Being a Major League closer comes with many perks. The pay is awesome. You appearances in actual games equates to about 4% of the season, so there’s plenty of down time to relax and watch baseball. When you do your job correctly, you are in essence the grand finale of the show and therefore get one of the loudest ovations of any given game.
Sure, there’s the paper thin job security and all the pressure of getting the three toughest outs of the game, but still, as far as major professional sports go being an MLB closer is pretty choice.
And if all that weren’t enough, you get your own, hand picked, entrance music when you enter a game. Your WWE style arrival to the game can be an exhilarating and intoxicating part of the game, but song choice is key. Mariano Rivera was kind of the gold standard with his “Enter Sandman” intro. As the story goes, the Yankees got the idea from Padres closer Trevor Hoffman to have some sort of intro music. Hoffman was on his way to breaking the career saves record while entering every game to AC/DC’s “Hells Bells”. Rivera would eventually break Hoffman’s record, and closers everywhere would eventually start using their own entrance music.
The current list of songs in use is discussed here. I know if I were a closer, this is a choice I would agonize over. Perhaps you yourself are an aspiring Major League closer in search of that perfect song. Here are seven candidates for a closer entrance song that aren’t currently being used in the big leagues.
Method Man “Bring The Pain”
From one of the all time great Wu-Tang solo albums, the third track off of “Tical” jumps right into the hook and has great lyrics for any closer worth his weight in WHIP. This isn’t for any closer however, you’ve got to have a little edge to your game to strut out of the bullpen to this one. Extra bonus points if you’re the Mets or Yankees closer to come out to the Staten Island natives anthem of pain bringing.
Beastie Boys “Sabotage”
Those first few seconds explode out of the speakers and it’s impossible to mistake this song for anything else. Closers who are fans of both rock and hip hop can find a happy medium with first single off of the Beastie’s 1994 classic “Ill Communication”. If you can somehow convince the scoreboard operator in your stadium to play the music video as well, then you’ve got an instant classic intro that even Alesondro Alegre would approve.
The Notorious B.I.G. “Who Shot Ya?”
Another hip hop option, but this time you better be the baddest S.O.B. on the block (or in the bullpen at least) if you’re going to use this infamous Notorious B.I.G. song from 1995. This perceived diss track to Tupac Shakur has some rough and raw lyrics that alludes to the fact that Biggy was aware of the 1994 New York shooting of Tupac outside of a recording studio before it went down. With this dark backdrop comes a great loop and gritty rhymes. You better not blow a save coming out to this one or you’ll be one with one eye looking over your shoulder.
Grateful Dead “New Minglewood Blues”
I know. You’re saying to yourself, “The Grateful Dead? I want to hype the crowd not have them spinning in the aisles to a 20 minute spaced out jam.” Hear me out though, because the Grateful Dead catalogue includes lots of great country/Americana style tunes whose lyrics lean less from being home on the range and more towards breaking out of jail and running off with the Sheriff’s daughter. “New Minglewood Blues” is the quintessential song for this style of the Grateful Dead, kicking off with one of the most bad ass lyrics you could find in your search for a closer anthem.
“I was born in the desert/I was raised in a lion’s den”, Bob Weir howls as the first notes of Jerry Garcia’s guitar take us through this tune which was written in 1928 by country-blues singer Noah Lewis. FSB preferred versions include the one linked above and a particularly upbeat version from the old Cap Centre in Landover from 9/25/76.
Misfits “Hybrid Moments”
Glenn Danzig belts out this classic Misfits song which was originally recorded in the late 70’s. Guaranteed to put a jolt into any crowd, the only problem being that in true punk fashion the song only runs 1:43 seconds. So either sprint to the mound or have the boys in the press box play it two or three times.
The Rolling Stones “Gimme Shelter”
This song man, it always gets me. Those first few guitar licks and the backing vocals are so damn eerie and then the drums kick in and I feel like I’m in a Martin Scorcese movie, even though I’m probably pulling into the parking lot of Whole Foods. You’ve got to have some tenure to use this timeless classic from 1969’s “Let It Bleed”, but this is a top notch closer song that I’m surprised isn’t being used currently.
Derek and the Dominos “Layla (Piano Exit)”
This one isn’t for everyone, but I give you a more subtle and dramatic approach to the closer music decision. “Layla” in it’s entirety is a rock and roll classic and one of the most well known Eric Clapton songs in his catalog. It is also the song behind one of rock and roll’s most famous love triangles.
At the 3:10 mark of the song, things change drastically as bluesy Clapton riffs and vocals suddenly give way to a beautiful, evocative four minute long piano coda that also features Clapton and Duane Allman on various guitars, including slide guitars.
This isn’t exactly sounding like the heavy metal tendencies most closers lean towards, but I think for the right pitcher it could be pretty sweet entrance music.
Plus, the whole Goodfellas connection…
“When they found Carbone in the meat truck, he was frozen so stiff it took them two days to thaw him out for the autopsy.”