To cope with baseball withdraw, here is Part Two of the 40 best Phillies walk-up songs since 2008.
No. 20 – Jimmy Rollins – Girls All Around the World by Greg Street, Lloyd & Lil Wayne
Jimmy Rollins was one of those guys who changed his music frequently. Therefore when thinking of Rollins, it’s impossible to connect his legacy to a tune the way you can with someone like Chase Utley. Out of the many songs Rollins did use, this one, which he used during the 2008 season, is probably his best.
No. 19 – Greg Dobbs – Megalomaniac by Incubus
It’s really embarrassing to admit that I know what Greg Dobbs’ walk-up song was in 2008 but I really like Incubus and Brandon Boyd’s voice.
Here’s Dobbs speaking to MLB.com on the song choice.
“I like the band and it’s one of my favorite songs that they’ve done. It’s just a good song and that’s why I chose it. It’s awesome. I like the intro. I’ve wanted to (see them live). It’s tough during the season. I’ll try during the offseason, but, with family and stuff, it’s still kind of hard to do. At some point, though, I want to.”
No. 18 – Matt Stairs – Glass Shatters by Disturbed
It’s corny when baseball players use wrestling themes but Matt Stairs found a perfect fit when he used Disturbed’s rendition of Stone Cold Steve Austin’s theme song with lyrics.
If you’re not familiar with Steve Austin, he is one of the most popular professional wrestlers of all-time. His gimmick was that of a beer-drinking degenerate and the crowd went nuts whenever they heard the sound of glass shattering, an indication that Austin was about to whoop somebody’s ass.
Matt Stairs is the most prolific pinch-hitter of all-time and when he took his place in the on-deck circle, pitchers knew they were about to get ambushed. That’s what opposing wrestlers felt when Austin came down the aisle.
No. 17 – Ryan Howard & Bryce Harper – R.I.C.O. by Meek Mill & Drake
It’s fascinating when a walk-up song connects two different era of Phillies baseball. Ryan Howard used this song in his final year with the team while Bryce Harper used it in his first.
Harper used Meek’s Mill verse in “R.I.C.O” for his fourth at-bat. It was especially fitting when he came up to the plate with two outs and a runner in scoring position in the late innings.
No. 16 – Pat Burrell – Holy Diver by Dio
I originally thought of excluding this classic because I thought it was a bit overrated. After going back and watching a few at-bats from Pat the Bat, I no longer believe that to be true.
According to Todd Zolecki in 2016, the Phillies used “Holy Diver” as a generic tune for players who have not picked out a song. I don’t know if they continue that practice but if you ever wondered why David Lough would dare to steal Burrell’s thunder, there’s your answer.
No. 15 – Tommy Joseph – Shining Star by Earth, Wind & Fire
Once upon a time, Tommy Joseph was the Phillies catcher of the future. Then he became the Phillies first baseman of the future. Then he was DFA’d.
He had a few memorable moments in a Phillies uniform to go along with a memorable walk-up song. It was always cool to hear Dan Baker say “Now batting for the Phillies number 19, first baseman Tommy Joseph,” followed by the horns blasting:
No. 14 – Michael Young – So What’Cha Want by Beastie Boys
The 2013 Phillies thought they still had a chance to make the postseason, so they traded for Rangers legend Michael Young. He wasn’t terrible but he just wasn’t the team needed at the moment. He did, however, have an awesome walk-up song. You can never go wrong with the Beastie Boys.
No. 13 – A.J. Burnett – Walking Dead Theme by Rodrigo Garcia
Remember when A.J. Burnett dressed like a zombie in the dugout?Embed from Getty Images
Apparently, Burnett is a huge Walking Dead fan. It’s fitting because the song perfectly embodies just how horrifying the rebuild was.
No. 12- Ryan Howard – POWER by Kanye West
It’s all in the title. It would be really stupid if a player who averaged eight home runs a season used this song.
No. 11 – Shane Victorino – Buffalo Soldier by Bob Marley
There were plenty of iconic player, walk-up song pairings during the heyday of Phillies baseball and Shane Victorino and his array of Bob Marley tunes were one of them. Red Sox fans clung on to the message of hope found in “Three Little Birds” amid the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombing. “Buffalo Soldier” was the more memorable tune for his Phillies tenure.
Victorino’s biography written by Alain Maimon describes the fit between “Buffalo Soldier” and Victorino:
“The lyrics of the song about the first regiments of African American soldiers in the U.S. Army could be applied on a lesser scale to his own struggles to make it to the big leagues: ‘Fighting for arrival, fighting for survival.'”
No. 10 – Cole Hamels – Thunderstruck by AC/DC
I only began to appreciate Cole Hamels using “Thunderstruck” as his warm-up song when Sportsradio WIP recently replayed Game 5 of the 2008 World Series. The song played as Scott Franzke and Larry Andersen geared up to call the biggest game of their lives as more than 45,000 of the luckiest Phillies fans around surrounded them, waving their towels. Unfortunately, the television broadcast never properly captured that moment and it’s a shame.
No. 9 – Jonathan Papelbon – For Whom The Bells Tolls by Metallica
Elite closers and Metallica go hand-in-hand.
Apologies if the video below makes you miss the ballpark:
No. 8 – Jayson Werth – Heavy Metal by Sammy Hagar
Head bangers in leather.
This is another song that evokes nostalgia for the ’08 team and Jayson Werth at his peak.
Werth’s quote on the song also taught me that it’s never a good idea to ask a player about their song choice.
“I am not commenting on that. (Chuckling, with tongue firmly in cheek) It’s not a public issue.”
No. 7 – J.T. Realmuto – MONEY & FAME by NEEDTOBREATHE
The best catcher baseball has the best walk-up song on the current roster. The intro to the song sounds exactly like how a walk-up song should. Like Joseph’s song, Baker sometimes aligns his announcement with the break. Even when he doesn’t, the song still sounds amazing over the PA:
No. 6 – Shane Victorino & Rhys Hoskins – Jamming/Jammin’ by Bob Marley
Another song that connects two eras of Phillies baseball. Victorino’s love for reggae comes from his Hawaiian roots while Hoskins was introduced to Marley’s music through his college roommate. The song served as the soundtrack for Hoskins’ epic first few weeks in the big leagues:
Victorino spoke about the song in 2008.
“I just like it. I’ve always liked Bob Marley. Reggae is a big thing in Hawaii, reggae music, Hawaiian music. Hawaiian music kind of has somewhat of that theme. I just like Bob — I like his lyrics. I like a lot of what he says. Back when he was alive, of course, what was going on at that time, I just like a lot of his beliefs and what he says in his lyrics.”
No. 5 – Carlos Ruiz – In the Air Tonight by Phil Collins
A lot of music fans detest Phil Collins but there’s no such thing as a Phillies fan who hates Chooch. He used this song for most of his career and when he came back to Citizens Bank Park in an opposing uniform, Carlos Ruiz was honored with the playing of this song as he walked to the plate:
No. 4 – Cliff Lee – Stranglehold by Ted Nugent
Cliff Lee had a mysterious aura to him and the riffs of “Stranglehold” went well with that. The word stranglehold literally means complete or overwhelming control and if that isn’t an ode to Lee’s elite ability to stay in the strikezone consistently, I don’t know what is.
I have a feeling Lee was one of those who players who didn’t care about music so he asked the Phillies to choose it for him.
No. 3 – Pat Burrell – Dirty Laundry by Don Henley
Pat Burrell was well known for many things that have nothing to do with baseball.
This is in reference to his adorable English Bulldog Elvis and his walk-up song. “Dirty Laundry ” is an all-time great walk-up song that doesn’t get the credit it deserves.
No. 2 – Chase Utley – Kashmir by Led Zeppelin
“I like how it starts — it’s got a good tempo to it. There’s nothing in particular, except for the fact that I like how it sounds.”
Utley, who was always short with the media, didn’t feel like explaining the story behind the most famous walk-up song in Phillies history to MLB.com back in ’08. He told the story to NBC Sports Philadelphia’s Michael Barkann years later during his final return to Philadelphia.
“College is when they first started doing the walk-up music,” Utley said. “And I wanted no part of it. I just wanted to hit. But somebody designated a song for me. I wish I could remember what it was and my girlfriend Jen, wife now, said ‘That’s a stupid song. That song’s not going to work for you.'”
“We kind of went through a list of different songs and her sister said ‘Why not Led Zeppelin Kashmir?’ Okay, let me listen to it and I said ‘Wow, that’s a good intro. I think that would be cool.’ I put it out there and I started having some success. I didn’t want to jinx it. I didn’t want to change it. So I just kept it.”
No. 1 – Roy Halladay – Good Times Bad Times by Led Zeppelin
The best pairing of Phillies greats and Led Zeppelin hits is Roy Halladay and “Good Times Bad Times.” The backstory behind it is just as intriguing as Utley’s.
The story was chronicled in Zolecki and Jim Salisbury’s 2012 book The Rotation: A Season with the Phillies and the Greatest Pitching Staff Ever Assembled. When the team’s manager of video services Kevin Camiscioli asked Halladay what he’d like his music to be, Halladay said the song doesn’t matter because he doesn’t hear it.
He was so hyper-focused on the task in hand that Halladay might as well have asked to play the sound of adults talking in a Charlie Brown episode. Or “Milkshake” by Kelis. It wouldn’t have mattered.
Camiscioli instead told Phillies music director Mark Wyatt to play Led Zeppelin. Wyatt chose “Moby Dick” and “Good Times Bad Times” and it was a fantastic fit for the legendary pitcher.
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