Imagine you're a professional baseball player. There's 30,000 people watching, you're in a close game and you have to come in and either provide a clutch hit or get a few outs on the mound to get the win.
When you step on the field, the song that you choose to define yourself blares through the speakers in hopes of getting the crowd fired up. A good walk-up song has to pump energy into the stadium while getting you in the right mindset to bring home the victory.
There have been some great walk-up songs through the years, but the ones I have listed below are what I believe to be the best of the best.
Honorable Mention: Gerardo Parra - "Baby Shark"
As much as I dislike both the Nationals and this song, it has to be included. While most walk-up songs tend to be more rock-oriented and energetic, you can't deny the effect that "Baby Shark" had on Nationals Park any time Parra stepped up to the plate during the 2019 season. I witnessed it once, and it was like a cult had taken over the ballpark. As soon as that song comes out of the speakers, every fan in attendance starts doing the motions to go along with it. It's weird, but it accomplishes what a walk-up song is supposed to do.
5. Craig Kimbrel - "Stranglehold" by Ted Nugent
The rest of this list is very biased towards relief pitchers, but they just happen to choose the best entrance music. Plus, when you have a pitcher running in to the game all the way from the bullpen while "Stranglehold" plays throughout the stadium, it gets you a little more pumped up than when a batter just strolls up to the plate from the dugout while 20 seconds of their song plays.
Kimbrel used to use "Welcome to the Jungle" as his music, but his new song is just as good, if not a better choice. The opening guitar riff gets the whole place pumped up and ready to see the best closer of his generation earn the save.
4. Mark Melancon - "Thunderstruck" by AC/DC
Melancon is far from the only player to ever use "Thunderstruck" as his entrance music, but he is the most notable current player to use the song. Noah Syndergaard used to have this song as his music, but has since changed.
"Thunderstruck" is a classic song for sporting events and you can never go wrong choosing it as your entrance music. The only downside is that it's not a unique choice. But if your goal is to get the blood pumping, it's a good choice.
3. Chipper Jones - "Crazy Train" by Ozzy Osbourne
In my completely unbiased opinion, Braves legend Chipper Jones deserves the No. 3 spot on this list. If you were a pitcher in the late 90s through the 2000s and you heard "Crazy Train" come over the loud speakers at Turner Field, you knew you were in trouble.
Jones is one of the greatest third basemen to ever play the game and he had one of the greatest walk-up songs ever. Just like "Stranglehold" and "Thunerstruck," it's the opening riff that gets the crowd pumped up to see their hero head up to the plate.
2. Trevor Hoffman - "Hells Bells" by AC/DC
I'm all for songs that start out fast and bring the energy right away, but there's something to be said for songs that have a slow build. That's exactly what Trevor Hoffman had in "Hells Bells."
The former all-time saves leader and the first closer to 500 saves, Hoffman was a feared pitcher back in his day. There's nothing like hearing those ominous bells ring throughout Petco Park and lead into the opening guitar from AC/DC as Hoffman jogs out to take his place on the mound.
1. Mariano Rivera - "Enter Sandman" by Metallica
The only entrance music that could top Hoffman's was used by none other than the man who broke his record for all-time saves. Rivera is considered by most to be the greatest closer of all-time, and as such, he had the greatest entrance music of all-time.
The 1991 song by Metallica is used widely at sporting events, but most notably by Rivera and the Virginia Tech football team. If you don't get automatic chills or a rush of adrenaline when you hear this song start to play, you might not be human.