Impact matters in sports psychology, and since pitchers only change a few times a game, the walk-up song should be picked for maximum impact. Here are some of the best pitcher walk-up songs ever.
Hell’s Bells by AC/DC
Song Year: 1980
The tolling of bells is always a surefire way to get attention, making it perfect for a pitcher’s walk-up song. That said, this classic AC/DC song soon gets the blood pumping with escalating instrumentals before launching into lyrics perfect for any pitcher. There’s no doubt that this is one of the best options on our entire list.
However, for maximum impact, this is a song to play when tensions are running high. Done well, it can signal a change in the entire game, or perhaps a reinforcement of an existing score gap. Either way, consider this song for a closer instead of a starting pitcher.
Game of Thrones Main Theme by Ramin Djawadi
Song Year: 2011
Written for one of the most popular television series ever, the theme of Game of Thrones is a rare instrumental walk-up song. Unusually, it starts in a minor key, then switches between major and minor keys several times. As an added baseball joke, leagues typically have major and minor league teams, so there’s an extra level of appropriateness.
Iron Man by Black Sabbath
Song Year: 1970
Rock is practically always a good choice for a walk-up song in baseball, and songs from one of the greatest rock bands of all time are even better. The distinctive intro of “Iron Man” makes it a fantastic choice for a pitcher who wants to get the crowd pumping.
That said, the later lyrics in the song don’t worry as well for baseball. This song works better as a short intro rather than playing the entire tune (or at least several minutes worth) like you might at other times.
Lose Yourself by Eminem
Song Year: 2002
Rock may be the most popular genre for a walk-up song, but rap isn’t too far behind. Eminem’s “Lose Yourself” is one of the best songs from one of history’s best rappers, with lyrics that any athlete can appreciate. Seizing the moment, overcoming nervousness, and pushing through are excellent choices for any tough game.
Rap is also known for its crudeness, but “Lose Yourself” is on the low end for that, despite Eminem’s fame for shocking lyrics. There are plenty of other clean rap songs that are also worth considering, too.
Can’t Stop by Red Hot Chili Peppers
Song Year: 2002
“Can’t Stop” is one of the most popular songs for players in sports, and with good reason. Featuring lyrics that talk about living life without imitating others, coming back strong, and actively participating in things, it’s a crowd-pleaser at any level of play.
However, while many batters like this song, it’s particularly good for a pitcher who has the power and stamina to get through most of a game by themselves. A pitcher who keeps striking batters out is a true force to be reckoned with.
Turn Down for What by DJ Snake and Lil Jon
Song Year: 2013
After a hype-introducing intro, this EDM song launches straight into its main beat and easy-to-follow lyrics. Talking about another round of shots is great for any batter, as is the idea of not turning down a player’s power. Like “Can’t Stop” above, this pitcher walk-up song works especially well for anyone with a particularly powerful arm.
The Imperial March by John Williams
Song Year: 1980
Although technically music that represents the Galactic Empire in George Lucas’ famous Star Wars movies, “The Imperial March” also has a close association with the iconic villain Darth Vader. It’s an enormously well-recognized song, even more than many popular rock and rap tracks, and tends to get fans’ attention.
For pitchers, this song works especially well if it’s part of a show of the pitcher coming out. For added effect, use it when the team is dressed in darker colors, preferably black and red.
You Can’t Always Get What You Want by The Rolling Stones
Song Year: 1969
Although a little too long to play in full at most games, this rock hit from The Rolling Stones is a great way to tell the other team that they’re not going to have a good time of it. Even better, it works great for both starting pitchers and closers, which is a quality few other songs can match.
It's My Party by Lesley Gore
Song Year: 1963
Pitchers are one of the central elements of a baseball game, both literally and thematically. While outfielders may run around occasionally, nobody affects the game as consistently as the pitcher. The game is their party, and that’s why this classic pop hit works so well. There are plenty of other great pop songs, too.
Danger Zone by Kenny Loggins
Song Year: 1986
Originally written for the classic dogfighter movie Top Gun, “Danger Zone” is a classic rock hit from Kenny Loggins that most people recognize the intro to. The lyrics about revving up the engines are thematically appropriate for pitchers, and the idea of a danger zone the batters are approaching only augments this choice.
U Can't Touch This by MC Hammer
Song Year: 1990
Is there anything more appropriate for a pitcher than a batter being unable to hit the ball? This pop-rap hit is simple, fun, and appropriate for any pitcher with the skill to back it up. For added fun, try to play it around mid-game if the pitcher is returning and batters haven’t been doing well against them.
Top Pitcher Walk-Up Songs, Final Thoughts
Pitcher walk-up songs have quickly become an iconic part of baseball games. Aside from keeping the crowd entertained, they make it easier for fans to understand who’s coming out and how that’s likely to affect the game. Whether you’re looking for a song that fits a starter or a closer, all the songs above are great options.