For 15 years there was one sound that terrified batters as soon as they heard it. Opponents were treated to the sound of “Enter Sandman” by Metallica, the song of choice for New York Yankees closer Mariano Rivera before he entered the game each day.
Walk-up songs have been a part of baseball for several years and provide insight to the players’ minds.
There are lots of reasons batters and pitchers choose the songs they do. Some choose it for entertainment, some to intimidate and some as a nod to their hometown.
Senior outfielder Jake Arledge and senior catcher Shelby Hiers went with songs that described their upbringing. Arledge comes up to bat to “California Dreamin’” by Kid Ink.
“(I like) the California song a little bit because I’m from Huntington Beach, California, and last year I was the only kid from California and so I picked it. Now we have another guy from California but it’s still kind of cool because I get a little bit of the California aspect here at Baum,” Arledge said.
Hiers walks up to “I’m From the Country” by Tracy Byrd.
“It describes where I’m from, how I grew up,” Hiers said.
Baseball and softball in the Southeastern Conference is some of the most competitive in the country, but it is still a game. Some of the players choose their music to lighten the mood and remind everybody of that fact.
Sophomore infielder Katie Warrick’s song of choice is “Brick House” by the Commodores for that very reason.
“It’s really funny and it always gets the crowd going and clapping and I really liked it when I heard it,” Warrick said. “It takes the pressure away from the game, like it’s just ‘OK, Katie just relax and have fun.’”
For freshman outfielder Dominic Fletcher, his song “Highlights” by Kanye West, conveys fun and confidence in his playing ability.
“It kind of insinuates I’m making highlights as in plays,” Fletcher said.
Some players like to use their music to entertain the crowd or to try to minister to them in a subtle way.
Senior third baseman Autumn Russell uses Christian music as a way to share with the crowd.
“It’s like the only chance during a game I may get to show someone Jesus, so I think it’s cool to be able to use my song to do that,” Russell said.
Hiers and baseball senior outfielder Luke Bonfield said they hope their songs help to get the crowd more into the game. Bonfield attempts to do this with the song “The Next Episode” by Dr. Dre.
“It kind of pumps me up, so I hope it’ll kind of pump the crowd up as well,” Bonfield said.
Hier’s has a similar perspective.
“I kind of just like to have a light, kind of funny song for the crowd just to make them laugh,” Hiers said.
Fans will have their chance to hear each song in person at the softball game at Bogle Park on Wednesday or the baseball team’s next game at Baum Stadium on April 3.
Listen to our Spotify playlist of each individual player’s walk-up song here.