10 Greatest Metal Baseball Walk-Up Songs
In baseball, the walk-up song is everything. Heavy metal and hard rock-loving baseball players understand this. Unlike their fellow teammates who choose to walk to home plate or the pitcher's mound to the dance floor-ready sounds of hip-hop or R&B, metalhead players know that going with a heavy track is much more effective.
Like a heel in professional wrestling, a baseball walk-up song should act as a death knell for the player its representing, letting their opponents know that they're in for a world of hurt. Noisecreep is taking a look at the 10 Greatest Metal Baseball Walk-Up Songs in honor of the boys of summer.
Red Sox catcher Ryan Lavarnway hasn’t proven himself in the majors yet, but that doesn’t stop him from walking to the plate to heavy sounds of Five Finger Death Punch’s ‘The Bleeding.’ In 2013, Lavarnway tied a Major League record with most passed balls in a single game, totaling four passed balls. So yeah, if this baseball thing doesn’t work out, maybe FFDP could hook Lavarnway up with a roadie gig.
You have to hand it to Pirates first basemen Garrett Jones. Instead of going with one of the usual heavy metal suspects, the guy chooses to strut over to the batter’s box to ‘Inis Mona,’ a track from underground Swiss folk-metallers Eluveitie. The song comes off the group’s 2008 ‘Slania’ album. Noisecreep applauds Jones for his pick since we support anything that helps spread the word about indie label-backed metal to Middle America.
A Golden Glove recipient in 2012, A’s outfielder Josh Reddick instantly gets metal and wrestling cred points for using Motorhead’s ‘The Game,’ an absolutely mean-sounding cut originally written as the entrance theme for WWE superstar Triple H. Lemmy Kilmister’s whiskey-stained vocals sound killer through O.co Coliseum’s mega-speakers and with lyrics like “It’s all about the game and how you play it,” ‘The Game’ is a perfect fit for America’s pastime.
Chicago White Sox first basemen Paul Konerko isn’t just a beast on the diamond -- 6 All-Star appearances, ALCS MVP, 1 World Series ring -- his musical tastes also lean to the dark side. The 37-year-old grew up on Metallica and walks to the plate to the thrash gods’ ‘Harvester of Sorrow.’ When asked during an interview who he would book for his ultimate concert experience, Konerko listed Black Sabbath, Metallica, Pantera, Megadeth, and Led Zeppelin. Noisecreep can get behind that.
It might not be a straight-up heavy metal song, but Refused’s ‘New Noise’ has all of the right elements to land it on our 10 Best Metal Baseball Walk-Up Songs list. Used by Brewers reliever John Axford, ‘New Noise’ is a cacophony, bringing together traces of hardcore, techno, metal, and punk, plus a dialogue sample lifted from 1979’s Vietnam war classic, ‘Apocalypse Now.’ No one would have ever guessed a crew of bookish Swedish dudes would ever be associated with, of all things, baseball.
Nicknamed "The Hammer,” Boston Red Sox closer Joel Hanrahan comes out of the bullpen to the equally ominous-sounding ‘Before I Forget.’ Don’t let the Grammy Award the song won in 2006 fool you; ‘Before I Forget’ features all of the face-ripping ingredients of a great Slipknot track: a jerking rhythmic pattern, thrashing guitars, and a fist-pumping chorus.
In a discography filled with one downcast yet stunning track after the other, 1997’s ‘My Own Summer (Shove It)’ is probably Deftones’ finest moody rocker. It’s an unlikely baseball walk-in song, but perhaps Phillies pitcher John Lannan chose it because of its crushing chorus section. It must be a fun experience being at a game and hearing Stephen Carpenter’s guitars tearing through the ballpark. Well, at least if you’re a metalhead.
He might not be a household name yet, but if there’s anything Giants first baseman Brett Pill’s time in the MLB has shown us is that the guy has killer music taste. Pill’s pick, Pantera’s ‘I’m Broken,’ sounds as nasty as it does today as it did when it first appeared on store shelves almost 20 years ago. Any player who exits the dugout to the sound of one of Dimebag Darrell’s most scorching guitar riffs is A-OK in our book.
Reds reliever Jonathan Broxton’s decision to walk to the pitcher’s mound to Black Sabbath’s ‘Iron Man’ is a fitting one. Originally entitled ‘Iron Bloke,’ Ozzy Osbourne described the first time he heard the song’s main riff, he thought it sounded "like a big iron bloke walking about.” Seeing the hulking Broxton in action with the Reds, the whole “big iron bloke” thing comes to mind again.
Topping our 10 Best Metal Baseball Walk-Up Songs list is Metallica's ‘Enter Sandman,’ Yankees closing ace Mariano Rivera’s infamous intro track. The future Hall of Famer holds the record for most career saves and games finished, and his menacing presence on the field echoes the song’s nightmarish vision. Retired pitcher Billy Wagner reportedly used it as his walk-in song first, but ‘Enter Sandman’ will always be synonymous with Rivera.