Why did walk-up music become a thing in high school baseball? Because it's great.
Most songs selected by Nokesville (Va.) Patriot High ballplayers when they step into the batter's box are what you might expect, as detailed in a Washington Post feature on a new prep tradition that has long existed in Major League Baseball.
Kenny Chesney, Dropkick Murphys, Toby Keith, Kanye West, Drake, Lil Wayne, Rage Against the Machine, Eminem, The White Stripes and Wiz Khalifa. The Police's "De Do Do Do" is a little strange, but to each his own.
But not everyone's playlist is as traditional as Patriot baseball announcer Eddie Kesler's cuts.
Take another great tradition at Briar Woods (Ashburn, Va.) High, for example. BWHS senior captains handpick the song selections for their freshmen teammates, according to The Post; hence frosh Caleb Barnes' intro song: Taylor Swift’s “I Knew You Were Trouble.” In case you're unfamiliar, that track includes these lyrics:
He'll never see you cry
Pretend he doesn't know
That he's the reason why
Similarly, former Centreville (Clifton, Va.) High star and current assistant coach J.P. Nicholas strode to the plate to Shania Twain's "Man! I Feel Like a Woman!" when he forgot to hand in his own song choice on time, the Post said.
Prep sports encapsulated, if you ask me. But not everyone is pleased with a walk-up music movement that has popped up at a number of D.C. area schools like Blake (Silver Spring, Md.) High and Westfield (Fairfax County, Va.) High over the past couple years.
“I think walk-up music is yet another example of promoting the individual over the team,” Thomas Stone (Waldorf, Md.) High coach Bob Marcella told The Washington Post. “I think it continues the ‘SportsCenter’/NBA mentality of ‘I’ll get mine first, and if it helps the team, well, that’s just a bonus.’”
Maybe someone should get the Debbie Downer sound effect next time he coaches against a school that welcomes walk-up music. You know, because prep sports can be fun.
“This isn’t anything other than some of these kids won’t get to play college baseball,” Patriot coach Sammy Serrano told the paper. “But we want the atmosphere for them to be college- or pro-like. I want them to remember this. I want the fans to understand that there’s an atmosphere. This is entertainment.”