Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Walk-up Songs

Walk-up songs are part of what makes it fun to be a baseball player. You get to pick what kind of music plays over the stadium sound system before you come up to bat or warm up if you're a pitcher. Go to a baseball game and you will hear all sorts of music played for each player, ranging from country to hip-hop, rock to reggaeton. One of my favorite times of the year would be talking with my teammates about what walk-up songs we should have that season.

It's always interesting to go to a game and hear what kind of walk up songs each player has. A lot of times a certain player may become one of your favorites if he has a cool song or one that you like. As a player, what you pick as your walk-up music often says alot about you. Its got to be a song that will get you ready to perform, to either get you pumped up or relaxed and focused, depending on what kind of player you are. What kind of music you use will tell a lot about you.

Over the years I've had all sorts of walk-up songs. I've had "Big Poppa" by Notorious B.I.G. (Hip-hop), "Tokyo Drift" by Teriyaki Boyz (Japanese pop), "Victory" by Yolanda Adams (Gospel), "Dile A El" by Jowell Y Randy (Reggaeton), and even "Lose My Breath" by Destiny's Child (which got me a lot of grief from my teammates, but hey, it had a cool intro!). My junior year of high school, I had the song "My Life Is In You, Lord", a worship song by Hosanna Music. I got the idea of having this walk-up song from a player we would watch often at Georgia Tech by the name of Matt Murton. This song was his Sunday walk-up song and the whole crowd at Russ Chandler Stadium would clap to the beat, which was particularly cool since it was a worship song.

Only God could have planned it that I would have the opportunity to work with Matt Murton, who would become one of my favorite players, nearly 10 years later in Japan. It is amazing to see how God has used him so far in his first two seasons in Japan. The last two years Matt has had the song, "Strong Tower" by Kutless for his walk-up song and fellow teammate Jason Standridge had "Our God" by Chris Tomlin for his pitcher's warm-up music. It was amazing to hear praises to God played over the sound system of Koshien Stadium in front of 55,000 fans. In a land where God rarely gets the glory He so deserves, it is a precious site and sound to hear these songs in that context. I would also often hear the two songs play in the team gift shops, and would have to remind myself I was not in a Christian book store or Chick-fil-A in the US, but a Hanshin Tigers gift shop in Japan!

This year Matt, coinciding with the launch of murtonbaseball.com, decided to do a fan vote on his twitter account (@mmurton9) for what his walk-up song should be for this season. The choices of "Trust in Jesus" by Third Day and "Saved the Day" by Phillips, Craig & Dean were voted on by fans for 5 days, with "Saved the Day" winning by only 3 votes. As part of the website, we are excited to translate the lyrics and talk about what they mean so that the Japanese fan can understand what the song is saying and why Matt has it for his song. We hope and pray that this will be just another way that we can give God glory and that His name and love can be known among the people of Japan. Pray that God will be glorified through Matt and his walk-up song this year!

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