event that I implode and blow the save/hold/game.”

Jeff Davis

Batter song: “Driven” by Rush

“Entering game 162 against the Red Sox with a one-run lead heading into the top of the ninth. The Yankees beat Baltimore a few minutes earlier, handing the O’s their 137th loss of the season and bringing the Yankees to a tie with us, the Blue Jays, atop the AL East. Driven by Rush, beginning at about 2:01, begins playing over the loudspeakers and for the next two minutes the Rogers Centre is a mix of triple-digit gas and Canadian rock music as I loosen up. As the first batter steps up to the plate, I look at Geddy Lee sitting in the second row behind home plate as he often does. He nods. I nod. It’s time to take us to the playoffs.”

Andy Patton

Batter song: “Money For Nothing” by Dire Straits

Pitcher song: “Smooth” by Santana (Feat. Rob Thomas)

Closer song: “Blood on the Leaves” by Kanye West

Kyle Bishop

Batter song: “Window Licker” by Aphex Twin (4:50-5:05)

[When asked why he chose this song]: “So that people will hear it and be interested in hearing more Aphex Twin? Haha”

Pitcher song: “Raining Blood” by Slayer (0:30-0:45)

“It’s got the right balance of energy and impending doom for the opposition.”

Phil Feinman

Batter song: “Hocus Pocus” by Focus

“It’s a shredding prog rock song that is as ridiculous as it is awesome. The yodeling adds a great element of humor to the song without taking away from how insanely fun it is to listen to. 1973 at it’s best!”

Dave Fisher

Batter song: “Don’t Stop Me Now” by Queen

“One of the hypest songs ever by one of the greatest singers ever. Oh, I’ll be walking up to the plate with some swagger.”

Kyle Monson

Batter song: “Conan the Barbarian Theme” by Basil Poledouris

“‘Conan, what is best in life!?’

‘Baseball’

……’Yea ok, Baseball'”

Daniel Port

Batter song: “Born to Run” by Bruce Springsteen

“Born and raised in a rust belt steel town I always felt like Springsteen was the voice of my experience and upbringing. I don’t know if any song ever spoke to my desire to break free of my youth and see the world and raise a little hell along the way (Narrator voice: He did not raise any hell along the way). I would want the song to kick in right at 3:40 as the final crescendo kicks in. If I could get an entire crowd shouting “Baby we were born to run!” all at once, I’d feel like I had found my people in the fans.”

Pitcher song: “Bat Out of Hell” by Meat Loaf

“Being a mixture of a classic rock fanatic and former theatre nerd I’ve always been a fan of the gravitas and storytelling inherent in Meatloaf’s music. I’d want it to start right at the beginning where the epic piano solo kicks off the song. I feel like once Meatloaf’s vocals kick in I’d love to see the audience jump in much like crowd did in Major League with Wild Thing. It also just gets my blood pumping and I’d want that as pitcher as opposed to hitting.”

Justin Paradis

Batter song: “Master of Puppets” by Metallica

“Metallica has already provided the world with the greatest entrance song of all time when sure Hall of Fame lock Mariano Rivera used ‘Enter Sandman’ for his jog from the bullpen. But, there is another devastating entrance song in Metallica’s catalog: Master of Puppets. Push play right as the guitar solo kicks in and batters will be lulled into a sense of helpless freefall realizing hope is all but lost as strike three blazes past them. As an added bonus, your nickname would be the Master of Puppets.”

Max Freeze

Batter song: “Mass Appeal” by Gang Starr

“On my blog I use ‘mass appeal’ as a term for sleepers or players ranked very low in the preseason who blowup during the season. These players get scooped up quick & everyone wants to own them, they have ‘mass appeal.’ It combines my love for old school hip-hop with my obsession with fantasy baseball.”

Brandon Lundberg

Batter song: “Can’t Stop” by Red Hot Chili Peppers (starting at 0:23)

“In high school this was always the last song I played on my iPod when our bus pulled up to a school for an away game. Pumped me up every time!”

Pitcher song: “The Chain” by Fleetwood Mac (starting at 0:29)

“I never got a walk up song as a pitcher, but I would have loved if this was playing when I took the mound. Maybe this would have intimidated hitters more than my 84 mph fastball ever could.”

Ben Pernick

Batter song: “Feet Don’t Fail Me” by Queens of the Stone Age (1:44-1:54)

“The appeal of this song is aptly described by its top YouTube comment: ‘This song makes me want to hit a kid with another kid'”

Rick Graham

Batter song: “Baker Street” by Gerry Rafferty

“I’ll have to give Josh Reddick some credit for the inspiration here, but no one can argue against that smooth saxophone entrance.”

Ben Palmer

Lifelong Orioles fan (which can be....painful at times) and a Ravens/Wizards/Terps fan. I also listen to way too much music and watch way too many movies.

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