In baseball, teams would hire organists to play songs intended to hype up a crowd. While some teams do still have an organ player, most rely on the playback of recorded songs.
This has allowed each player to have their own walk up song played as they venture toward the plate for their at-bat. The following songs are some of the most iconic, being used year after year, including 2023’s season.
“Spongebob Squarepants Theme Song”
The theme song to Spongebob Squarepants is recognizable throughout the world thanks to its pirate-voiced singer. At the beginning, the singer calls out to the audience, asking if they are ready, before ripping into the song’s legendary verses.
During his rookie year in 2022, Oscar Gonzales (Guardians) opted for this hilarious theme song. Needless to say, Cleveland fans have found it to be both hilarious and hype-worthy at the same time.
“Tití Me Preguntó” by Bad Bunny
In recent years, the MLB as a whole has shifted its walk up music more toward Latin-influenced pop and hip-hop styles. Bad Bunny is one of the most popular artists in 2023 with regard to walk up music.
Christopher Morel (Cubs), Ketel Marte (Diamondbacks), and Ronald Acuña Jr. all had Tití Me Preguntó as their walk up song in 2023.
“Sweet Emotion” by Aerosmith
Aerosmith’s Sweet Emotion is packed with an anthemic chorus accompanied by unforgettable guitar riffs. It’s been used time and again to amp up a crowd, with Alex Lange (Tigers) using the song in 2023.
“God’s Gonna Cut You Down” by Johnny Cash
Country music has always been in the MLB, with Johnny Cash being a popular choice over the years. Interestingly enough, one of his later songs has been extremely popular in recent years.
Throughout 2023, this rolling quasi-folk-pop song was used by:
- Shawn Armstrong (Rays)
- Ryan Pressly (Astros)
- Justin Steele (Cubs)
- Bryse Wilson (Brewers)
“Tell Me Something Good” by Chaka Khan & Rufus
Sometimes, only the funkiest of songs are able to bring an entire stadium to their feet. Tell Me Something Good is a tried-and-true hit that never fails to get a crowd moving.
This off-kilter funk classic was used by Bobby Dalbec (Red Sox) during the 2023 season.
“Sabotage” by Beastie Boys
Beastie Boys have a few songs that are ripe for walk up songs, but Sabotage takes the cake. This punk-influenced rap song has been used endlessly throughout the last 20 years.
In 2023, it was Clay Homes (Yankees) and Jimmy Herget (Angels) pumping up the crowd with this legendary track.
“Purple Haze” by Jimi Hendrix
If you want to make a memorable entrance, it doesn’t hurt to feature some of Jimi Hendrix’s guitar playing. His opening riffs in Purple Haze are cemented in the collective unconscious, and just about everybody loves the song.
Purple Haze certainly wasn’t the only Hendrix track in 2023. However, it seemed to be fitting for Carson Kelly (Tigers).
“Superstition” by Stevie Wonder
Stevie Wonder has a number of iconic tracks that are instantly recognizable. Superstition might take the cake though, due to its unforgiving level of funkiness.
Kyle Hendricks (Cubs) probably couldn’t have helped to dance to the plate during his 2023 season. It’s nearly impossible to listen to without moving something.
“Can’t C Me” by 2Pac
2Pac’s Can’t C Me is almost perfect for somebody who has to walk out in front of many different pairs of eyes. This funky classic rap track even features the legendary George Clinton mentioning something about peoples’ eyes.
Aaron Hicks (Orioles) chose Can’t C Me in 2023, amping up the morale from stadium to stadium.
“Scrubs” by TLC
It’s almost comical that Clayton Kershaw (Dodgers) would use TLC’s Scrubs throughout his 2023 season. He is undoubtedly one of the best pitchers in recent MLB history.
Is his use of Scrubs meant to be a message to himself to make sure that he plays to the best of his abilities? Or perhaps he’s challenging the batters as well as his own team?
“In Da Club” by 50 Cent
In Da Club has been one of the most popular walk up songs in the history of walk up song usage. This song never seems to go out of style, with some years of seeing multiple players don the song.
20 years after the song was released, it was Geraldo Perdomo (Diamondbacks) choosing the song for his 2023 season.
“Mr. Blue Sky” by Electric Light Orchestra
Mr. Blue Sky is one of the most iconic ELO songs in the catalog. It’s a super bouncy track that makes it nearly impossible to not be in a good mood while it’s playing.
The song’s chorus maintains the bounce while incorporating some amazing vocal layers. In 2023, Michael Rucker (Cubs) used this for his walk up song.
“Ooh La La” by Faces
Ooh La La has one of the most famous lines that just about every human on Earth can relate to. Age and passing time really do provide the most useful lessons, but hindsight is 20-20.
The pitcher, Mike Clevinger (White Sox) used this nostalgic classic rock track as his entrance theme in 2023.
“Don’t Stop Believin’” by Journey
If you want to build crowd camaraderie, pick a song with lyrics everyone knows. One popular choice is Journey’s Don’t Stop Believin’.
This song compels everyone within earshot to sing together with reckless abandon. Plus, it makes for a great walk up, such as Rafael Montero (Astros) did throughout 2023.
“Tom Sawyer” by Rush
One of the best things about Rush’s Tom Sawyer is that it's filled with different sections that are equally iconic. This gives the walk up song some mileage as different segments of the track can be given focus.
In 2023, Brice Turang (Brewers) found Tom Sawyer to be the optimal pick for his at-bats. The crowd didn’t seem to mind, either.
“Stranglehold” by Ted Nugent
With its sprawling jam and unforgettable bass-driven groove, Stranglehold might be Ted Nugent’s most iconic track. If you disagree, then consider the fact that 4 different players used the song in 2023, including:
- Ryan O’Hearn (Orioles)
- Adrian Houser (Brewers)
- Will Smith (the pitcher, Rangers)
- Hunter Brown (Astros)
“Simple Man” by Lynyrd Skynyrd
Skynyrd’s Simple Man is southern rock gold and is instantly recognizable thanks to its epic guitar intro. Plus, it has verses and choruses that everyone can’t help but sing along with.
Simple Man has been used fairly frequently throughout the years. In 2023, it was Joe Jacques (Red Sox) donning the song for his pitching entrances.
“Public Service Announcement” by Jay-Z
Jay-Z’s Public Service Announcement is one of his greatest works, and it certainly calls to the listener’s attention. The song’s stereotypical announcement style, which breaks into a funky beat is what makes it such a great walk up song.
This 2003 track was quite popular in 2023, with the following players adopting the song:
- Drew VerHagen (Cardinals)
- Matt Manning (Tigers)
- Seiya Suzuki (Cubs)
“The Chain” by Fleetwood Mac
Fleetwood Mac has one of the best bass lines in modern history featured in the solo break of The Chain. It’s also been a fairly popular track to use as a walk up song for both pitchers and batters.
In 2023, both Taylor Rogers (Giants) and Buck Farmer (Reds) used The Chain as their entrance theme.
“Rooster” by Alice In Chains
One of the best things about Rooster is that it has so many legendary parts. Both its haunting vocal intro as well as its soaring choruses are extremely recognizable because of their impact.
It's for this reason that the song is a predictable mainstay. In 2023 alone, 3 different players used the song, including:
- Bruce Zimmerman (Orioles)
- Carlos Rodón (Yankees)
- Zack Wheeler (Phillies)
“Still D.R.E.” by Dr. Dre (ft. Snoop Dogg)
Since the song dropped in 1999, Still D.R.E. has been used in almost every avenue of entertainment, year after year. It has one of the most recognizable piano phrases in the history of recorded music.
There were 4 different players who used Still D.R.E. in 2023, including:
- Will Smith (the catcher, Dodgers)
- Ryne Stanek (Astros)
- Matt McLain (Reds)
- Andrew Vasquez (Tigers)
“So Fresh, So Clean” by Outkast
Over 20 years after its debut, So Fresh, So Clean is still a popular choice for a walk up track. Both Ty France (Mariners) and Collin McHugh (Braves) used this minty funk jam throughout 2023.
Braves fans especially enjoyed McHugh’s representing of Atlanta considering that it's where Outkast is from.
“Jump Around” by House Of Pain
Considering the cultural phenomenon that is House Of Pain’s Jump Around, it’s not too hard to assume it would be used in the MLB. This legendary early 90s hip-hop track still slaps with a vengeance, with both Paul Sewald (Diamondbacks) and Hayden Wesneski (Cubs) using it in 2023.
“WKRP In Cincinnati Theme Song” by Television’s Greatest Hits Band
If you want to appeal to your fans and get them roaring, it’s best to pick a song that includes their city. That’s just the approach longtime Reds 1st Baseman Joey Votto has taken with his walk up song.
Votto chose the theme song to WKRP In Cincinnati, a TV show from the late 1970s and early 1980s.
“It Was A Good Day” by Ice Cube
For many MLB players, getting to make a living playing baseball is a dream come true. Why not celebrate that by using one of the most iconic Ice Cube songs of the 1990s?
This chill rap classic was used in 2023 by both Bo Naylor (Guardians) and Triston Casas (Red Sox).
“Welcome To The Jungle” by Guns N’ Roses
Welcome To The Jungle is a song that has been featured in just about every sporting event at some point. Even if you thought it was overplayed, this classic rock staple continues to be used endlessly.
There were 3 different players who chose this GN’R hit as their walk up theme, including:
- Craig Kimbrel (Phillies)
- Gunnar Henderson (Orioles)
- Jonathan Loáisiga (Yankees)
“Could You Be Loved” by Bob Marley & The Wailers
Bob Marley is no stranger to having his reggae music featured in sports. However, his insanely upbeat track, Could You Be Loved is one of the best choices to amp up a crowd.
In 2023, Kirby Yates (Braves) chose this song and maintained a reggae vibe throughout the entire season.
“Dream On” by Aerosmith
Dream On has become one of those staple songs that gets featured in just about every avenue of commercial entertainment. It’s been used countless times in all sports, with the MLB’s latest being Levi Stoudt (Reds) using it for his walk up song.
“Can’t You Hear Me Knocking” by The Rolling Stones
Guardians relief pitcher comes out of the bullpen with The Rolling Stones track, Can’t You Hear Me Knocking. Despite its upbeat blues vibe, the song sets in this eerie feeling that Morgan has been watching the batters and studying their flaws.
“War Pigs” by Black Sabbath
War Pigs has a few signature parts throughout its entirety, and it’s a time-tested track that gets the crowd hyped. Many players have used War Pigs throughout the years, with one of the most recent being John Schreiber (Red Sox).
“Back In Black” by AC/DC
AC/DC’s signature rhythms are what make Back In Black such a potent hit, especially as a walk up track. In 2023, there were 3 different players using the song, including:
- DL Hall (Orioles)
- James McCann (Orioles)
- Bryan Reynolds (Pirates)
“Baba O’Riley” by The Who
If there was 1 word to describe the song, Baba O’Riley, it would have to be “epic”. There is perhaps no other song that comes close to the scale of epic-ness here, from its signature intro to its elevating end.
This aspect makes it perfect for a walk up song, as seen in 2023 with Lucas Sims (Reds).
“Ride Wit Me” by Nelly
Want to know what one of the most popular MLB walk up songs of 2023 was? It was this 2001 smash hit single by Nelly, with 5 different players using it throughout the year.
- Will Smith (the catcher, Dodgers)
- Bryce Harper (Phillies)
- Shea Langeliers (Athletics)
- Nolan Gorman (Cardinals)
- Michael Harris II (Braves)
“Bring It On Home” by Led Zeppelin
Many Zeppelin songs work well for an anthem, but the bluesy Bring It On Home is especially primed toward baseball. After all, the goal of the game is to bring the runs (and ultimately the win) home.
2023 Atlanta Braves fans got to enjoy this Zeppelin track with pitcher Spencer Strider’s entrance to the field.
“My Hero” by Foo Fighters
The song My Hero really does seem like it’s written from the point of view of a child who looks up to someone in their life. It somehow exudes that sort of heroism that you find in comic books.
Who wouldn’t want to walk up to the plate to this iconic Foo Fighters song? It’s been a frequent choice over the years, with the latest being Mike Baumann (Orioles).
“Kashmir” by Led Zeppelin
Kashmir’s main riff is so good that even Led Zeppelin played it for 6 minutes too long. Nevertheless, it’s become a staple theme everywhere, including the MLB.
In 2023, it was Luke Maile (Reds) who chose Kashmir. It’s almost a guarantee someone will use it next year, too.
“Fire On The Mountain” by Grateful Dead
Deadheads all around the internet said “We really are everywhere!” when they heard Joe Ryan (Twins) use Fire On The Mountain as his walk up song. Jam band songs and merchandise have been seen in sports throughout the years but this was one of the few (if not, only) times a player had actually chosen a song by the Grateful Dead.
“Long Cool Woman (In A Black Dress) ” by The Hollies
Despite sounding an awful lot like CCR, Long Cool Woman (In A Black Dress) never fails to grab the ear. Plus, it’s filled with iconic guitar passages and unforgettable vocal lines that never get old.
Rob Refsnyder (Red Sox) obviously thought the same thing when he chose this hit by The Hollies in 2023.
“Middle Child” by J Cole
J Cole has been a popular choice for walk up songs, as he has a few tracks that have become staples. His 2019 song, Middle Child was pretty popular in 2023 with both Tim Herrin (Guardians) and Max Fried (Braves) using the song.
The song has a signature horn part that really acts as its sonic calling card.
Top MLB Walk Up Songs, Final Thoughts
While the above are great, you can check more baseball walk up songs here.
These songs will remain an integral aspect of the MLB experience for a couple of reasons. The first is that it allows each player to express their individuality beyond their words and actions on the field.
Secondly, it allows the audience to connect with each player on a personal level while strengthening team loyalty. Any baseball fan would agree that the games would certainly be a bit stale and boring without the music.