Sitting around having a beer with a buddy tonight, I asked, “What would your walkup song be?”
“’Freeze-Frame’ by J. Geils Band.”
Playing in the major leagues would be awesome. Five-gallon buckets of free sunflower seeds, a job where it’s not only acceptable but expected that you spit excessively in the workplace, and the freedom to readjust one’s “equipment” every 15 seconds in front of thousands of people.
But the best part of playing in the bigs would have to be the walkup song.
If you’re unfamiliar with the walkup song concept, it goes something like this: as a home team batter is walking up to the plate (because the plate sits on a plateau, apparently), a song of his choosing blares over the ballpark’s loudspeakers.
Sort of like how Darth Vader’s appearance cues “The Imperial March.”
Just think: one song to announce your presence, who you are, what you’re going to do.
But also a lot of pressure. One song. Thousands if not millions of people making a judgment of sorts based on what you choose.
Case in point. The other night I’m watching the Rockies game, and Colorado shortstop Troy Tulowitzki, one of the top players in the game today, strides confidently to the plate, bottom of the 13th, 2-2 game, the crowd going mad crazy, and playing in the background is… “Baby, baby, baby, ohhhh.”
Interesting choice. But hey, the guy scored the winning run busting his tail from first to home on a bloop single, and he’s the leading vote-getter among National League shortstops for the All-Star Game, so who am I to question his walkup choice?
But still: Bieber?
And then I got to thinking: what walkup songs would best represent the players on our home team?
Here’s the starting line-up:
Slim: “Star Wars Main Theme”/ “Rebel Fanfare”/ “Imperial March”
(May vary depending on his mood, but it’s gotta be one of the original Star Wars scores by John Williams. The kid is Jedi to the core.
As a side, I think a major leaguer walking up to “Cantina Band” would be hilarious.)
Perpetual Motion: “Fuel” by Metallica
(The tempo of this song is all P-Motion. Sunup to sundown, this kid’s on the move. Places to go, critters to catch, don’t stop, can’t stop, move, explore, live. A second choice would be “Thank God I’m a Country Boy” by John Denver, because his soul needs space, and fortunately he’s got it.)
Hellcat: “Just a Girl” by No Doubt
(She has that Gwen Stefani-type sass. Nobody’s going to define her role for her. And if they try to, she’ll let ‘em have it. And even if they don’t, she might just let ‘em have it anyway. “Smells Like Teen Spirit” would work, too, because I swear the girl is trying to make the direct jump from 4 to 17.)
Tax Credit #4: “Centerfield” by John Fogerty
(As the youngest, #4 just wants in the game. Happy, carefree, Dude-let’s-just-get-outside-and-find-something-fun attitude. Yet, there is also a smidge of “Sabotage” by Beastie Boys because he’ll make his presence known by disrupting the best-laid plans of his siblings if they don’t let him play.)
Kick Ass Wife: “Baby Got Back” by Sir Mix-A-Lot
(Whoa, whoa, whoa! Take it easy. There’s a story here. Back in college, KAW and one of her cronies choreographed an entire dance routine to this song in their dorm room.
Since then it has made occasional appearances at wedding receptions, reunions, hell, even poolside in Vegas, and has gained legendary status in certain circles.
Let me tell ya, she flat drops it like it’s hot, and I’m not just saying that because she’s KAW. It’s the real deal.
But, just in case she’s not down with it, a safe second choice would be “S & M” by Rihanna.
I’m joking! Geez.
“Humpty Dance” by Digital Underground?
Okay, okay. We’ll pencil in “Wagon Wheel” by Old Crow Medicine Show as an alternate. She’ll like that.)
Me: “Toes” by Zac Brown Band
(If I really was a major leaguer, I’d hope that the line ”life is good today” would help me keep in perspective that I’m getting paid to play a game, and I’d better have a damn big smile on my face when any little kid runs up and wants some of my time. Which is the same thing I need to keep in mind with my own kids, actually, because they look up at me like I am a major leaguer. They just want my time and attention. I should be able to do that.)
Of course other parts of my day have different walkup songs. First thing in the morning it’s all “I Can See Cleary Now” by Bob Marley. That usually lasts about 20 minutes. After that, ”Welcome to the Jungle” plays on a continuous loop.
Coming out of the bathroom? Easy: “That Smell” by Lynyrd Skynyrd.
In the bedroom? “Eye of the Tiger.”
Oh, yeah. You feelin’ me, Survivor?
Wait, KAW just said something.
Oh, real funny.
According to her, I’d best pick something by The Pretenders.