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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Ballpark Ballads: Players weigh in on the science of choosing the perfect walk-up song

Logan+Nottebrok+steps+up+to+the+plate+during+the+weekend+series+win+over+Mississippi+State.
By Tanner Garza

Logan Nottebrok steps up to the plate during the weekend series win over Mississippi State.

As every Texas A&M baseball player approaches the plate, a hand-picked walk-up song is played throughout the park — everything from Johnny Cash to Chamillionaire. 
There is no single, routine way of choosing a walk-up song. The diversity of the tastes of music in the locker room affect a player’s selection, as do the deeper meanings of the songs.
Whether they know it or not, the Olsen Field faithful have had some influence on the songs they hear. In addition to consulting with their fellow teammates, some of the players look to friends outside of baseball for songs they should showcase at Blue Bell Park. 
Senior Logan Nottebrok said he looks for something to put him at ease. 
“I look for something that’s calm and is relaxing and will make you forget about everything else,” Nottebrok said.
Senior Blake Allemand said he had a similar way of narrowing down his song. 
“[I want my song] to get me loose, keep me relaxed, get my mind off of what’s going on and get the song in my head and get loose,” 
Allemand said.
For junior JB Moss, getting into a groove is more important than relaxation.
“I just like something with a good beat and a good rhythm, something positive to walk up to the plate to,” Moss said. 
Some players want their song to do more than just relax them or clear their minds. Senior Mitchell Nau, after spending a lot of time in the baseball program, said he decided to attach something of greater substance and thought to his song choice. Of course Nau chose a song that he likes, but beyond that, he chose a song that he thought would warrant a greater appreciation from a greater audience, “Still of the Night” by Whitesnake.
“I like to do old school because of the traditions at A&M,” Nau said. “And a bunch of the Old Ags up there really appreciate it. I had Led Zeppelin last year and they really liked that.”
An A&M baseball game has attendees of all age ranges. Players said they recognized not everyone would enjoy every song played, but the players do their best to choose songs that help keep fans engaged and tapping their feet. 
Head coach Rob Childress said, at times, he and his fellow coaches have selected songs for the players that they see best fit. 
“I would think that the ones that we’ve chosen for our players have been the most impactful with the 203ers,” Childress said. 
Childress said the idea of the players’ performance correlating directly to their walk-up songs is subjective. 
“Hey, if it makes them feel better or play 
better I’m certainly all for whatever song they want,” Childress said. 
Although the players do the bulk of the work in selecting a walk-up song, the process always goes through the public address announcer, Rick Hill, who has the final say. Hill is in his 23rd season as the public address announcer, and said he likes the players to pick a song that motivates them. 
Hill said he likes all kinds of music, and he takes pride in making sure the songs played will appeal to as many fans as possible. When speaking to the players about what songs they should or should not pick, Hill said he is sure to remind them that people of all ages come to Aggie baseball games. 
Hill said junior Matt Kent has been the “music guy” for the team.  
“Matt Kent and I work really close together,” Hill said. “People don’t know this but when they scrimmage in the fall, Matt Kent actually announces and runs the computer and all that and he actually does a really good job.” 
Baseball at A&M is surrounded with superstitions, whether it is the rally-cap, batting stance rituals or not stepping on the foul line. Childress said walk-up songs play a similar role. 
“Baseball, so much of it is superstition and, you know, if they’re playing well and things are going well for them and us you’d probably be hesitant to change,” Childress said. 
Hill said it is not uncommon for him to make a change in a player’s song if they are not doing particularly well, citing an example involving Nottebrok this season. 
“I actually made the decision on my own this year to go back to [Logan’s] last year’s song,” Hill said. “I think he got a hit that game [too]. Every once and a while I’ll make that call for them just to see if I can shake up the mojo.”
The walk-up song is much like any other Aggie baseball tradition — there’s always more to the story.

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  • Nick Banks steps up to the plate against Sam Houston State.

  • JB Moss’s walk-up song is “I’m Still Fly” by Dragnet and DJ Meez Fame.

    By Vanessa Pena
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