The world is watching as the Toronto Blue Jays won the wild card game with a walk-off homerun in the 11th inning. Blue Jays fans still believe. And the team just may pull it off.
As you watch the game, listen carefully for a time-honored baseball tradition: In any MLB game, the moment marking a player’s transition from sidelines to spotlight – whether it be from the on-deck circle to the batter’s box or from the bullpen to the pitcher’s mound – is taut with excitement and anticipation.
Cue the walk-up music.
A player’s walk-up song is crucial. In those final seconds that it takes to enter the field, this anthem gives the crowd a chance to show their overwhelming support and the player a chance to gather his confidence and focus on the challenge ahead. While the title, artist, and genre of the song depend on each player’s personal preference, you’ll notice some common themes in players’ song selections.
Songs of the Blue Jays
The Toronto Blue Jays prefer hip-hop over any other genre: Thirteen players chose rap songs for their walk-up music. Both Dalton Pompey and Jose Bautista decided on songs by Toronto native Drake (“Know Yourself” and “Trophies” respectively), while the remaining 11 chose songs by rap artists ranging from Kendrick Lamar (“Alright”) and Wiz Khalifa (“We Dem Boyz”) to The Notorious B.I.G. (“Hypnotize”) and Naughty by Nature (“Hip Hop Hooray”).
The rest of the team has varied tastes. Pop is the second-most popular genre, followed by country, R&B, and Latin. David Price and Roberto Osuna hype up the crowd with electronic music, while Marco Estrada and Brett Cecil take a different approach with heavy metal hits; Scott Copeland stands alone in his choice of Bob Marley’s reggae/ska sound, while Drew Hutchison appeals to the crowd with Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Saturday Night Special.” And, believe it or not, R.A. Dickey enters the field with the theme song from “Game of Thrones” announcing his arrival.
Do Songs Affect Stats?
Our research of the MLB overall uncovered some interesting data concerning walk-up music. Players who chose hip-hop songs, for example, actually hit the fewest home runs, while players who opted for indie/alternative music hit the most. Whether or not walk-up music has any sort of correlation to player performance, fans hope some of these songs help energize the Blue Jays during the rest of their series performance. While you wait for the next game, check out the Spotify playlist we put together of the Blue Jays’ favorite walk-up songs, and stay tuned for the rest of our walk-up music analysis!