Before the crack of the bat, before the Cracker Jacks, there’s the walkup song. As the batter moves from the on-deck circle to the batter’s box, a song plays to pump everyone up. Any song the batter wants.

Last year Athletic’s rightfielder, Josh Reddick, made the national news with a mid-season change to “Careless Whisper” by Wham. An unusual choice, for sure, but it turned out to be an instant crowd pleaser. The crowd laughed, the right field bleachers swayed, Reddick’s teammates told him to never change (the song or himself). Another fan sensation occurred in 2012 with the “Bernie Lean”, a walk-up song picked by centerfielder Coco Crisp, which got fans pretending to be dead, swaying bodies — in a good way. These songs go in the category of “pure fun” for the fans.

It got us thinking, what would our walk-up song be? So Oakland Local asked some Oakland residents and A’s fans what their walk-up songs would be. We thought it might be a difficult decision, but the answer seemed to come easy for most. Mayor Schaaf, for example, didn’t even pause before offering her choice: “The Theme of Shaft” by Isaac Hayes. She then broke into the song, which it should be noted, could easily be modified to say Schaaf instead of Shaft.

If you were watching the news last week, or Facebook trends, you may have noticed that Eireann Dolan, a fantastic writer and girlfriend of Oakland A’s closer Sean Doolittle, promised last week to buy all tickets to the first A’s LGBTQ+ pride night for those season ticket holders who didn’t want to attend (Doolittle promised to match her efforts). If that wasn’t amazing enough, Dolan’s pick for her walk-up song would pump up any crowd.  “The Monster Mash,” said Dolan. “Always. Favorite song year-round.”

So how does one pick a great walk-up song? Is it to get yourself pumped, the crowd pumped? Oakland’s Glynn Washington, creator and host of NPR’s Snap Judgment offered two possibilities: “Life In Marvelous Times” by Mos Def, he said, “or maybe “Superstar” by Lupe Fiasco.” While “Superstar” has the right sentiments, “Life in Marvelous Times” has the makings of a perfect walk-up song: strong beats, horns, synths, strong lyrics. It’s a hype machine.

Nina Simone’s “Feeling Good,” the song picked by Brown Sugar Kitchen’s Tanya Holland, doesn’t pack a punch from the start, but the buildup in the song and the unexpected factor would likely lead the right field bleacher crowd to create a new dance move.

In a recent interview, Tyler Bleszinski, co-founder of Athletics Nation, SB Nation and Vox Media, pondered the feasibility of the question. “Wouldn’t I have to possess baseball skills for a walk-up song?” asked Bleszinksi. But rational thinking didn’t stop him from offering up a raucous pick along with a dream follow-up scenario.

“Since I’m an A’s fan and love metal, I suppose I’d have to choose “Walk” by Pantera because maybe it would psyche the pitcher out to throw four outside the zone and get me to stroll to first base, thus endearing me to Billy Beane.”

Now that’s a walk-up song plan.

So what would your walk-up song be?

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