Match the hitter with at-bat music

Updated: July 23, 2009, 7:08 PM ET
By Jim Wilkie | ESPN.com

Amid the many noises at a major league ballpark, an aural Rorschach test takes place almost every time a player is about to begin his at-bat.

A carefully selected song plays for a few seconds after the home team's batter is introduced by the public-address announcer. The choice of music can offer a glimpse into that player's psyche, a sense of how that player would like his persona to be perceived ... or he just likes the song.

Like the songs themselves, it's mostly up for the listener to interpret. So you have light-hitting St. Louis Cardinals infielder Joe Thurston stepping up to the plate to the sounds of Busta Rhymes' "Hustler's Anthem," and New York Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez walking up with Kanye West's "Amazing."

Odds are you won't hear Miley Cyrus or other teen singers. But you can't miss the bravado of rap and heavy metal.

"I usually pick my songs," San Francisco Giants outfielder Randy Winn said during spring training. "You know, now that I'm back home in the Bay Area I try to pick more local stuff, some Bay Area people, but I usually throw in some of my other favorites as well.

"Last few years I've been pretty consistent with something from E-40, a Bay Area guy. I'll change it up and mix it in with, like, a Jay-Z."

Winn, who has three possible at-bat songs, chose Vallejo, Calif., native Mac Dre as his Bay Area connection this season.

Quite a few players have multiple options for their at-bat music, which makes up for the old-fashioned Chicago Cubs, who don't have any canned music at Wrigley Field.

Sometimes, as in the case of Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Juan Pierre, the songs pick themselves.

"Last year I came up [to bat] to a guy from Louisiana, Lil Boosie," Pierre, a Louisiana native, said. "'My Struggle' was the name of that song. The year before that, ironically Jay-Z said my name in one of my songs, so I came up to that one."

On Beyonce's "Deja Vu," featuring Jay-Z, the rapper sang, "I used to run base like Juan Pierre; Now I run the bass hi hat and the snare ..."

So if you think you can read a player's psyche or musical tastes, play The Life's "Batter's Hit Box" below to see if you can match the player with his at-bat music. To play ball, press play and see how long it takes you to get all eight correct.