With Mariano Rivera in the news (the longtime New York Yankees closer was announced last Tuesday as the first unanimous Baseball Hall of Fame inductee ever) his iconic walk-up music was also making headlines. At Yankee Stadium, Rivera trotted out to Metallica’s “Enter Sandman” before taking the hill and recording his historic 652 saves and 2.12 ERA. It was a connection so famous that Metallica even publicly congratulated the reliever after his Hall election.
To be eternally connected to a walk-up song must be pretty sweet. As a fan of Major League Baseball and of rock music, listening to “Enter Sandman” without thinking of Rivera’s fearsome presence on the mound is a difficult task, similar to how hearing Hells Bells by AC/DC provokes images of fellow Hall of Fame closer Trevor Hoffman.
But some walk-up songs have a different intrigue and are more notable because of how truly awful and strange some are. They aren’t the goosebump-inducing rock classics of a Hall of Famer, they’re more just a stupidly hilarious song that fits someone’s personality, their outside interests, an inside joke, or even something as simple as their name.
And so we scoured the internet and searched for walk-up songs that are so weird and unlike those of Rivera and Hoffman, and put the 10 worst (or maybe best) here. Besides, you need something to read about while we wait another month or two for any Bryce Harper and Manny Machado news. Here are 10 of the most ill-fitting and abnormal walk-up songs in MLB.
Michael Morse: “Take On Me”
When Morse was with the Washington Nationals, the first baseman/corner outfielder was a fan favorite in addition to being a solid player who, after a 2011 season when he had a .910 OPS and 31 bombs, received National League Most Valuable Player Award votes. But in 2012, Morse made headlines as fans at Nationals Park went crazy, singing along to 80s chart-topper “Take On Me” by A-ha.
I don’t know why Morse chose this, why the fans embraced it, and I don’t quite know how a repetitive synthpop song pumps anyone up. You do you, I guess.Here are some really bad walk-up songs used by @MLB players past and present, presented to you by @bytomdorsa.Click To Tweet
Zach Walters: “Do You Want to Build a Snowman?”
If you don’t know the name Zach Walters, I don’t blame you. He last appeared in the majors in 2016, making five plate appearances for the Los Angeles Dodgers to cap off a career with a .174 batting average. As a Nationals utilityman, Walters dug in to the tune of “Do You Want to Build a Snowman,” one of the first songs in the animated musical entitled “Frozen,” which is a Disney movie that was wildly popular during Walters’ tenure with Washington.
I’d like to think there’s a story behind this, involving a close friend and/or a child in his life. But as far as I know, Walters just did it for the hell of it, which I respect.
Xavier Nady: “X Gon’ Give It To Ya”
With a 99 OPS+ in a career that saw Xavier Nady play for eight different teams, it appears that X did not give it to ya. But it’s still pretty funny.
Adrian Beltre: “The Nutcracker Theme”
As the story goes, Adrian Beltre — who was playing his last of five seasons with the Seattle Mariners — had missed three weeks with a severely bruised testicle after taking an Alexei Ramirez grounder to the groin area in August 2009. Upon his return to the lineup, Mariners teammate Ken Griffey Jr. decided to have some fun with Beltre’s misfortune, having the Mariners play the theme of Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker at SafeCo Field in Seattle in September of 2009.
Though the video is in potato quality, it’s still worth a laugh.
Noah Syndergaard: “Game of Thrones Theme”
The Game of Thrones theme is approximately 9,000 hours long, and it doesn’t really fit as a walk-up song because it takes so long to get to a part in the song that’s actually exciting and able to pump a hitter up before an at-bat. But this is Noah Syndergaard we’re talking about, and he was actually on the show, so I guess I’ll just let him be the judge.
Here’s a video of his approach to the plate.
Josh Reddick: “Careless Whisper”
Like him or not, Josh Reddick knows how to have fun and entertain those who come out to the ballpark. He is a fan favorite with the Houston Astros and was the same as the right fielder for the Oakland Athletics. With the A’s, he emphatically debuted a new walk-up song, Wham’s “Careless Whisper.”
Maybe it isn’t a good idea to stroll to the plate to the sounds of a very loud saxophone, but the A’s bullpen liked it, at the very least.
Scott Kazmir: “Kashmir”
Led Zeppelin’s “Kashmir” is the greatest song ever recorded, I will not be reading any rebuttal you might write in the comments. It has been used as a walk-up song by many baseball players in recent memory, most notably Chase Utley, who used it for his whole career in Philadelphia and Los Angeles.
But Chase Utley’s name is Chase Utley. Scott Kazmir’s name sounds like the name of the song, and it makes for a pretty decent walk-up song.
However, that’s again, objectively the greatest song every recorded, and you shouldn’t water it down and overplay it just because it sounds like your surname, SCOTT.
Francisco Cervelli: “That’s Amore”
I was going to point to Francisco Cervelli’s recently low batting averages (.249 in 2017 and .259 in 2018, compared to a .273 career mark) as a reason as to why he should change his walk-up song from Dean Martin’s “That’s Amore” to something a little more upbeat and inspiring.
But that .259 average actually means he is one of the most effective offensive catchers in all of MLB, which is sad but says a lot about how it’s probably the weakest offensive position in the sport. And Cervelli was born to an Italian father, so go off.
Didi Gregorius: “Notorious B.I.G.”
Derek Law: “I Fought the Law”
“I fought the law and law won” is so perfect for a relief pitcher named Derek Law, except for the fact that over the last year the Law has not won. The San Francisco Giants reliever had a 7.43 ERA and 1.80 WHIP in 13.2 innings in the majors in 2018 and was 1-3 with a 4.20 ERA in 33 games with Triple-A Sacramento. Batters whispered to themselves “I fought the law and I, not the law, won, suckers.”
So there are 10 weird walk-up songs in MLB. If you know of any peculiar walk-up tunes that are sure to make us either laugh or fume with confusion and resentment, let us know in the comments.