Showgrid Story #2

Baseball has me thinking about walk up songs. You know, the songs that play when a batter comes up to the plate or a pitcher comes in from the bullpen to close out a game.

The most iconic walk up song that comes to mind is Trevor Hoffman’s use of Hells Bells when he would close out Padres games. The sound of the bells and his trot to the mound had the power to bring grown men close to tears.

While Hoffman was in the league, there was speculation that he was employing some kind of witchcraft with the song that helped him become the first pitcher in the MLB to reach 500 and 600 saves for his career. Scientists would come to Padres games with all kinds of gizmos, sensors and timers to see if they could detect any change in the general atmosphere when Hoffman opened the bullpen gate, the opening of Hells Bells played and he approached the mound with that measured, steady gait.

Even more baffling for fans and scientists was the fact that Hoffman only threw the ball 89 miles per hour. His fastball’s velocity became the fulcrum upon which all suspicion was balanced. How could a closer throwing in the upper 80s properly employ AC/DC’s Hells Bells to such intimidating degrees?

A closer usually hurls the ball at supersonic speeds and makes the mound look like an anthill. Hoffman was 6’0” and was known for his changeup. There must be something else going on here.

Mariana Rivera and the Yankees copied the intimidating entrance song with Metallica’s Enter Sandman. As a direct result of their using the song when he came into the game, Mariana Rivera is the MLB’s all-time leader in career saves. Something suspicious about these songs indeed and to this day, scientists have not been able to deduce why metal songs and 9th inning closers form such a lethal cocktail. Many speculate that there is some undiscovered particle in the universe that can directly explain why metal songs and closers work together so well, but no experimental evidence has been able to verify this claim.

Oddly enough, the original idea came from the most unscientific of realms. Movies. The original idea to use a metal song to intimidate the opposing team first came up in Major League when Charlie Sheen’s character would come in the game to Wild Thing by The Troggs. WINNING!