It’s a warm summer night in Flushing, Queens, as O.A.R’s “This Town” echoes throughout Citi Field.
“Now batting, the second baseman, number 28, Daniel Murphy!”
Professional baseball players have used walk-up or warm-up music since the 1970s in one of the true aesthetic modernizations the game has made. Mercury News last June examined the difficulty in pinpointing the origins of music in baseball:
The origins of walk-up music are difficult to pinpoint. There is no “aha moment.” Or even an “A-ha” moment.
Loosely defined, the concept has been around for decades. St. Louis Cardinals leadoff hitter Lou Brock, to name one example, used to ask Busch Stadium organist Ernie Hays to play the “Theme From Shaft” for his trips to the plate in the early 1970s.
The 2014 New York Mets consist of a diverse cast of characters. Captain David Wright leads the offensive charge, but is joined by outfielder Curtis Granderson as a veteran presence on an inexperienced team. As pitchers and catchers ready to report to Port St. Lucie, the light of the offseason tunnel is finally in full view.
What songs should accompany this year’s team? I’ve taken the liberty to make four selections below. Feel free to chime in with your comments below.
1.) Ruben Tejada: “A Thousand Miles” by Vanessa Carlton
The song gained notoriety in White Chicks nearly a decade ago, but the song represents a surprising fit for the projected starting shortstop.
Carlton sings: “Cause you know I’d walk a thousand miles if I could just see you…tonight”
The lyrics are a clear metaphor for Tejada’s need to better utilize his patience at the plate and return to drawing more walks. In case you were wondering, yes, “you…tonight” is first base.
2.) Lucas Duda: “Brave” by Sara Bareilles
Bareilles’ hit song “Brave” has appeared on award shows, commercials, and movies since being released in mid-2013. The selection of the song would be ideal for the hulking Duda in 2014. He has been subjected to mindless criticism from fans questioning his ability and confidence, and this song could be the ultimate shout back to his detractors.
Besides making the most of his playing time, that is.
3.) Ike Davis: “Sometimes You’re The Hammer, Sometimes You’re The Nail” by A Day To Remember
A Day To Remember have long gained notoriety for being a heavier band. While the song won’t be for everyone, the song title draws immediate comparisons to the Mets enigmatic first baseman. When Davis is healthy and productive, his upside is tremendous. Unfortunately, he has been the nail for two consecutive first-halfs.
4.) Bobby Parnell: Mortal Kombat Theme
As a product of the 1990s, perhaps my affection for this classic video game theme is biased. The motivating tempo accompanied by the “Mortal Kombat” scream make for an intimidating theme for a closer that allowed 0.18 HR/9 in 2013. The demonic voice listing names of characters reads like a list of victims. It’s a perfect fit for a dominant closing pitcher, a distinction Parnell began to earn last year. News of Parnell being behind schedule this season is worrisome for a team that didn’t need to worry about who to bridge the gap to in 2013.
Disclaimer: This piece is intended to be a fun look at songs and their comparisons to baseball. In no way, shape, or form should this be taken as serious baseball rhetoric.
Photo Credit: Michael Baron
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