The World Series begins tonight, and MLB fans—particularly in Washington, D.C. and Houston—are stoked to watch some incredible October baseball. But no matter how much you love, hate, or don’t care about baseball, there’s a question you’ve got to ask yourself.
You’re up. You want to get amped. You want to intimidate the pitcher. You want to get mentally “in the zone” so you can get on base or maybe smash it into oblivion. And you get ONE SONG as you walk up to the plate.
My walkup song is “Without Me” by Eminem. It’s controversial (Eminem is a bad person), it’s a little arrogant, it gets people hyped, and it tells the crowd/team exactly what I want them to know. They can’t do this without me. Plus, I’m a nerd and I find it endlessly hilarious that the lyrics reference the FCC.
Pantera’s “Mouth For War.” First time I heard it, I felt like I could put my head through a brick wall. Which I did. It was in all the local papers.
Walkup songs need to be epic and make the crowd go crazy. That’s why Michael Morse’s “Take On Me” and Gerardo Parra’s “Baby Shark” are among the most memorable Nationals’ anthems.
For me, there’s nothing more epic than “Bohemian Rhapsody.” As I get to the plate, digging a nice ditch in the dirt, the headbanging guitar soars through the crowd, starting more than halfway through the song, and Freddie screams, “So you think you can stop me and spit in my Eyeee-eye!! So you think you can love me and leave me to die-ee-eye!!”
And then it stops, with everyone in the crowd still singing “Ooooh, baaayy-bee!” And then—bottom of the 9th, down by three, two outs, full count—I hit a Grand Slam.
I have this pit in my stomach because everyone’s going to pick some angry white guy song. Well, not me, folks. I’m going back to 1999, when girl Missy Elliot knew—well before Lizzo’s DNA test confirmed it—that she was THAT BITCH.
I want to strut to the plate with Missy’s overconfident flow over a bass-heavy Timbaland beat. And the implicit threat of someone who knew she could wreck your fucking house at-will. Now back on up while I roll up my sleeves and send this pitch so deep into orbit that Jesse writes a 3,000 word explainer about it.
I’m going to let everyone else strut to the plate draped in hype music with heavy beats or dramatic hooks and crescendos. The thing about a walk-up song is that you’ve gotta let your freak flag fly high, while also letting everyone know exactly who you are and what you came to do.
Let me take the guess work out of it for the home and away team with Shaggy’s “Boombastic.”
I don’t know if you know this about me, but I am not going to get a hit off a major league pitcher. So there’s no point in posturing with some tough guy walk up song like Nas’s “Hate me Now” or Kanye’s “Monster” to strike out on three pitches.
I need to get the pitcher in his own head, by any means necessary. So I am going to go with Sixpence None the Richer’s “Kiss Me,” and hope it takes my opponent out of his concentration to maybe even pity me.
When I take the plate, there is one song and one song only that will be booming out of the stadium’s speakers: “Spice Up Your Life” by The Spice Girls. The song has a great beat and a catchy chorus that will not only get me pepped up, but the crowd, too, and possibly have the opposing team thinking of which Spice Girl they most identify with (for me, I’d probably say a combination of Baby Spice for her predisposition towards all things pink, Posh Spice for her love of fashion, and Scary Spice for her spunk).
No, I may not hit the ball. In the next season, I may be demoted to water girl, but with the song, I will have at least “spiced up” the crowd’s life for a thirty dazzling seconds.
I figure, if I start playing rec softball next season, I can shift to rec baseball the season after that, and of course, I’ll be amazing at it, so I’ll quickly get picked up by a traveling scout, rise through the minors over the course of a year-and-a-half, peaking just in time for my big bat to bolster the Royals 2021 October roster, my journey culminating in a game seven, extra inning, pinch-hit, game winning single, you’re welcome very much, you hating-ass-haters. Get the fuck up.
This may surprise you very much or not at all, but I spend a lot of time thinking about my hypothetical walk up song. I have decided that my ideal song would be a mixture of hype song and silliness. Some anti-comedy to throw off the other team, the fans, the umps, and probably myself. I’m walking up to “Basketball” by Kurtis Blow.
What song would I walk the fuck up to? Tchaikovsky’s motherfucking “Walk of the Flowers,” you bitch-ass bitches. Historic. Unexpected. Irrelevant. Just like me at the motherfucking plate.
As the one-time possessor of an @ruffryders.com email address (this is true), I am contractually obligated to walk out to a Lox song. I’m on a Neptunes production kick, so for my at-bat I’ve selected “Knock Yourself Out,” which may not pass the rap Bechdel test, but at least has a female lead.
Besides, it goes great with my boxing walkout song, “The Champ is Here.”
What can I say; I’m a multi-sport athlete.
That was easy.
*swings at first pitch, cranks an opposite field homer to catapult the Astros to victory*