Turner Field in Atlanta, Georgia, which is almost 20 years old, serves as the home of the city’s Major League Baseball team, the Braves. While the stadium has never been home to a World Championship Series victory for the “Tribe,” they have made it into the Wild Card round (or later) of the playoffs in 10 of the last 18 seasons. Given the extra games they’ve had to play, you can imagine that the PA system at Turner Field has been put through the paces, especially by the players and their walk-up songs.
As a way of representing the player, and perhaps striking fear into the visiting team’s pitcher and defense, these songs are played as the batter walks up to the plate. To learn more about this unique sports soundtrack, we looked at this year’s lineup and the music genres that have become signature sounds for the Braves as they strut out to home plate.
Beats and Bats
Out of the 27 songs that have ushered Braves to the plate this season, the rock genre is the most popular. Songs such as Creed’s “Bullets” and Audioslave’s “Set It Off” welcome catcher A.J. Pierzynski and pitcher Jim Johnson; they’re heard as the athletes start making their way to the batter box. This is followed up by a two-way tie for second place at six songs apiece between hip-hop/rap and Latin. Given the city’s reputation as a rap/hip-hop hub, it’s shocking that it isn’t a more dominant genre.
Even though he’s Canadian, Drake’s prominence in the rap game makes him a top choice for the Braves’ walk-up songs. Second baseman Jace Peterson walks out to “Jumpman” by Drake featuring Future. Center fielder Mallex Smith adds a hit from Drake’s newest album, “One Dance,” to the intro music rotation. Left fielder Matt Kemp places not one but two Drake songs on his list: “Back to Back” and “Used To.”
If you’ve been to Turner Field recently, you may have heard music created by the Braves’ very own Chase D’Arnaud. However, given the way he describes his own music in interviews– “It’s James Taylor meets Crosby, Stills, and Nash meets the Beatles meets the Rolling Stones meets John Mayer meets Metallica” – you could expect his personal soundtrack to include anything from Hall and Oates to Blink 182 or even Prince. Yet D’Arnaud chose a completely unexpected direction as his walk-up music: Ginuwine’s “Pony.”
Now Rocking Out at Home Plate
The Atlanta Braves‘ players each arrive on the plate with a different song escorting them to the batter’s box. Despite some of the different tastes in music, these teammates all have the same goal: to win the game, the division, the pennant, and the World Series. Whether it’s Dio, Carlos Santana, or Drake, these Braves players have selected songs to bolster their at-bat performances.
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