Orioles Card "O" the Day

An intersection of two of my passions: baseball cards and the Baltimore Orioles. Updated daily?

Sunday, June 1, 2008

B. J. Surhoff, 2005 Fleer Tradition #103

Reader William brought up an interesting topic in a comment to yesterday's Jeff Conine card: the music that players choose when they come up to bat or in from the bullpen. He remarked that Conine used to have Rush's "Tom Sawyer" play him to the plate, an excellent choice indeed. I always got a kick out of the unlikely players who chose gangsta rap songs. Brian Roberts' selection was the Notorious B.I.G's "Hypnotize" for several years, and Rafael Palmeiro used to prefer Tupac's "California Love". One player whose music always irritated me was Jay Gibbons (Red Hot Chili Peppers' "Can't Stop"). It's got a great riff at the beginning, but it sounds tantalizingly close to The Guess Who's classic "American Woman", which I would greatly prefer. It was such a tease. Among pitchers, songs have ranged from the awesome (Rodrigo Lopez went with Guns N' Roses' "Sweet Child of Mine") to the creepy (Chris Ray's choice of Marilyn Manson's "Sweet Dreams") to the downright drowsy (short-lived sidearmer Steve Reed entered games to Coldplay's "Clocks").

But for my money, former third baseman/outfielder B. J. Surhoff had the best taste in music among recent Orioles players. I remember him strolling into the batters' box to the strains of Dire Straits' "Sultans of Swing", but according to this page he also had a predilection for Pearl Jam's "Evenflow".

When I daydream about baseball, I think about the songs that I would most like to hear blaring over the PA at Oriole Park at Camden Yards to signal to the crowd that I was coming in to shut down a game or drive in the winning runs. As a pro wrestling fan, I understand the importance of the proper music. There's nothing more electrifying than the sound of a crowd coming unglued as their favorite athlete or performer pops into view - that Pavlovian response to the first few notes of their theme song. For a while, I was partial to Queen and David Bowie's "Under Pressure". It's my favorite Queen song, and I'd feel it was my duty to reclaim its basic beat from that cheap ripoff artist Vanilla Ice. If I were a closer or late inning reliever, it would be especially appropriate. But for the past few years, I've been obsessed with the Arcade Fire's "Neighborhood #3 (Power Out)". That song just gets my blood pumping like no other; it makes me feel like I could run through a brick wall.

So, what's your favorite theme music for an actual baseball player? If you played, what would your choice be?


Rounding Thirty 3rd said...


I have always felt the best "psych-up" song was "Lunatic Fringe" by Red Rider. You could hear this blaring through my college "dorms" before any big event.

Another song which I felt was excellent for getting pumped up, though it seems very campy now (especially after all the Rocky sequels) is "Eye of the Tiger".

Obviously, I am showing my '80s bias!

Mickey said...

The first 20 seconds or so of Layla by Eric Clapton. That guitar riff is perfect for the 10 second stroll up to home plate.