Brian Wise covers the classical music business for WQXR, including aspects of performance, technology, philanthropy and institutional trends. He produces the Café Concerts series and the podcast/show Conducting Business. He manages the station's homepage and makes sure what you hear on air is what you see online. Follow him on Twitter at @Briancwise.
Detroit Tigers' Prince Fielder Chooses Mozart for Walk-Up Music
Wednesday, May 01, 2013 - 04:59 PM
New Yorkers may feel no love for the Detroit Tigers, who swept the Yankees in the 2012 postseason and took two out of three games in a meeting last month.
But New York classical music fans will likely applaud Tigers first baseman Prince Fielder for being the rare Major League Baseball player to use a classical composition for his at-bat music.
Last month, Fielder began having the public-address system at Comerica Park in Detroit play a snippet of Mozart's Requiem as he walks up to bat.
Fielder told Detroit Free Press sports columnist John Lowe that his path to choosing the Requiem began when he found out that teammate Torii Hunter listened to classical music before games. Fielder looked for classical pieces featured in movies and landed on Mozart's final opus.
“I thought about how all the scores for the ‘Batman’ movies are pretty cool,” Fielder said. “So I went on Pandora and typed in movie scores, and I thought, ‘This isn’t bad.'"
A batter's walk-up music is self-descriptive – it's played as the batter walks from the on-deck circle to the batter's box. Also known as entrance music, it can also apply to the music played when pitchers, usually closers, take to the mound. As Buzzfeed illustrated last year, hip-hop dominates the category, comprising nearly half of players' selections.
Fielder isn't entirely alone in his interest in orchestral sounds. Milwaukee Brewers' pitcher Tim Dillard marches on to John Williams's "Catina Band" music from "Star Wars," played by the London Symphony Orchestra.
Fielder, 28, is hitting .301 with six homers so far this year.
Update 5/3: Detroit Tigers spokesman Rick Thompson writes that the movement in question from the Requiem is the Rex Tremendae.