In the last few decades baseball has started to develop a tradition that is becoming as synonymous with the game as eating hot dogs and arguing balls and strikes. This new aged custom allows players to show off their personality, connect with fans or in some cases befuddle their opponents.
The baseball tradition to which I refer is walk-up music, the custom by which the PA system will blast the preferred track of each player as they walk up to the plate, or in the case of pitchers, as they approach the mound. Some walk-up songs are forgettable while others can be be etched into the minds of fans for years to come. In my case, every time I hear “Crazy Train” by Ozzy Osborne or “Sledgehammer” by Peter Gabriel I can’t help but think of Larry Walker and Dante Bichette.
Tuesday morning the Rockies posted the complete list of walk-up songs for the entire Rockies roster. Being the dedicated sports publication that we are, we decided to evaluate each of these songs and rank them in order from worst to first.
What makes a song a great walk-up track? Most would agree that the best walk-up song is one that energizes the crowd and the allows the player to dial in on their task of getting a hit. Both of these demands can be met by songs in pretty much any genre, from the country song that everyone can sing along to or the metal track with a killer guitar riff that gets the people going.
If you want to listen to each track and judge for yourself, you can find all the songs on this Spotify playlist.
33 - Gerardo Parra - “Happy” by Pharrell Williams
If we were looking for the track that best personifies a specific player, then yes, “Happy” would be at the top of the list because Gerardo is one jovial human being. But we’re playing baseball here, not jumping into a ball pit at the local McDonald’s or playing musical chairs at a five-year-old’s birthday party. Also, we’ve all heard this song about 400,000 times more than we already needed to so hearing again every time Gerardo steps to the plate is overkill.
32 - Germán Márquez - “Escudo de Dios” by Omega El Fuerte
31 - Greg Holland - “Fade Away” by Breaking Benjamin
30 - Jake McGee - “My Way” by Calvin Harris
International electronic dance music DJ Calvin Harris has a bunch of hits perfectly crafted for all the cool kids at Coachella, but none of them make for quality walk-up songs. This might be a very unpopular opinion but I would much rather hear music from Calvin’s ex-girlfriend Taylor Swift when stepping into the batters box.
29 - Kyle Freeland - “Victory” Music by Machine Gun Kelly
28 - Cristhian Adames - “Mambo Para Bailar (feat Arcangel)” by Fuego
I love me some reggaeton just as much as the next guy, but for whatever reason this track from Fuego isn’t exactly, well, fire.
I’ll see myself out.
27 - Jordan Lyles - “Dirt On My Boots” by Jon Pardi
26 - Tony Wolters - “Shape of You” by Ed Sheeran
25 - Nolan Arenado - “sweet sweet” by Travis Scott
24 - Tyler Anderson - “In Debt to Earth” by Chevelle
Good on Anderson for actually knowing that Chevelle is still releasing new music. Back in 2002 their songs “The Red” and “Send the Pain Below” were both popular choices for walk-up songs, but Tyler decided to go with a deep cut from an album released in 2007. “In Debt to Earth” is more of a slow build but maybe that’s the kind of song that a pitcher needs to hear in order to get into a groove.
23 - Pat Valaika - “Radioactive” by Imagine Dragons
22 - Alexi Amarista - “Detras De Ti (Remix)” by Jory Boy
21 - Carlos Gonzalez - “Po' encima” by Arcangel and Bryant Myers
20 - David Dahl - “Look Alive” by Rae Sremmurd
Here’s to hoping that we get to hear this song soon and often at Coors Field in the coming weeks. We should also thank David for choosing a deep cut off of the album SremmLife 2, and not going with the abundantly-popular track “Black Beattles,” also known as the song that your parents downloaded on iTunes in order to make their “very original” Mannequin Challenge video.
19 - Jon Gray - “Do You Call My Name” by Ra
18 - Ian Desmond - “Rock N Roll” by GAWVI, ELHAE
17 - Chad Qualls - “Killing in the Name” by Rage Against the Machine
16 - Kyle Freeland - “Fire” by Louis the Child
15 - Tyler Chatwood - “Believe” by Imagine Dragons
Fun fact: I attended the same university as Dan Reynolds, the lead singer of Imagine Dragons, and we actually had a few of the same classes. I recall one day after a lecture a few of us were discussing our future plans and what majors we were going to select. When it came to Dan he said that he was unsure what specific area of study he was going to pursue because he wanted to focus on his music career. My response was a sarcastic: “Good luck with that!” As I’m sure you know, Dan and his band went on to sell millions of albums and achieve international fame while I did not.
At any rate, this is a pretty good walk-up song and should would be rated higher if not for my abundant jealousy of a former classmate.
14 - Mike Dunn - “Barthalomew” by The Silent Comedy
13 - Adam Ottavino - “Alive (nightmare)” by Kid Cudi and Ratatat
12 - Ian Desmond - “One Sixteen” by Trip Lee
I had never heard this song from Atlanta-based rapper Trip Lee but that doesn’t mean it’s not a great walk-up jam. Props to Ian for finding an original song that goes outside of the typical stadium anthems we hear all the time.
11 - Tom Murphy - “South of Heaven” by Slayer
10 - Antonio Senzatela - “Pegaito Suavecito” Elvis Crespo
9 - Chris Rusin - “Don't Let Me Down” by The Chainsmokers
I’m not a huge fan of The Chainsmokers, but this song actually makes perfect sense for long reliever Chris Rusin, who usually enters the game when a starting pitcher struggles in the early going and can’t make it to the late innings. Let’s take a look at the lyrics of this track.
Crashing, hit a wall
Right now I need a miracle
Hurry up now, I need a miracle
I need you, I need you, I need you right now
Yeah, I need you right now
So don't let me, don't let me, don't let me down
Doesn’t this sound like an overwhelmed manager who just had to pull his starter because he gave up five home runs in three innings of work? Every MLB skipper should be earning royalties off this song.
8 - DJ LeMahieu - “All Night” by The Vamps and Matoma
7 - Trevor Story - “Thief” by Ookay
Not everyone is on-board with the recent EDM craze, but one thing I think we all can agree on is how sexy the saxophone hook is in this song. We’ve always needed more sax in our lives and I’m glad Trevor is the one to supply the goods.
6 - Dustin Garneau - “Dynasty” by Sleeping Giant
You don’t need to be well versed in heavy metal to know that this song from Sleeping Giant is perfect for when you want to mash a baseball 400 feet into the night.
5 - Scott Oberg - “Kashmir” by Led Zeppelin
There are other Led Zeppelin songs that could crack the top three on this list but you can never go wrong with Kashmir, which has been and always will be a classic walk-up song.
4 - Mark Reynolds - “Barefoot Blue Jean Night” by Jake Owen
Hear me out on this. I don’t like country music and I have never had a single beer but for some reason when I hear this song I all I want to do is go watch baseball at Coors Field, listen to country music and drink beers in the Party Deck. I can’t imagine what this song does to those who actually enjoy country music.
3 - Stephen Cardullo - “Millions” by Pusha T, Rick Ross
Mr Grand Slam might not be with the big league club at this point in time but he still gets credit for having one of the best walk-up tracks. This banger from Pusha T is just drenched in swagger and is perfect for a steady, confident stride to the plate.
2 - Carlos Estévez - “Wild Thing” by X
When your nickname is Wild Thing, you have to walk out to the song “Wild Thing.” If he didn’t that would be like Nolan fielding a slow roller with his glove or Carlos González hitting a home run without his trademark bat drop.
1 - Charlie Blackmon - “Your Love” by The Outfield
This song isn’t an original selection (it’s been used by a slew of baseball players over the years, including Gordon Beckham, Josh Willingham, and Jesus Flores) but that doesn’t make it any less deserving of the top spot. Since 2013 Blackmon has walked up to “Your Love” and fans have been singing along ever since.
The rest of the Purple Row staff agrees that Your Love is the best walk-up song, as it received 33 percent of the vote in our official poll. “South of Heaven” by Slayer and “Look Alive” by Rae Sremmurd were tied for second place with each song getting 16 percent of the vote.
After taking a look at the list, do you agree with our rankings? Did we get things right or should we “stick to sports” and leave the music analysis to the professional music analysts? Let us know in the comments!