The history of music in baseball games can be traced back to 1918, when “The Star- Spangled Banner” was played at the beginning of the World Series. Today, walk up songs are something we do not give a second thought to. They are just another tradition of the ballgame. Believe it or not, walk up songs were only common for a few major league players even 20 years ago.
Walk up songs are like an anthem. Although they are a very small detail in the grand scheme of things, often this detail can make all of the difference. Especially if you are a closer, a walk up song can be a make or break factor, one that captures your attention and psyches you up when you make your way to the plate, or one that just doesn’t cut it.
It even becomes a part of your identity, based on the song you pick, the possibilities are endless.
According to the New York Times, Nancy Faust is the person credited with creating the walk up song. Faust was the White Sox organist for 41 years before she retired in 2010. When Faust was hired in 1970, she received a list of players and their hometowns. Faust then thought of the idea to play each state song as the player from that state walked to the plate or mound.
Just a year later, the walk up song was born. Faust used her talents to instinctually play music when a player would walk up to the plate, often matching his personality.
In 1985, Texas Rangers and former Dodgers pitcher Dave Stewart was arrested on allegations that he engaged in a lewd public act with a transgender prostitute named Lucille. During the next game, Stewart played against the White Sox. When he came out, Faust started playing “You picked a fine time to leave me Lucille” by Kenny Rogers.
Faust went on to say that the focus often turned to the players and she didn’t even think they were paying attention. It then morphed into ‘What does the player want to hear?’ The players wanted more variety in their song options.
Today, we live in a world where every single motion and aspect of the game is picked apart. Everything is analyzed, walk up songs included. Players are praised for popular song choices and shunned for poor ones.
The Harding baseball players selected their own walk up songs, as does nearly every single player of the game today. Their three-game series, starting today at 2 p.m. against Southern Nazarene University in Bethany, Oklahoma, will have themed walk up songs. Game one consists of Hispanic songs, game two consists of hip-hop and game three is instrumental.
Some songs on the list include “Gasolina” by Daddy Yankee, “Duele el Corazon” by Enrique Iglesias ft. Wisin, “Right above it” by Lil Wayne ft. Drake, “Hot in Herre” by Nelly, “Donald Trump” by Mac Miller, and “All the above” by Main ft. T-pain, just to name a few.
To me, it is another unique aspect of how sports can bring people together. Music can transcend so many barriers. Something as little as a walk up song can connect people.
Maybe you have no interest in baseball or music. But it is interesting to think that in maybe 20 years, some aspect of the game will be completely new. Who knows what the next “walk up song” of sports will be.