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Best Baseball Walk-out Songs of Modern Era

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Walk-out songs in baseball are a fixture in the game. Players select a 30-second clip from their favorite songs and the UK marketing department plays the selected song as the player strolls to the plate for an at bat or take the mound. Throughout the Southeastern Conference, fans  come to identify the players with their walk-out songs, with some songs even inviting crowd participation.

Since UK won the 2006 SEC Championship, fans have started paying more attention to each UK players walk-out songs. Some songs have become so attached to players that a change in their pre-at-bat selection could provoke boos through the crowd. When South Carolina All-America first baseman Christian Walker elected to switch from the "Fresh Prince of Bel Air" soundtrack in favor of a different song, the capacity crowd of nearly 10,000 fans at Carolina Stadium voiced their displeasure of the new song. Walker immediately switched back to the original song before the next game. In 2008, UK ventured to Athens to take on Georgia, led by All-America shortstop Gordon Beckham, who came out to the fan favorite "Your Love" by the Outfield.

"It's always exciting to get the initial list during the preseason of what each guy wants," UK marketing director Nathan Schwake said. "I think it's a pretty cool way for the fans to get a little bit of each player's personality for 10-15 seconds at a time, or in the case of Chris Wade, 30-45 seconds. Baseball is a sport where you'll see a lot of different superstitions so it's not surprising to show up to the park some days and have a request for a change."

Since that 2006 season, several UK players have selected notable songs as their at-bat or pitching warm-up music. UK marketing director Nathan Schwake, who has worked with UK baseball since 2006, sat down and came up with a list of the top-five all-time UK baseball walk-out songs and a few honorable mentions.

"Most guys pick one to feel confident and help them feel like they are the man in the box or on the mound," UK junior catcher Luke Maile, who walks out to Kashmir by Led Zepplin, said. "The song used to scare me when I was younger. So I chose it as a freshman in high school as a reminder to never hit afraid. After that it just became too symbolic to change."

Alex Meyer's 2011 walk-out song tops the list.

1. Alex Meyer - All of the Lights, Kanye West/Fire Flame, Lil Wayne Remix
- Before the 2011 season Meyer selected the song from Kanye West that featured the lyrics "fire flame". The song was fitting for Meyer, who owned one of the top fastballs in college baseball and was a consensus future first-round pick. Meyer dominated throughout the 2011 season, en route to All-SEC honors as a starting pitcher. Meyer's 2011 season saw him post a 7-5 record and a 2.94 ERA with 110 strikeouts in 101 innings, before he was a first-round selection of the Washington Nationals.

Stats at home in 2011: 6-0, 2.63 ERA, 3 complete games

Schwake on Meyer's song: "We have to be honest here and give credit to Taylor Black and Neiko Johnson for helping influence Meyer to go with the two-song remix. Meyer's walkout was a multifaceted experience as well, as we incorporated some flames into the video board presentation while he warmed up."

2. Andrew Albers - Immigrant Song, Led Zeppelin (as chosen by Scott Green)
- One of the more prolific winners in UK baseball history, Albers did everything for the UK pitching staff throughout his career, including serving as a starter and closer. Before the 2008 season, Albers - with an assist to fellow UK pitcher Scott Green - elected to go with the Immigrant Song by Led Zeppelin. The song was fitting, as Albers was in his senior season at UK but is  a native of North Battleford, Saskatchewan. Albers was great during his season with the Immigrant Song welcoming him to the mound each appearance. During that campaign, Albers appeared in 31 games with one start, saving five games with a 7-4 record and a 2.40 ERA.

Stats at home in 2008: 6-2, 2.81 ERA, 1 Save

Schwake on Albers' song:
"Andrew actually didn't know that he'd had a song chosen for him and this was a surprise. To those that know him, this probably isn't a surprise, as he goes to the mound and takes care of business either way."

3. Andy Burns - All I Do Is Win, DJ Khaled
- Burns played two seasons in Lexington, from 2009-10, seeing time at third base for the Wildcats. During his sophomore season, Burns elected to go with the "All I Do is Win" song which turned out to be incredibly popular as an at bat song throughout all levels of baseball. Whenever Burns would come to the plate, the fans would throw their hands in the air along with the lyrics. The UK marketing staff then added an element to the "Andy Burns Dance" as when the lyrics repeated "all I do is win", the fans would make a "W" with their hands. The song made for a good sideline reporting piece from UK IMG Sports sideline reporter Ryan Lemond during a broadcast in 2010. Any song that becomes a sideline reporting piece and a develops a fan-involved dance is going to make this list.

Stats at home in 2010: .266 avg. (25-for-94), 7 HR, 16 RBI

Schwake on Burns' song: "It's pretty rare to get a song that works for the player and the fans (and support staff), but Andy's did just that."

Chris McClendon used several songs during his two-years in Lexington.

4. Chris McClendon - Theme from The Good, The Bad and The Ugly, Enrico Morricone
- McClendon excelled in the UK lineup as a standout third baseman during his career at UK from 2008-09. After hitting .346 as UK's everyday third sacker in 2008, during a 44-win season, McClendon battled injuries as a senior. Nicknamed "Sparky" McClendon had an infectious personality and was a fun player to be around as a native of Lufkin, Texas. While attempting  to come up with a good at-bat song, Schwake selected the theme from the Clint Eastwood western, The Good, The Bad and The Ugly. The song was a hit for the Texas native.

Stats at home in 2009: .220 avg. (11-for-50), HR, 4 RBI

Schwake on McClendon's song: "Sparky was an interesting case. He had a song he stuck with throughout his junior year, but we went through a lot of different songs his senior year. Eventually he just asked me to come up with something. We tried to save this particular one for pivotal at bats."

5. Sawyer Carroll - Sweet Emotion, Aerosmith
- Carroll played two years in Lexington, but exited as the most prolific hitter to ever come through UK, earning consensus first-team All-America accolades in rightfield as a senior in 2008. A native of Oklahoma, Carroll came to UK in 2007 and hit .350 with three homers and 56 RBI, before turning down an offer as a 16th round pick in the MLB Draft to return to Lexington. That move paid off, as Carroll hit .419 with 19 homers and a school-record 83 RBI to lead UK to a school-record 44 wins. Carroll had several songs during his career, but "Sweet Emotion" by Aerosmith stands out as one of his better choices. During a span with the "Sweet Emotion" song, Carroll's swing was a sweet as it could be, as the 6-foot-4 slugger hit his way into the fourth round of the 2008 MLB Draft.

Stats at home in 2008: .477 avg. (61-for-128), 10 HR, 53 RBI

Schwake on Carroll's song: "Sawyer went through a couple of songs that year as well, but he changed to this one midway through the season and stuck with it. The song just seemed to fit with his style of play. He was never rushed, maintained his composure, and obviously had that sweet left-handed swing."

Honorable Mention

Logan Darnell - Call On Me, Eric Prydz
- Darnell did a little bit of everything during his three-year UKcareer, including starting in the rotation, serving as a stopper and a closer out of the bullpen. During his junior season in 2010, Darnell started the season as an ace in the rotation, before an injury pushed him into a successful bullpen role. During his 2010 junior season, Darnell selected the song "Call on Me" by Eric Prydz , a fitting song for a key reliever.

Stats at home in 2010: 3-1, 4.73 ERA

Collin Cowgill was known for two notable walk-out songs at UK.

Collin Cowgill - This Is Why I'm Hot, MIMS
- One of the best players in the over-100 year history of the program has to be on this list. Cowgill was a beast in the UK lineup from 2005-08, redshirting the 2007 season due to a hand injury. After returning from injury, Cowgill hit .361 with 19 homers, 60 RBI and 23 stolen bases in 2008 to earn first-team All-America honors in centerfield. Cowgill had several notable songs during his career, including "I Think They Like Me" and "This is Why I'm Hot".

Stats at home in 2008: .395 avg. (49-for-124), 11 HR, 35 RBI, 14 SB

Brian Spear - My Life Be Like, Gritz
- Spear played nearly everywhere on the field for UK baseball during his two years in Lexington. As a senior, Spear moved from third and second base to first base in an everyday role. A highly personable athlete, Spear picked "My Life Be Like" by Gritz for his song. The song wasn't overly popular at the time, but ended up being a hit every time Spear stepped into the batters box at Cliff Hagan Stadium. He finished his 2008 season hitting .283 with 10 homers and 57 RBI, leading UK to 44 wins.
Stats at home in 2008: .297 avg., 9 HR, 38 RBI

Thomas McCarthy - Vampire, Tribal Seeds

- McCarthy earned first-team All-SEC honors as UK's third sacker in 2011, batting .371 with 19 doubles, seven homers and 39 RBI in his first year in Lexington. The native of Corvallis, Ore., stepped in at third base from the moment he arrived on campus, emerging as a team leader and as a middle-of-the-order hitter. McCarthy picked "Vampire" by Tribal Seeds for his song, a musical entry that was foreign to most UK players, staff and fans. After McCarthy slugged his way through the rugged SEC, with a .411 average in league play, McCarthy's song stuck with the fans and belongs on this listing as an honorable mention.

Stats at home in 2011: .367 (44-for-120), 7 HR, 33 RBI

Lance Ray hitting one of his two three-run homers vs. LSU in 2010.

Lance Ray - King Kong, Jibbs
- Ray only played one year at UK after transferring from Las Vegas, but his one year in Lexington was special. The first baseman/rightfielder slugged his way into the UK lineup halfway through the season, finishing the year leading UK in average (.356) with 10 homers and 34 RBI in just 118 at bats. Ray then signed with the Twins as an eighth-round pick in the 2011 MLB Draft after his dynamic stay in Lexington. His biggest highlight came the day before he elected to come out to "King Kong" by Jibbs. In his first at bat against LSU, the defending NCAA Champions, Ray launched a three-run homer to give UK a first-inning lead. In the bottom of the ninth inning, Ray hit another three-run homer, going as the walk-off job to erase a two-run LSU lead and inciting a memorable call from UK radio voice Neil Price. The next game, at the suggestion of UK offensive coordinator Brian Green, Ray came out to "King Kong".

Stats at home in 2010: .368 (21-for-57), 4 HR, 16 RBI

ADDITION!: Antone DeJesus - Jesus Walks, Kanye West
- I don't know how Schwake and I forgot about the famous "Jesus Walks" song for former UK centerfielder Antone DeJesus. DeJesus came out to this song during the 2006 season while playing centerfield everyday for the eventual SEC Champions. DeJesus' song fit well with his last name and his confident stroll to the plate as UK's leadoff hitter for a prolific offense. DeJesus hit .323 with five homers, 36 RBI and 11 stolen bases in 2006 for UK, before signed as a 2007 MLB Draft pick of the St. Louis Cardinals.

Stats at home in 2006: .298 avg. (42-for-141), 5 HR, 27 RBI (UK goes 31-6 at home)

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I'm from Pikeville, and I love coming to baseball games at the University of Kentucky with my dad. I liked the catcher Marcus Nidiffer's song the best. He's a good ole boy from the mountains and had East Bound and Down from the Dukes of Hazzard.

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  • John-Boy Catron: I'm from Pikeville, and I love coming to baseball games at the University of Kentucky with my dad. I liked read more