Baseball may not be my favorite sport, but it’s been with me the longest. For that, I owe it so much. To get pumped up for this season, I played some MVP Baseball 2005 on the GameCube with my brother, and it brought back tons of memories. One of the greatest memories was the connection of audio and visual, and the audio for that was amazing. Some may associate country music with baseball, but although I cringe at that thought, I know there’s a lot of good alternative, rock, and metal out there too. And man, that game had a rockin’ soundtrack.
Obviously the music doesn’t stop with that game, as every single MLB player gets his own walk-up/entrance song. So I figured I’d pick out 10 of my favorites and give a long spiel about how cool each player is for picking his specific song.
Jeremy Affeldt, RP, Giants / “Fireproof” by Pillar
Lots of guys have Skillet, Pillar, and Red songs as their walk-up songs, so it was hard to choose just one. But I have to give props to Affeldt for choosing some old-school nu-metal/hard rock. And while Pillar may not be as popular as Skillet and Red, their repertoire is chock full of just as many stadium-ready anthems as the other two rock groups. I might have to give “Frontline” the edge in pure energy, but “Fireproof” is a straight-up jam that was as much a part of my childhood as it is now a piece of AT&T Park contemporary culture.
Brett Anderson, SP, Rockies / “1984” by Adestria
Post-hardcore outfit Adestria has nearly 100,000 fans on Facebook, and thanks to Anderson, half that many people hear their song “1984” from the comfort of their seats in Denver, Co. every time he comes in to pitch. It’s probably the heaviest song choice in the entire league, too (although I recall some dude for the Astros a few years back being a big For Today fan). The guy’s from Texas, so it goes to show that everything’s bigger in Texas — a sound swarming with breakdowns and double-bass drums included.
Brian Duensing, RP, Twins / “Mutt” by Blink-182
Duensing may be a little overshadowed by the success of former University of Nebraska teammates Joba Chamberlain and Alex Gordon, but his taste in pop-punk justifies a category where this dude should get the spotlight. “Mutt” is a mild, more bass-driven track for the trio, so it works perfectly in a stadium setting — where anticipation and sweat begin to settle in late in games as Duensing prepares to do his relieving duties.
Tyler Flowers, C, White Sox / “Keep Your Eyes Open” by Needtobreathe
It may be one of the calmer songs in the mix, but Needtobreathe’s “Keep Your Eyes Open” has such succulent melodies that it’s impossible to avoid including it among the heaviest of hard rock tracks. One of the biggest songs the alt-rock group has ever done, this song is famous for its huge chorus, sung by raspy-voiced frontman Bear Rinehart. Open-air venues do the keyboard and organ-led hymn justice, and so does the 28-year-old Flowers by choosing it as his walk-up music.
David Freese, 3B, Angels / “Forty Six and 2” by Tool
With how much depth exists in their music, Tool is widely known for their sophistication. And considering the length of a lot of their songs, these guys aren’t always upfront and personal. It takes time to absorb their richness. However, “Forty Six and 2” has a great flange-ridden guitar part that makes it memorable, and for that reason, it works as a walk-up song. So either Freese is trying to show off his excellent taste in music, or maybe he just really likes the track. And that’s what so great about Tool: on surface level, they’re still awesome.
Mark Trumbo, 1B/OF, Diamondbacks / “Dysphoria” by Cloudkicker
Trumbo has pretty much the most killer musical taste ever. If I ever got the chance to meet the guy, I’d probably bring up his love for punk rock and metal. Not only is a Cloudkicker song his walk-up song now, but he’s featured AFI and Thrice in the past; from that, it’s accurate to call this man a complete bad-ass. He’s hammered several homers this season already, so it’s obvious that his awesome love for music isn’t a distraction in terms of his talents on the baseball field. They’re both worth a round of applause. Mark, I wish I had you on my Fantasy Team for more than one reason now.
Brandon League, RP, Dodgers / “Duality” by Slipknot
Back when Slipknot was still heavier than Stone Sour (and, with that, still making music), they exploded in popularity because their songs were equally catchy as they were crushing. On their third record, Vol. 3: The Subliminal Verses, the group found the perfect combination, and League knows this. His song choice, “Duality” is a banging pump-up song. It’s one of Slipknot’s most commercially successful tracks, and it’s full of the pure energy and bounciness that gets athletes ready for the big game.
Brandon McCarthy, SP, Diamondbacks / “Comfortable Liar” by Chevelle
Much of the reason why I included McCarthy’s track in this list is because it’s one of my favorite Chevelle tracks. Plus, I have tons of respect for people who want to share with the world just how influential Wonder What’s Next is, because it’s the pinnacle of modern hard rock as we know it. What makes “Comfortable Liar” and the rest of the record so good is the band’s superb songwriting skills — especially the guitar riffs. If I was at Chase Field when this song is played, I’d at least be bobbing my head.
Jason Motte, RP, Cardinals / “Brain Stew” by Green Day
“Brain Stew” isn’t exactly a weird choice since it rocks hard, but for Green Day, it’s a bit surprising. I mean, they’ve got a great slew of music to choose from, and from those tunes, you’d think “Basket Case” or “Welcome To Paradise” would be the obvious picks. But “Brain Stew” is a thick punk rock song, and while I prefer some of the more streamlined material from the group’s catalog (I mean, if I want heavy stuff, I’ll listen to NOFX or Bad Religion), this song still manages to be one of my favorites. And its huge sound sounds even sweeter through loudspeakers.
Anthony Recker, C, Mets / “Right Side of the Bed” by Atreyu
Out of all of the songs in this list, I was hoping someone would choose a song that I loved. Yeah, I like a lot of the songs in this list, but there aren’t many that I truly love. But I do love “Right Side of the Bed” by Atreyu. There’s nothing more nostalgic than some old-school Atreyu, back when Victory Records had some of the best bands in the scene on their label. Too bad it’s a sad reminder of what is now gone. I just wish I could go back to 2004 and pump my fist to this song in a club instead of just from a baseball stadium today.