Psychology is important in any sport, but especially so in baseball because almost all attention is on the batter when they’re up at the plate. Fortunately, batter walk-up songs can keep a player pumped. Here are some of the best songs to walk up to bat with.
“Crazy Train” by Ozzy Osbourne
Song Year: 1980
Great hitter walk-up songs usually have some energy, and few rock or metal tracks exemplify that better than Ozzy Osbourne’s “Crazy Train.” Featuring an invitation to board immediately followed by maniacal laughter, this song wastes no time in getting straight to business.
“Crazy Train” is particularly good for batters with a proven track record. If the opposing team knows they’re about to face a serious hitter, “Crazy Train” can remind them that a previously-stable game is about to go wild.
“Enter Sandman” by Metallica
Song Year: 1991
Although not as instantly wild as Ozzy’s track, “Enter Sandman” has an intro that quickly starts to move up in tempo. That’s a great feature in batter walk-up songs because it gives time to match an entrance to the beat and have it explode into sound at just the right time.
The Yankees famously associated this song with Mariano Rivera, who was one of the most consistent relief pitchers in MLB history before his retirement in 2013.
(For more on rock bands that might have good batter walk-up songs, check out our favorite rock bands of the 70s, one of the peak times for rock music.)
“God’s Gonna Cut You Down” by Johnny Cash
Song Year: 2003
Recorded in 2003 but not released until 2006, Johnny Cash’s country folk song isn’t the first style most people think of for hitter walk-up songs, but it works. It’s bold, direct, and just a little bit heretical when used in sports, but no less effective thanks to its smart lyric writing and Cash’s incredible vocals.
The music video is particularly good and earned Cash a Grammy, so it’s not rare to see a stadium throw some of that onto their main screen when it’s time for a player using this song to walk out.
“Kashmir” by Led Zeppelin
Song Year: 1975
Kashmir is a little older than some of the other songs on this list, but hard rock is usually a good fit for batters heading up to the plate. The primary riff of “Kashmir” is particularly ideal for sporting events. After all, if anyone knows how to make an impact with music, it’s one of the most popular rock bands of all time.
“Careless Whisper” by Wham!
Song Year: 1984
Also known as the “Sexy Sax” song, “Careless Whisper” is the exact opposite of a traditional batter walk-up song, and that’s why fans adored it when Josh Reddick used it during his time with Oakland.
Sports have always been something of a mind game, and sometimes the most effective strategy is trying to take the energy out of your opponent by doing something unexpected.
“Party Up (Up In Here)” by DMX
Song Year: 2000
Recorded in 1999 but only released in 2000, “Party Up” is a hardcore hip-hop song whose lyrics about losing your mind and going all-out fit in quite well with most ball games. That said, sports teams usually play the censored radio edit instead of the original explicit version, ensuring sponsors and television stations don’t get too upset at them.
“Seven Nation Army” by The White Stripes
Song Year: 2003
Winner of a Grammy Award for the best rock song, “Seven Nation Army” famously features a pitch-shifted riff and an intro whose steady beat soon escalates into a bolder tune. That always works well for batter walk-up songs, and you’ll often hear this song at games of all levels.
Helpfully, the song’s lyrics also match, with the idea of entire armies being unable to hold a player back. Like most batter walk-up songs, it’s most effective for players who already have a reputation for hitting hard and often.
“Thunderstruck” by AC/DC
Song Year: 1992
AC/DC isn’t known to play around, and “Thunderstruck” gets right into the action with an iconic opening riff that’s sure to have the crowd stomping their feet. It’s popular at all levels of the game, a testament to the enduring quality of AC/DC’s skill and compositional work.
“Thunderstruck” also works well for building up emotion over time, which makes it a solid choice when batters will need a little more time to get to the plate. Most teams want to keep the audience engaged, so having them clap and sing along can buy enough time for a team to go over some plans or work out some last-minute details.
“Bad Blood” by Taylor Swift
Song Year: 2014
The best batter walk-up songs usually feature male singers, but Taylor Swift breaks both the gender and genre conventions with this award-winning electropop hit.
“Bad Blood” is much more personal than many other batter songs, so it’s especially potent if there’s a known rivalry between a batter and the specific pitcher they’re going up against.
“Here Comes The (Boom!)” by Nelly
Song Year: 2005
Originally written for The Longest Yard, a comedy film starring Adam Sandler and Nelly, “Here Comes The (BOOM!)” is explosive, in-your-face, and generally perfect as a walk-up song. Like many of the better songs, it has the most impact if you associate it with a hitter who has a lot of power.
“Sports Song” by Weird Al Yankovic
Song Year: 2014
Another song that’s sure to please the crowd, Weird Al’s parody of sports songs and walk-up themes is generic enough to fit any team and funny enough to keep the crowd laughing throughout its runtime of a little more than two minutes. Comedy can work even better than intimidation, so this is rarely a bad choice for a team.
Timing is everything in comedy, though. If “Sports Song” isn’t quite right for you, another meme song might be.
Top Batter Walk-Up Songs, Final Thoughts
Batter walk-up songs have more range than you might expect, from bold metal guitar riffs to comedy and even romantic songs. Whether you’re just looking for a popular song or trying to surprise an opposing team with your choices, these have been some of the best songs around.