The Nats Park entrance music we need

Baseball has returned to the nation’s capital once again–a phrase Washingtonians could not say for 34 years–and with it comes a new season’s ballpark soundtrack.

Yes, trades and departures have silenced some of the Nationals’ better tunes, like Tyler Clippard’s crafty pick of the Fugees’ “Ready or Not” or the Michael Morse at-bat sing-along of A-Ha’s “Take On Me.” But as Bryce Harper’s solo shot reminded everybody during Thursday’s 6-4 loss to the Marlins, the Nats remain blessed with the finest home run celebration ever, the late, great Chuck Brown’s “Bustin’ Loose.”

Nats Park home opener 2016That song should be all the hint the Nats need about finding entrance music that both speaks to here and gets people nodding their heads or tapping their feet. Here are my nominations, none of which show up in MLB Plate Music’s quasi-authoritative list and all of which you can and should enjoy on this Spotify playlist:

“Waiting Room,” Fugazi: Anyone who doesn’t perk up on hearing the bass line that opens this D.C. punk-rock classic is welcome to root for Atlanta. Besides, this song deserves better local-sports treatment than its turn as soundtrack material for our snakebit NFL franchise.

“Run Joe,” Chuck Brown: This cover of Louis Jordan’s song would help to remedy the insufficient supply of go-go at Nats Park. And if no player picks it, the team could still play it to celebrate a successful steal.

“What Do You Want Me To Say,” The Dismemberment Plan: I am sufficiently in the tank for this band that I struggled for some time to pick a worthy at-bat song from their catalogue. This one got a nod for its propulsive start.

“Hello,” Back Yard Band: This improbably peppy cover of Adele’s ballad is not only likely to confuse visiting teams and fans, the shout-outs to D.C. neighborhoods would make it a great fit for the ballpark just across South Cap from “Southwest, Southwest…”

“Mt. Pleasant,” Tuscadero: There has to be a player for the Nats who either lives in Mount Pleasant or a few blocks away in Columbia Heights and who therefore needs to adopt this 1990s bubble-gum-punk salute to that ‘hood.

“DC or Nothing,” Wale: Some of the lyrics here would be a little edgy in a MLB context (see also Public Enemy’s “Bring the Noise,” another tune that would be awesome as somebody’s walk-up anthem), but, man, this is a great song. Harper seems to think so too.

“House of Cards Main Title Theme,” Jeff Beal: This would have to be the exclusive property of an aging pitcher who puts batters away with deception and guile. If Drew Storen could jog to the mound with Johnny Cash’s foreboding version of “God’s Gonna Cut You Down” booming across Nats Park, this can and will work too.


3 thoughts on “The Nats Park entrance music we need

  1. Good morning, Rob – I look forward to checking out the Spotify playlist, but in the meantime, I thought you might appreciate this “historic” photo to match your snap at the Nats’ home opener.

    This print was “date-stamped” the old-fashioned way – by the company that developed the film! I took it in the late summer of the first season of existence of my hometown team – the New York Mets. Like the Nats, the Mets were an expansion team cobbled together from remnants of others – spiced with the last seasons of aging greats not quite ready to retire. That first season the Mets lost 3 games for every one they won, but they quickly developed a loyal fan base hungry for the return of National League baseball to New York.

    The photo was taken at the Polo Grounds, the hallowed home of the late baseball Giants, who had decamped for California after the 1957 season, along with the beloved Brooklyn Dodgers. In contrast to DC, Mayor Wagner of NYC quickly formed a commission to study the possible recruitment of a new replacement team to NY, so by the 1962 season the Mets were born. They played two seasons in the Polo Grounds (I recall being at the old-timers’ game in 1963 against the by-then-LA Dodgers, when the Mets lost with a football-sounding score of 17 – 3). This week in 1964 Shea Stadium was ready as the new home of the Mets – where they played for a generation.

    I always enjoy your postings, Rob!

    Have a good weekend, and Let’s Go, Nats!

    Matt Rudorfer

    Potomac, MD

    Started humming a song from 1962 Ain’t it funny how the night moves When you just don’t seem to have as much to lose Strange how the night moves With autumn closing in…

    n Bob Seger


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