Finding Mudville: I want a walk up song

  • Wednesday, August 14, 2013

I was covering a high school baseball game this spring and one of the players came out of the dugout carrying a CD. He handed the CD off to a member of the JV team and told him to take it up to the press box pronto.
I looked at him and asked the obvious question, “What’s on the CD?”
“My walk up song,” he replied.
Your what?
A junior in high school and this kid has a walk up song, and not just this one kid, EVERYBODY has a walk up song.
I remember many years ago when I suffered my midlife crisis and got back into coaching. I was an assistant basketball coach along with being baseball coach. We were in the locker room before the game, a time when players collect themselves and get into the proper frame of mind.
One of the players handed me a CD and said, “Coach make sure this gets to the scorer’s table.”
Being the obvious curious sort I asked him, “What’s on it?”
He replied, “Our walk out song.”
Your what?
“Yeah,” he said. “It’s our entrance song. We come out to AC/DC’s ‘Thunderstruck.’”
This was a basketball team that hadn’t won a game in over two years and the team captain is more concerned with making sure the music lady in the gym gets the right CD.
It got me to thinking – I want a walk up song.  I haven’t hit in 37 years and it’s been almost 35 years since I took the mound. I was too early for the whole walk up song thing. Nobody had them back when I played.
In fact, before the movie Major League 2 and Rick Vaughn’s (Charlie Sheen) Wild Thing entrance nobody had them. So I blame Rick Vaughn for this. It’s all his fault.
Picking your walk up song is important. If I had one, what would it be, and if I had a walk up song, to what would I be walking up?
I guess if I had to pick a time when a walk up song was appropriate it would be when I sat down to the computer to write.  That’s kind of like my moment.
What you play has to be unique unto your identity. Yourself. Who you are is reflected in your walk up song.
Metallica’s “Enter the Sandman” is overused to the point that it’s become a cliché.
First you have to throw really, really hard to be worthy of that song and Atlanta’s Craig Kimbrell and the Yankees Mariano Rivera are the only two who can do that.
Jonathan Papelbon had a great walk up song when he pitched for the Red Sox in “Shipping Out to Boston,” but he’s a Philly now and walks in to Metallica’s “For Whom the Bell Tolls.”
For 19 years Chipper Jones walked up to Ozzy Osbourne’s Crazy Train.
For me, my personal favorite is AC/DC’s “Thunderstruck,” but it’s a little much for walking over to my desk and sitting down to my computer.
So, I’ve spent the better part of what was supposed to be a productive Thursday evening haunting You Tube looking for a suitable walk up song.
It was at about 10:30 and 50 or so walk up songs later that I hit my moment of Zen. My walk up song.
The Beatles’ “Paperback Writer.” It’s so Me.
Hit it boys.

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