Walk-Up Songs: Visitor’s Edition Vol. 1

Today’s “Farm’s Almanac” feature is on the topic of walk-up songs, and includes a variety of anecdotes related to this increasingly popular facet of the professional baseball experience. Did you know that Josh Harrison’s walk-up music is written by his brother? Or that Jeff Locke chose his after extensive focus group testing on Twitter? Or that our old friend Scot Drucker once coordinated bullpen dance routines to New Kids on the Block?

Read all about it HERE.

But the article was over-stuffed as it is, and one aspect of the walk-up experience I wasn’t able to include was that of the visitors. Or, rather, that the visiting team is at the mercy of pun-happy and perhaps slightly mean-spirited control room employees.  What follows is a sampling of the info I collected:

Over Twitter, Jackson Generals assistant general manager Jason Compton shared the following:.

We played “Papa Was a Rolling Stone” for Prince Fielder when Huntsville visited Pringles Park back a few years ago.

And, even better:

We also played “He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother” for Delmon Young when the Biscuits came to town…this was my favorite.

Take that, Dmitri!

Kevin Huisman, who now works for the Grand Rapids Griffins of the American Hockey League, shared this anecdote from his days with the Hickory Crawdads:

Being in the Sally League, we got a chance to play the Rome Braves, which gave us the chance to break out some opera and just about anything that we could find that had an Italian sound to it (“Funiculi Funicula”, etc.).  That season, Rome also had a gentleman by the name of Van Pope on their squad, which gave us an added chance to pull in some Gregorian Chants more likely to be heard in Vatican City than a ballpark….Another opponent that season, the Greensboro Grasshoppers, gave me the most memorable dig from that season.  One of their players was named Jared Gaston…[fellow Crawdads employee] Mark had 3 children at home, and we were both fans of Disney movies, so we both came up with “Gaston” from “Beauty and the Beast” pretty quickly.  I think we were only able to get away with playing it once, but the reaction was priceless.  My wife was sitting with the wife of one of the Crawdads players that we’d gotten to know pretty well…when they heard the first line come out, you could hear their laughter echoing along with everyone else in the crowd.

Along those lines, Altoona Curve director of creative services John Foreman shared the following.

“Last year when New Britain was in town, we’d play Skee-Lo “Wish I Was A Little Bit Taller” for [7'1"] Loek Van Mil. And when [catcher] Carlos Santana was with Akron we’d play Carlos Santana and incorporate a Carlos Santana headshot on the videoboard.

“And then there’s Lucas Duda, he’d get “Zip-A-Dee-Do-Dah” or “Camptown Races”….Guys with the last name of Sylvester we’ll play “I Tawt I Taw A Putty Cat,” and the Mr. Rogers theme song for anyone with the last name of Rogers.”

And on and on and on it goes. This topic is a wordplay goldmine and I expect — nay, demand! — for this to be an ongoing feature. So please, no matter who you may be, get in touch with examples of visiting team audio hi-jinx!

And, of course, what would YOUR walk-up song be? Contenders in my universe include James Gang “Bomber”, CCR “Bayou Country,” Dirtbombs “Wreck My Flow” Fat Joe “Massacre on Madison” and New Kingdom “Mexico or Bust.” But number one remains:


benjamin.hill@mlb.com

twitter.com/bensbiz

4 Comments

The theme from the Taking of Pelham 123.

Oh, no doubt. That selection is both impeccable and unimpeachable, an underground classic.

I’m a country fan so start this one at the 1:29 mark and you’ll hear a great song for a ballplayer:

Tim McGraw – “How Bad Do you Want it?”

Last season while working with the Bowling Green Hot Rods, one of our outfielders was named Burt Reynolds. Needless to say, everytime he came to the plate he was greeted with the ‘Smokey and the Bandit’ theme song ‘Eastbound and Down’. The best part was that he had never seen the film or heard of the actor Burt Reynolds.

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