The Case for Classical Music Walk-Up Songs in Major League Baseball
A hitter's choice of walk-up music in a Major League Baseball game can make for an invigorating aspect of the sport. As most batters choose popular dance or hip-hop songs to get their fans cheering, a certain niche of music lovers are putting forth their desire for more classical fare in the audible allocation of "America's pastime."
A quick online investigation reveals the current climate of MLB "plate music." Of late, "Panda," the debut single from American rapper and Kanye West protégé Desiigner, appears to be the fashionable option. Others include picks from pop stars like Rihanna or Drake. Atlanta Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman's plate jam was, at one time, Carly Rae Jepsen's 2011 earworm, "Call Me Maybe."
Last year, writer Brian Lauritzen also probed MLB's popular walk-up song choices, positing his suggestions for classical counterparts. As he stated in the piece, "Mozart at the Bat," to his knowledge there was only one Major League player at the time utilizing a symphonic selection:
"As far as I know, only once has a Major League Baseball player opted for a classical tune as his walk-up music. That's Prince Fielder, who uses the Rex tremendae section of Mozart's Requiem as he strides to the plate. But that got me thinking ... about what would make the best classical walk-up music."
Perhaps the MLB could benefit from a classical shot in the arm. There are certainly plenty of past and present orchestral favorites that would nudge suitably alongside the popular picks.
As classical music warms up in the bullpen, the New York Times' David Lang parallels baseball's nostalgia with classical convention, reminding us not to let musical mores impede momentum:
"Our love of the past can enhance what we hear but I often feel that the appreciation of classical music's glorious past can get in the way of truly hearing the music being made right now. How listeners learn to hear new things and relate them to the things they already know is where the action is in music."
We want to hear from you. Let us know what you think would make a good choice for a classical music MLB walk-up song in the comments section below.