Ryan Mattheus & Katy Perry: an unlikely winning combo
Nationals fans have had their share of memorable at-bat/walk-out music over the past few seasons, and this year is no different.
All-Star Tyler Clippard previously came out to the song “Peaches” by The Presidents of the United States of America. The song became popular enough that eventually the LCD screens around the ballpark would display falling peaches as Clippard warmed up. He now uses “Ready or Not” by The Fugees, a song that, coincidentally enough, came out in 1996—the same year that “Peaches” was released.
Then you have Michael Morse. It’s no secret that Morse loves the ‘80s, especially when he alternates between classic Beastie Boys and A-Ha for the soundtrack to his introductions. Fans now associate “Take On Me” with the power-hitting first baseman.
“I love all kinds of music. But I really like ‘80s music, especially the one-hit wonders. I started with ‘Take on Me’ and I thought the fans liked it a lot, so I can’t stop now,” Morse said.
At the Nationals Dream Gala this year, many players had put together baskets of their favorite things to sell at auction. In Morse’s basket was a “Totally ‘80s” CD, which contained nothing but one-hit wonders from his favorite decade.
More recently, you have relief pitcher Ryan Mattheus joining the “odd music” club. Most other players on the team, and especially in the bullpen, come out to hard, heavy rock music or hip-hop. Not Mattheus.
He went with a somewhat more effeminate choice—Katy Perry’s “Firework.” Because he’s a rookie, some may be inclined to think that the pop hit was chosen as a method of hazing from his teammates. That’s not actually the case.
“It’s kind of a funny story. I was out before the season with a teammate from Double-A, and we were just talking about our walk-out music,” Mattheus said. “We were playing some pool and putting some money in the jukebox, and that song actually came on, and we both started singing.”
After his karaoke moment was over, Mattheus decided he liked the feel of the song enough to have it associated with him during a game.
“I was like ‘this is kind of a feel-good song, I think I’ll make this my walk-out song,’” he said. “And he told me to go for it.”
Mattheus went on to use the song once the season started for him in the Minors, and kept it once he got his call-up to the Nationals. He has no plans to stop using it anytime soon.
“I’ve been successful, so there’s that superstition there for me to hold on to it. It took some guts to do it up here on a bigger stage, but I like it,” he said. “Hopefully it keeps working.”