Life in the Minors - Chapter 3: Pump up the Volume

by DJ Sixsmith, JT Mercurio
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WFUV explores the minor leaguers musical tastes

For the 12th straight year WFUV is taking a look at what life is like in the Short Season Single-A NY Penn League...a close-up view of the Baby Bombers and Junior Mets as they attempt to climb the ladder to Citi Field and Yankee Stadium. It's Brooklyn and Staten Island. It's the Cyclones and Yankees. It's Life in the Minors: How the Other Half Lives.

 

DJ Sixsmith - Brooklyn Cyclones Beat Reporter

54 years ago the musical group The Excellents created a song that has forever been synonymous with Brooklyn. Entitled Coney Island Baby, the doo-wop classic has made its way back to MCU Park this summer thanks to shortstop Phil Evans. After hearing the song one night, the 19-year old shortstop chose the tune as his walk up song.

But before getting to Brooklyn’s major league hopefuls, it is critical to first document the musical taste of skipper Rich Donnelly. While the manager never had the pleasure of choosing a walk up song during his playing days, Donnelly said if given the chance he would have picked something from The Temptations. Let’s just say that Donnelly was Phil Evans’ biggest fan when he decided to turn back the clock with his walk up song. The manager is not shy about his passion for doo wop.

Coney Island Baby is a far cry from the shortstop’s first walk up song Call Me Maybe. The hit by Canadian pop star Carly Rae Jepson has taken the country by storm over the past few months. In fact, Jepson’s jam has become a mainstay in the Brooklyn clubhouse as the team plays the song following each victory. Call Me Maybe is especially fitting for the Cyclones theme song considering the fact that Brooklyn infielder Jeff Reynolds was in the YouTube parity of the song that the Harvard baseball team put together.

After talking to the squad this week, it is clear that the choice of a walk up song is no easy task. Cyclones centerfielder Brandon Nimmo wanted to make sure that he picked a song that was truly representative of him which is why he went with Jason Aldean’s hit It’s My Kind of Party. While Nimmo admits the song is certainly stereotypical of his Wyoming country boy routs, the 2011 Mets first rounder feels as though Aldean’s song is a calming mechanism for him before stepping into the box. These minor leaguers may have some questionable musical likings, but the fact of the matter is that the walk up songs are working as the Cyclones are eight games over .500 and in first place in their division.

JT Mercurio - Staten Island Yankees Beat Reporter

The Staten Island Yankees clubhouse was quite the source of entertainment for this week’s installment of Life In The Minors. I’m not quite sure what it is, but something about music most certainly brings about change. Whether it’s a change in atmosphere or a change in mental state (yes, mental state), music is a key ingredient in the lives of the Baby Bombers.

While the Yanks might not have specific walk up songs before stepping into the batters box for each AB or before marching onto the pitchers mound for each inning, the players turn to music to help prepare themselves for the battle on the ball field that lies ahead. Some listen to certain songs to help clear their minds, some listen to certain music to simply “get pumped up”, and others listen to certain music because it pertains to a significant aspect of their life.

Music is something that truly unites the Baby Bombers. A common song that is listened to throughout the clubhouse is Carly Rae Jepsen’s Call Me Maybe. For some, “Call Me Maybe” is an overall favorite while, for others, it is more of a guilty pleasure. One thing is for certain, it’s catchy lyrics and tune definitely brings the club together.

When combined with sports (especially a passionate sport like baseball), music can be extremely powerful. The members of the Staten Island Yankees ball club can surely attest to that.

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