The streak is over! On Tuesday night (July 13), the National League broke an incredible streak of futility and topped the American League by a score of 3-1 in the 2010 Major League Baseball All Star Game. In winning the Midsummer Classic, the National League will now have home field advantage at this year’s World Series. Though Atlanta Braves catcher Brian McCann walked away as the MVP of the game (his three-run double represented all of the offense for his squad), there were also great performances from New York Mets third baseman David Wright, Chicago Cubs outfielder Marlon Byrd and pitchers Ubaldo Jimenez, David Price, Matt Capps and Jonathan Broxton. It was an excellent game, especially if you like pitching, as there were a tremendous number of strikeouts spread across nine innings.
Members of the baseball All Star teams are selected via fan voting, player recommendations and manager selections. But really, each player should be judged by the quality of his at-bat music. What began as a sort of clever thing that occasionally happened has become a key part of a player’s persona. In some parks, the at-bat song is accompanied by specific highlight montage for that particular star, which makes some baseball at-bats a lot like professional wrestling entrances. Here is the true All Star roster based solely on at-bat songs.
Player: Eli Whiteside, Catcher
Team: San Francisco Giants
Song: Ozzy Osbourne, “Crazy Train”
An oldie but a goodie, Osbourne’s tune about going off the rails reflects Whiteside’s unpredictability and also his manic energy.
Player: Paul Konerko, First Base
Team: Chicago White Sox
Song: Metallica, “Harvester of Sorrow”
Konerko is having a resurgent year, and he comes to bat with an incredible tune. A lot of athletes use Metallica songs, but while many will choose more popular fare like “Enter Sandman” or “Master of Puppets,” Konerko goes with a blaster from …And Justice For All. That’s the mark of a true fan.
Player: Ian Kinsler, Second Base
Team: Texas Rangers
Song: Ram Jam, “Black Betty” and the Alkaholiks, “Make Room”
Not only is Kinsler actually an all star second baseman, but he also has one of the crazier (and best) one-two punches in the at-bat music world. Ram Jam and the Alkaholiks — together at last!
Player: Andy LaRoche, Third Base
Team: Pittsburgh Pirates
Song: Joe Esposito, “You’re the Best”
Esposito’s legendarily cheesy ’80s rock classic (best known as “that awesome song from the Ralph Macchio version of ‘The Karate Kid’”) is one of the most underrated sports anthems in history. You have to feel good about LaRoche’s chances whenever he steps up to the plate (or squares off against the villains from the Cobra Kai).
Player: Jimmy Rollins, Shortstop
Team: Philadelphia Phillies
Song: Ludacris, “My Chick Bad”
It really doesn’t make much sense, but you have to give him credit for pushing the envelope.
Player: Chris Carter, Outfield
Team: New York Mets
Song: Rick Derringer, “Real American”
Carter (whose nickname is “The Animal”) isn’t even an everyday player, but every time he comes up for a pinch hitting opportunity, Hulk Hogan’s old theme song plays. Well done, sir.
Player: Roger Bernadina, Outfield
Team: Washington Nationals
Song: Fabolous, “My Time”
Bernadina gets extra points for having a pretty excellent highlight reel that plays on the screens in the stadium when he comes to bat. On top of that, it’s an inspirational tune that immediately gets the adrenaline in the crowd pumping (which is no small feat at the under-attended Nationals games).
Player: Hunter Pence, Outfield
Team: Houston Astros
Song: Katy Perry, “California Gurls”
Pence is neither from California nor a “gurl,” and the Astros are terrible this season, but at least you get to hear Perry’s excellent effervescent pop tune three or four times a game.
Player: Mariano Rivera, Pitcher
Team: New York Yankees
Song: Metallica, “Enter Sandman”
Is there a better tune in the universe for a closer? Not only does it sound great when turned up loud, but it also lets everybody know that he’s about to put the game to sleep.
Player: Matt Capps, Pitcher
Team: Washington Nationals
Song: Europe, “The Final Countdown”
Cosmically speaking, it’s the exact opposite of “Enter Sandman,” and yet it still rules. Capps isn’t as automatic as Rivera, but he still gets credit for keeping “The Final Countdown” alive.