Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Walk-up music in Baltimore and beyond

Walk-up music has become such an ingrained element of baseball that I have specific memories attached to it. They begin with a mid-'90s road trip to Toronto for a Blue Jays game, during which my friend ranted that there was no place in baseball for music prior to each at-bat. It was common practice in Canada at the time, not as much so in our native Baltimore. Some 15 years later - now accustomed to the practice and therefore likely to tune out most songs - I chuckled the first time I heard Toby Keith's "I'm Not as Good as I Once Was" as Miguel Tejada strolled to the plate at Camden Yards.

Joe Lemire digs into the stories behind players' walk-up music in his fun piece "Inside the prank-filled, throughly-researched world of at-bat music" on SI.com.

Here's an excerpt:
Ah, yes, the pranks. Take this one, courtesy of the Rangers' Michael Young, who comes out to Beastie Boys songs "Sure shot" and "Sabotage." While playing for Class A Hagertown in a 1998 game at Cape Fear, N.C. 
Young recounts an amusing incident in which the girlfriend of an opponent wanted to give her boyfriend a nice surprise and had the player's intro song switched -- to Boyz 2 Men's "End of the Road."

"I think it was the end of the road after that," Young said. "When he found out, I think he kicked her to the curb.

"Guys were laughing about it for the whole series."
Ah, "End of the Road." Boyz II Men could make Metallica sound romantic, so the tune ended up on many a 1990s teenager's romantic mixtape thereby creating adolescent confusion before Facebook was there to do it for us.  But I digress.

Reading Lemire's piece inspired me to do some Orioles-related digging on walk-up music.

Anybody remember the 2008 debut of Kevin Millar's blonde locks and "Ice Ice Baby" walk-up music?

Now go back a bit further. Test your knowledge of which Orioles batters used these walk-up songs in 2004:

"Sweet Home Alabama"

"Hot in Herre"

"Sultans of Swing"

"California Love"

"Hit 'Em Up"

"Shake it Fast"

See how well you did here.



Tim Anderson said...

Sultans of Swing was B.J. Surhoff.

That's all I know for sure.

I'm going to guess Hot in Herre was Javy Lopez and Shake it Fast was Ramon Hernandez. Probably sooo far off on those.

Here's a few for you:

The Way You Move by Outkast

Burn for You by Toby Mac

Stacey said...

So Brian Roberts went from Shake It Fast to Hypnotize to his current Christian "rap?" How times have changed.

Very fun article.

Roar from 34 said...

Thanks for the comments.

Tim - I admittedly cheated on "The Way You Move." Here's a link to 2008 songs including Jay Payton: http://bit.ly/gjrgdl

Here's info on 2010 songs: http://bit.ly/e3RqGA

I'm still stumped on "Burn for You."

Stacey - I noticed the Brian Roberts musical transformation as well. I got a laugh when I saw the 2008 link above and his walk-up song was called "We All Make Mistakes."

Tim Anderson said...


The player who had Burn for You is on that list of 2010 player songs.

Roar from 34 said...

Is it Roberts?

Tim Anderson said...

Haha whoops! I accidentally mislead you! It was Chad Moeller.