In Major League Baseball, a closer can be defined by their entrance song.
They are important, as the song has the potential to become an iconic mark of a player’s persona.
While hitters do have some great walk-ups, it is hard to beat a pitcher’s.
Here is a look at the five best closer entrance songs of all-time and who rocked each of these songs as they warmed up before their appearance.
5. “Wake Up” by Rage Against the Machine – Aroldis Chapman, Yankees
When you are able to throw 105 miles per hour, you need to have a good song.
Umpires View of an Aroldis Chapman fastball… Absolute Heat pic.twitter.com/pwtTI4wj8i
— Baseball Quotes (@BaseballQuotes1) February 16, 2017
Before the song plays, a loud fire siren rings through the stadium.
This is followed by the heavy guitar riff of “Wake Up” by Rage Against the Machine.
While the song isn’t necessarily the most popular, it fits directly into the type of player that Chapman is.
For anyone that has ever been in the stadium for this, it gives a natural feeling of chills that he will come into the game and dominate.
4. “Bad to the Bone” by George Thorogood – Dennis Eckersley and Goose Gossage
This is a classic song for two classic closers.
“Bad to the Bone” is one of the most macho songs written of all-time, and it can be intimidating to hear as the opposing pitcher warms up.
There is a reason, then, that two of the greatest closers of all-time sported the song.
The Eck. #OTD in 1992, Dennis Eckersley is named American League Most Valuable Player after saving 51 games and compiling a 1.91 ERA. He also won the AL Cy Young Award as legends do. pic.twitter.com/s2roB5E0Zj
— Oakland A's (@Athletics) November 19, 2017
Between the two of them, they sport 700 total career saves.
They revolutionized the role of the closer and laid the foundation for all the relief pitchers that came after.
3. “I’m Shipping Up to Boston” by Dropkick Murphys – Jonathan Papelbon
While Papelbon didn’t quite have the same length and quality of career as the other players on this list, his song was just as good.
He embraced the Boston culture during his time with the team.
After the Red Sox won their first World Series in 86 years, the city was beaming with pride.
When Papelbon solidified himself as the team’s closer in 2006, he wasted little time winning them over.
13 years ago today the #RedSox swept Colorado in the 2007 World Series. Boston 3B Mike Lowell earned Series MVP honors as he stole a base while hitting 6-15 with 3 doubles, a HR, 6 runs scored, and 4 RBIs. BOS CL Jonathan Papelbon had 3 saves and a 0 ERA. pic.twitter.com/CG45TYkWFK
— Jack Aylmer (@Jack_Aylmer) October 28, 2020
He adopted the Bostonian anthem, “I’m Shipping Up To Boston” and made it his own.
Love or hate Boston sports, this was an iconic sound to hear as Papelbon entered the game.
2. “Hells Bells” by AC/DC – Trevor Hoffman
In order to have the second most saves of all-time; you must have some kind of iconic song to run in to.
Trevor Hoffman did not lack in that requirement.
— Padres On This Day (@PadresOTD) September 24, 2020
When the former career saves leader entered the game, he was greeted by the booming instrumental of “Hells Bells.”
The lofty bells and striking guitar set the tone as Hoffman would run up to the mound.
It made a statement to opposing teams that boosted the intimidation factor that a closing pitcher feeds off of.
1. “Enter Sandman” by Metallica – Mariano Rivera
When setting out to rank the best closer songs, there is a clear number one.
It is difficult to get any better than “Enter Sandman,” the song that Mariano Rivera sported throughout his career.
Enter Sandman unanimously into the HOF! Congrats Mariano Rivera! pic.twitter.com/Xl8VyBr0y1
— Talkin' Football (@TalkinFootball_) January 22, 2019
Given that Rivera is the greatest closer of all-time, the song is more than fitting.
He was an expert at putting opposing hitters to sleep at the plate, carving them with an iconic cutter.
Considering that more men have walked on the moon (12) than scored off Rivera in the playoffs (11), he is more than deserving of it.
This song paved the way for the walk-ups that came after.
It made it cool to have a song that embodies the type of player you are.
Without a doubt, it is the best song a closing pitcher has ever had.