November 27, 2020

Bye-bye, ‘Baby Shark’ — Nationals fans salute Gerardo Parra and his walk-up song (ESPN)


“Baby Shark,” the walk-up song that may have changed the course of the 2019 MLB season, is swimming off into the sunset — or more accurately, the Land of the Rising Sun. Free agent Gerardo Parra has signed to play in Japan.

In June, the Washington Nationals outfielder switched his walk-up song to a little YouTube ditty that kids, including his 2-year-old daughter, loved (and many parents found rather annoying). Almost immediately, Parra went on a hot streak, the Nats won 16 of 20 games to turn around what had been a dismal start to the season, and fans in D.C. began dancing along when the song was played on the Nationals Park videoboard.

A phenomenon was born. Parra’s at-bats, at least his walking to the plate, became must-viewing (volume up!) as Nats fans of all shapes, sizes and ages rocked the house, many in shark hats or costumes. When the Nationals rallied to reach the playoffs — eventually winning the World Series — players repeatedly cited Parra and the Baby Shark craze with helping change the culture of the team, bringing a critical boost of energy and allowing players to loosen up and have some fun.

Parra’s on-field role dwindled as the season went on — he…

Read “Bye-bye, ‘Baby Shark’ — Nationals fans salute Gerardo Parra and his walk-up song” at ESPN