Top row, from left: Daryl Hall & John Oates, War, and Flo Rida. Bottom row, from left: Doug Glanville, Nomar Garciaparra, and Chris Singleton.
Top row, from left: Andrew Putler/Redferns; John Shearer/wireimage; Ben Rose/Getty Images. second row, from left: Rich Arden, John Atashian, John Atashian/all ESPN Images

Not too long ago, asking a baseball player about walk-up music would have prompted a spell of confused silence. While seven-second song snippets now serve as the soundtrack to every batter’s solitary jaunt from the on-deck circle to the batter’s box — we’re talking a distance of up to 37 feet here, people — they’re a relatively modern contrivance.

Some major league clubs downplayed the practice until the early 2000s; now, more or less every league in the baseball universe, including youth teams, allows players to pick a track or three. To hear ESPN’s Baseball Tonight personalities tell it, that’s a good thing. Here, former stars Chris Singleton, Doug Glanville and Nomar Garciaparra weigh in on the wonders and whimsy of walk-up music.



On the appeal of choosing their own songs:
Chris Singleton: “If there’s a song that’s really working for you, you’re gonna run with it. But if you’re in a slump, you’ll change the song, the batting gloves, the shoes — you’ll do anything to trigger something different in your brain and get back on track.”



On the prevalence and popularity of walk-up music:
Doug Glanville: “Baseball and music are very similar: They both mark time, mark moments. When you connect the two, it’s pretty special.”

Singleton: “When I was playing, you had to find time to run your CD up to the sound guy. Now, I wouldn’t be surprised if a player told a clubbie [clubhouse attendant] to have the guy change his music between at-bats.”



On the artists/songs they used while playing:
Glanville: “Daryl Hall & John Oates’  ‘I Can’t Go For That (No Can Do)’; Peter White, who does contemporary jazz guitar; Naughty By Nature; that duet that Tina Turner did with the Italian singer Eros Ramazzotti, ‘Cose Della Vita.’ I had eclectic taste.”

Singleton: “Rufus Troutman — it was kind of a psychedelic funk song. Sometimes it would get me thinking about the groove, rather than about the pitcher. That’s not good.”

Nomar Garciaparra: “There was only one team with which I had a walk-up song. It was with the Dodgers, and the song was ‘Low Rider’ by War . I would still pick that song. It reminds me of home.”



On the artists/songs they’d use today:
Singleton: “Maybe that Flo Rida  song, ‘I Cry,’ that’s a remix of that song from the ’80s [Brenda Russell’s ‘Piano in the Dark’].”

Glanville: “The throwback stuff with the modern beats: Fitz and The Tantrums, Mayer Hawthorne and Nikki Jean.”