There are 2 things I have a hard time getting rid of – my record collection and my baseball cards. While the former might not surprise you, I have an emotional connection to the photo and card stock stored in boxes from my youth. It’s when I started to read trivia facts on the back of the cards and hold on to them for safekeeping. I was a lot of fun at parties.
I’ve been a fan of the Toronto Blue Jays since their first season back in 1977. For years I kept the Toronto Star newspaper headline of their win against the Chicago White Sox on April 7th that same year. I have been able to enjoy being a fan from listening to them on my transistor radio underneath my pillow for the night games radio, to a black and white TV, to SD, to HD, and now able to view them in 4K.
When music’s persuasive energy came into my life around the same time, it seemed there was no way to merge my two loves – sports and music couldn’t really mix, could it? Yes, they did.
It would seem that I have Lou Brock to thank for this. In the National League, St. Louis Cardinals leadoff hitter Lou used to ask Busch Stadium organist Ernie Hays to play the “Theme From Shaft” for his trips to the plate in the early 1970s.
Walk-up music for batters stepped up with the 1993 Seattle Mariners, noted as the first team to do it as a ritual for every hitter in the lineup.
But don’t look for Led Zeppelin’s full 8-minute Stairway To Heaven to be played during a game. Major League Baseball even has rules regarding walkout songs:
Any musical clip used to introduce a batter should start immediately after the public address announcement and should stop when the batter reaches the dirt cut-out surrounding home plate. Music clips between pitches should be limited in order not to encourage the hitter to leave the batter’s box.
There are the endless thoughts in my mind about selections being played in the stadium when players are heading to the mound or the batter’s box. Why is this song being chosen? Is it the lyrics? Is the artist a personal favourite of theirs? Is there a story behind the song that resonates with the player? For the Toronto Blue Jays, a look at their song selection gives a bit more insight to their competition, yet fun, nature of playing a kid’s game. Or maybe it’s an excuse for a fun fact or two about the song.
DJ at the ready, and get ready drop the bass, here are the Toronto Blue Jays selections that rev them, and fans up.
Buy Me A Boat Chris Janson
The song debuted at #18 on Billboard 200, selling 18,536 copies in its first week.
Take It Outside Brantley Gilbert
If you’ve ever stuck around a bar after Midnight and a fight started between a couple people, then you basically know this song. Aaron should only have this when playing in outdoor stadiums.
Brightside Mike Stud
Mike Stud is a former college baseball player. His first musical recognition came with the release of viral single “College Humor”, while he was a relief pitcher at Duke.
We Dem Boyz Wiz Khalifa
Wiz has released 5 studio albums and 34 music videos. Think about that for a moment.
I Got 5 On It Luniz
“I got 5 on it” is a phrase meaning to pay half of a dime bag (a $10 bag of dope) with another person.
Shepherd Of Fire Avenged Sevenfold
Avenged’s drummer Arin Ilejay says that he was “totally shocked and scared” after being fired by the band in 2014. Nobody would begrudge him if he was talking about trying to hit Brett’s fastball.
Know Yourself Drake
Dalton was born in Mississauga, ON, which makes him prime to love Drake for a hometown pick. However, by picking the clean version, it automatically makes him a nice, kind Canadian for life.
Attention Span Rebelution
Toronto is Darwin’s third team, so, he gets to pick three songs.
It Was A Good Day (Instrumental) Ice Cube
That day was January 20, 1992. Truth.
It Was A Good Day Ice Cube
It was the only day where Yo MTV Raps was on air, it was a clear and smogless day in Los Angeles, beepers or pages were commercially sold, the Lakers beat the SuperSonics, and Ice Cube had no filming commitments.
Saturday Night Special Lynyrd Skynyrd
Robert E. Lee High School was where the group acquired the name Lynyrd Skynyrd from their physical-education teacher Leonard Skinner.
God’s Gonna Cut You Down Johnny Cash
The lyrics are a warning to all you sinners out there in the 500 section that no matter how hard they try, they will not avoid God’s judgment. Or the ushers. Which are friendlier. But still, you don’t wanna be ejected. So be cool.
Paul Revere Beastie Boys
Lyric: “The sun is beating down on my baseball hat/The air is gettin’ hot the beer is getting flat.” Perfect.
Adiccion Al Contacto Don Miguelo
Edwin chose 5 songs, so who am I to judge? The Mayor of Miguelo’s native San Francisco de Macoris once gave Don a plaque as Distinguished Son. Toronto should do the same with Edwin.
Como Yo Le Doy Don Miguelo
Before turning to music, Don worked as a tailor. In April, Toronto Blue Jays manager John Gibbons went on rant after controversial review: ‘Maybe we’ll come out wearing dresses tomorrow.’ Maybe Don can design one.
De Amor Nadie Se Muere Secreto
The chorus has “if you do not want me, someone wants me.” No matter what happens in the front office, Edwin, the fans want you to stay.
El Mayor Classico Ricky Ricon
Ricky Ricon is also known as Richie Rich from the comic book fame’s world’s richest man, the son of a tycoon with a fortune of more than 70 billion dollars, which believes that money can buy everything.
Tu Eres La Vaina Mark B
“You have everything. You have everything.” Deep inside Edwin’s body and soul, he has everything, too, including the Major League lead in RBIs.
Limbo Daddy Yankee
“Limbo” was written specially for Zumba Fitness demonstrating the dance fitness company’s now-towering presence in the Latin music industry.
The Outsiders Eric Church
Eric Church says of his “The Outsiders” album: “Anybody puts it on shuffle, I”ll come kill them myself. It’s made to be listened to start to finish.”
You Can’t Stop Me Andy Mineo
Mineo is a Christian hip-hop artist and his Gravity album won the Best Gospel Album category in the 2013 Grammy Awards.
Testify Rage Against The Machine
J.A. wore plaid before it was cool and got behind the #PlaidForDad campaign in support of prostate cancer research. You know who else wore a lot of plaid? Rage Against The Machine. See? This is how music and sports are connected.
Whipping Pearl Jam
Opening lines: “Don’t need a helmet, got a hard, hard head.” Don’t take this to heart with opposing batters, Jason.
Heavyweight Rick Ross
Before 100-pound weight loss in 2014, Rick Ross weighed over 400.
Low Rider War
“Low Rider” is featured in The Simpsons episode “A Midsummer’s Nice Dream” when Homer goes on tour with Cheech of Cheech and Chong fame.
Tears Of A Clown Smokey Robinson and The Miracles
This song sold over 4 million copies and was so big, it forced Miracles lead singer, songwriter, and producer Smokey Robinson, who had announced plans to leave the act, to stay until 1972.
New Level ASAP Ferg
Ferg’s father, Darold Ferguson, owned a Harlem boutique and printed shirts and logos for record labels including Bad Boy Records and luminaries such as Teddy Riley, Heavy D, Bell Biv DeVoe, and more.
Trophies (featuring Drake) Young Money
Jose has a lot of trophies, too, including 5-time American League Player of the Month, 2-time Hank Aaron Award, and 3-time Silver Slugger Award at outfield.
Ball Like This LA Leakers featuring Future
‘Ball Like This’ celebrates the aspirations of the kid growing up in South Central to the kid creating that new tech start up or that ballplayer making MVP.
In The Air Tonight Phil Collins
It’s not about a drowning incident in which someone who was close enough to save the victim did not help them, while Phil, who was too far away to help, looked on. So stop that.
Astronaut Ohboy Prince
Opening lines, “I am GM track/lately I’ve been taking off like an astronaut”. If Josh goes into the front office one day, they’ll be playing this on his first day of work.
Long Time Kevin Gates
“For a long time I been getting paper” goes the song. Josh has only gotten paper once in the form of a trade from the NY Mets to Toronto. He also had a lot of the daily paper on June 1, 2012, when he became the first Mets catcher to participate in a no-hitter.
Bottoms Up Brantley Gilbert
Co-written with Brett James, who also wrote Carrie Underwood’s 2006 #1 hit “Jesus, Take the Wheel,” which received Grammy Awards for Best Female Country Vocal Performance and Best Country Song.
People Back Home Florida Georgia Line
Justin’s people back home are from Goose Creek, South Carolina, where they total 35,938 in population, or 2,000 less than the average attendance of the Jays’ home games in 2016.
Candyman Aloe Blacc
The song is a reinterpretation of Sammy Davis Jr.’s three-week 1972 Billboard Hot 100 No. 1 “The Candy Man” (with the Mike Curb Congregation), originally sung by Aubrey Woods in the classic 1971 film Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory. The new version is a tie-in to the 75th anniversary of M&Ms.
Dancing In The Moonlight Toploader
French-American rock band King Harvest first released the song in 1972, but the song finally charted in the UK in March 2000, after being covered in 1999 by Toploader, which used the first part of the first verse instead of the second part of the first verse.
Time Of Our Lives Pitbull featuring Neyo
6 people wrote this song, including Canadian producer Cirkut, which makes it slightly Canadian content. It hit #1 in 3 countries including Croatia.
Let The Bodies Hit The Floor Drowning Pool
Lead singers tend to make a larger-than-life thudding sound when they hit the floor due to their arm strength. Drowning Pool is currently on their 4th lead singer. That’s a lot of bodies for a 20-year old band.
5 AM In Toronto Drake
Sanple lyric: “Most number ones ever, how long did it really take me?” Drake has the most number one singles on the US Hot Rap Songs chart with 15, and as a rap artist, he has the most number one singles on the US Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, with 16. How long did it take him? 7 years. Marcus was drafted in the 18th round of the 2009 Major League Baseball Draft (532nd overall) by the Washington Nationals, but did not sign. That was 7 years ago, too.
Hypnotize Notorious B.I.G.
Biggie’s double-disc album Life After Death, released 16 days after he was killed, rose to No. 1 on the U.S. album charts and was certified Diamond with 10 million records sold, one of the few hip hop albums to receive this certification.
Switch Will Smith
Will switched careers from music to movies, and is the only actor to have 8 consecutive films gross over $100 million in the domestic box office, 11 consecutive films gross over $150 million internationally, and 8 consecutive films in which he starred open at the #1 spot in the domestic box office tally. Pat is a switch pitcher, capable of pitching proficiently with both arms. He is the only active professional pitcher who is able to do this.
Game Of Thrones Theme Ramin Djawad
The theme is composed by Ramin Djawadi who also created the opening songs for Iron Man, Pacific Rim and Warcraft and television’s Prison Break and Person of Interest.
BBC’s Zane Lowe played it on his show and called it the ‘hottest record in the world’. The official hottest recorded temperature is now 56.7 C (134 F), which was measured on July 10, 1913 at Greenland Ranch, Death Valley, California.
Don’t Panic French Montana
French Montana isn’t French or from Montana. Born in Morocco, he immigrated to the United States with his family when he was 13 years old. Roberto was signed by the Blue Jays out of Mexico as a 16-year-old, and on April 8, 2015, he became the youngest pitcher to appear in a game for the organization, and the first player born in 1995 to play in Major League Baseball.
Got To Give It Up Marvin Gaye
The catcher is often the unofficial captain of the team. If you think Russell’s selection is already cool and leads with his selection, just wait.
Hip Hop Hooray Naughty By Nature
Back to those Seattle Mariners, when each player would have their own selection. Theywould play this song after Ken Griffey Jr. was officially announced coming to bat at the Kingdome. We’re down with O.P.P.
Jumpman Drake featuring Future
On the March 5, 2016 episode of Saturday Night Live, on which Future was the musical guest, he performed the song with host Jonah Hill during the show’s opening monologue. Hill performed Drake’s part.
The Boss James Brown
If Russell Martin wants to DJ your next event, you let him. James Brown? The Boss? Damn. THAT’S brilliant.
Truffle Butter Nicki Minaj featuring Drake, Lil Wayne
This song is so good, it’s a mystery why it’s a bonus track placement on Minaj’s third studio album The Pinkprint.
Ayo Chris Brown featuring Tyga
“If it don’t make dollars it don’t make sense.” Ryan Goins signed a 1-year contract with the Toronto Blue Jays. He’s due for a payday in the off season.
U Don’t Know Jay-Z
“You don’t know.. what you’re doing, doing, doing” Ryan has made 3 errors all season long. He knows what he’s doing, doing, doing.
Wrong One Jack & Jack
While still in high school, Jack & Jack found success via the social media app Vine, and turned to a career as musicians. They have accumulated over 6 million followers, becoming two of the most popular Viners.
Welcome Home Coheed And Cambria
Ryan was initially left off of the postseason roster, however he was added on October 10 after Brett Cecil suffered a season-ending calf injury the day prior. Welcome home.
Public Service Announcement Jay Z
With all due respect to changing Jay Z’s lyric: Fellow Americans, it is with the utmost pride and sincerity that I present this ballplayer as a living testament and recollection of history in the making during our generation.
The Man Aloe Blacc
Elton John and Bernie Taupin are also credited as co-writers of The Man, because the song’s chorus is built upon an interpolation of the line ” You can tell everybody” from Elton’s 1971 single “Your Song”, co-written with Bernie.
I’ve been a baseball, and Blue Jay fan all my life, and while I can’t be there at every game, I’ve been living my #LifeIn4K for the past few months enjoying Samsung’s 4K SUHD TV and the Rogers NextBox delivering stunningly vivid, authentic images and superior sound like you’ve never seen – or heard walk-up music – before.