Spring is here and baseball season is upon us. In honor of Opening Day and the 2019 campaign, I’ve updated – and alphabetized – this list (originally published last year) of some of my favorite walk up songs for hitters and pitchers with 20 brand new, badass tracks. Additionally, you can stream every song on this list on a Spotify playlist linked at the end of the post. Enjoy!
Tracks deemed off limits on this list for their cemented status as legendary walk ups: AC/DC – “Hells Bells”; Guns N’ Roses – “Welcome to the Jungle”; Metallica – “Enter Sandman”
Aerosmith – Sweet Emotion
The ultimate fusion of easy-riding stoner music and ‘70s hard rock. Aerosmith rules, simple and plain.
Bachman-Turner Overdrive – Takin’ Care of Business
Instantly recognizable for its opening guitar riff and racing piano melody, this classic cut from Bachman-Turner Overdrive has all the makings of a summer time banger that’ll have the whole park rocking.
Bailter Space – Untied
If the objective of your walk up is getting some adrenaline going, “Untied” is the fuel to your fire. It’s the rush of a skydive jump, the feeling of squaring up with a bull one on one, the upstairs heater for strike three. Mid ‘90s rock = a mid 90s fastball, right?
The Band – Chest Fever
Beyond its epic organ intro (the perfect prelude to “Take Me Out to the Ball Game”), “Chest Fever” is a classy and flashy display of The Band’s incredible musicianship without compromising the badass and reckless attitude of classic rock ‘n’ roll. It’s demonic, funky and pure fun.
Beastie Boys – Make Some Noise
When I think New York City, a few words come to mind: grit, edge and toughness. The Beastie Boys fit that description as good as any other crew to come out of the Big Apple. “Make Some Noise” brings these qualities to life in wonky and exciting fashion.
The Black Keys – Howlin’ For You
There’s a number of songs by The Black Keys that would fit right into this list, but “Howlin’ For You” is the top choice for its rocking percussion and memorable slash easy-to-chant refrain. As safe a pick as there is in modern rock.
Boston – Rock & Roll Band
Boston’s debut album was pop-metal magic from cover to cover. Although not as widely known as “More Than A Feeling” or “Peace of Mind”, “Rock & Roll Band” is the cinematic type of song that puts the showtime into sports.
Brothers Osborne – Shoot From The Hip
This track is best fit for a Wild West shootout, but I’ll be damned if it doesn’t sound good inside a ballpark. Strictly for gunslingers.
Buffalo Springfield – For What It’s Worth
There may not be one living American who can’t sing in harmony with this tune. Calm, cool and collected – for the players who let their game (and their walk up song) do the talking.
Chris Stapleton – Second One to Know
Chris Stapleton has many great songs, but few are as rugged, raw and southern to the core as this cut from his sophomore LP. Yew!
Cream – White Room
Originally penned by poet Pete Brown, the 1968 smash from blues-rock legends, Cream, became one of the most beloved songs of its time. Between Jack Bruce’s majestic vocals, the aggressive rhythm section and Eric Clapton’s wicked guitar playing, this track always makes for a fiery entrance.
Creedence Clearwater Revival – Born On The Bayou
This classic CCR cut adopts a cool southern tone as opposed to the upbeat melodies of classic songs like “Fortunate Son” and “Up Around the Bend.” Easy going yet unquestionably, badass for the hurler or the hitter.
Danny Brown – Dance (Instrumental)
A party-starter and underground gangsta-rap anthem all in one. The instrumental is an especially dope choice.
David Bowie – Let’s Dance
Bowie’s massive 1983 hit needs no introduction. Perhaps a game of good ol’ pitch and catch isn’t quite as exciting as a live show from the Thin White Duke, but every lineup needs at least a little dose of funkiness in their song selections.
The Doors – Soul Kitchen
Caught somewhere between the blues, jazz and rock ‘n’ roll, “Soul Kitchen” is the ideal backdrop for a smoky, mid-20th century post-game bar sesh. Disclaimer: using this track may require lighting up a cigar on your way to the dish.
Donna Summer – Hot Stuff
If Rick Vaughn couldn’t have used “Wild Thing” as his walk out to close games, I feel confident in saying Donna Summer would have been his next choice. Legend has it that “Hot Stuff” has a perfect track record in the bottom of the 9th.
Eagles – Life in the Fast Lane
The Eagles have Joe Walsh to thank for the signature opening guitar riff on this Hotel California cut. What used to be a warm up exercise for Walsh ended up being a great highway rock song. I wouldn’t be surprised if it knocks your fastball up a couple ticks too.
Findlay – Stoned and Alone
Every team has that one guy with a dope walk out song nobody really knows, but really likes and grooves to every time that hitter comes up. Yeah, that’s pretty much “Stoned Alone.” I forecast an abundance of base hits with this as your table-setter.
Foghat – Slow Ride
Windows down. Radio loud. Open road. Babe in the front seat. Some guys get in the zone by finding their happy place. “Slow Ride” will take you there.
Frank Zappa – Willie the Pimp
The nastiest cut from my favorite Zappa album, Hot Rats. As a magnificent composer of countless styles of music, Zappa wore many hats during his prolific career. I don’t think it bothered anyone when he just let loose on the guitar and shredded like this.
Free – All Right Now
Similar to Foghat, Free embody the carefree spirit of the 1970s. “All Right Now” is the epitome of feel-good jammin’ to get your game on.
Gang Starr – Full Clip
From DJ Premier’s iconic Big L shoutout that opens the song to Guru’s slick delivery, this track has everything you want in ‘90s rap. Proceed to nod.
The Green – Keep On
This trunk-knocking reggae smash takes you straight to Ewa Beach. The big horns and smooth harmonies might make you want to hit the water more than step in the batter’s box, but if a nice relaxed song gets you in the zone, this track is for you.
J Boog – Coldest Zone
Everybody needs a little more J Boog in their life. Here, he ditches the sunny, island love songs for a thumping, horn-infused banger. The prerequisites for using this song include a high level of experience and swag, but mostly swag.
Jimi Hendrix – All Along the Watchtower
There had to be one Hendrix track on this list for it to be legitimate. His remix of Bob Dylan’s signature tune takes the cake. It’s hard not to get fired up when you hear the bursts of electric guitar in the intro and on the chorus.
Jurassic 5 – What’s Golden
This track should be a staple in any 2000s hip-hop playlist. It’s an old school anthem with hard hitting boom-bap drums with each member stopping in to drop conscious bars and slick flows. Think music for a back alley ball game with an all-smiles neighborhood vibe.
Kid Cudi – The End
Utilizing a spacey, hypnotic Skip Mahoney sample from the 1970s, this unique hip-hop cut has one of my favorite intros in recent memory. The drop is downright ill.
Led Zeppelin – When the Levee Breaks
Led Zeppelin’s near-psychedelic closer to their fourth studio album airs on the meaner and nastier side of their discography. Walk out to this and you’re sure to strike out the side with emphasis.
Onyx – Slam
To date, “Slam” remains the most popular song in the Onyx catalog. It bangs as hard as its title implies. Be warned, the Sticky Fingaz verse has been known to incite bench clearing brawls.
Neil Young – Cinnamon Girl
Neil Young is a must-have on any rock-inclusive playlist. “Cinnamon Girl” stands out as one of his most casually kick-ass songs ever, much in thanks to the raucous energy of his backing band, Crazy Horse.
Pink Floyd – Have A Cigar
What are the odds Pink Floyd liked baseball? I would say beyond slim, but that is besides the point. The way this song tumbles into its lush art-rock soundscape has an endearing garage-like quality.
Rage Against the Machine – Killing In the Name
Heavy riffs, instruments clashing and Zack De la Rocha. The perfect mix for getting your mind right to hit dingers. Or set fire to someone.
The Rolling Stones – Jumpin’ Jack Flash
Like many bands on this list, The Rolling Stones boast a legendary discography filled with numerous songs that could make awesome walk up choices. One of their more notable guitar-centric tracks, “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” is about as fiery as it gets. A just pick for the flame-thrower or the base-stealer.
Snoop Dogg – Tha Shiznit
So you want your walk up song to be a banger? Party-rap staples like “California Love” and “Still D.R.E.” are easy choices, but for something a little less obvious, look no further than Snoop Doggy Dogg. This track embodies the West Coast gangster spirit like no other.
Steve Miller Band – The Joker
An oddball, soft-rock classic perfect for scrappy hitters who hate batting gloves. Salute, space cowboys.
Sublime – Doin’ Time
This track has long been a popular selection among big leaguers and ball players all over. Still, it doesn’t take away from the breezy Long Beach vibe.
Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers – Mary Jane’s Last Dance
Here’s an American recipe for you: baseball, apple pie, Chevrolet and Tom Petty. Need I say more? A classic tune from one of our country’s greatest rockers.
Tom Tom Club – Genius of Love
Bred from the zeitgeist of 1980s nightclub culture, “Genius of Love” may very well be the greatest song of all time. Okay, maybe not that far. But its grooviness is something of another planet. Strongly recommended for those fond of bat flips, post-extra base hit dance moves and shaking it down to the ground.
Tribal Seeds – Vampire
Stoner anthems make great walk up songs too. If you can avoid the kush coma this song induces, you’re bound to hit a bomb.
The Who – Eminence Front
One of The Who’s last great songs, the drum machine and a quirky synthesizer melody make for a huge build up before the track erupts into pure arena-rock magic. The only word that can truly describe the feeling when the drums kick in – “epic.” It might be worth taking a balk and going down 1-0 to let the two minute intro sink in.