Behind the music: Vandy Baseball

April 13, 2011

Tony Kemp
   When Tony Kemp walks into the batters box, the stadium speakers start blaring out a song that most people have not heard anywhere but Hawkins Field. The reason is that Kemp's song was personally made for him by his brother-in-law, Patrick Lewis, before the year started. Lewis is a student at the University of Georgia, but has taken up being a DJ for the love of the music and is known to take out his equipment at family functions.
   At a family wedding, Lewis asked Tony what his walkout music was going to be. When Tony said he was unsure, Lewis offered to mix something together for him. The end result was a Jay-Z song mixed with some other music and Kemp loved it, saying it would give him the motivation he needed when he came to the plate.

Mark Lamm
   The Vandy pitching staff has a thing for upbeat, techno music, but no song captures the theme like Mark Lamm's walkout song, A La Menthe. The song was made famous by the movie Ocean's 12, where it can be heard during a scene dubbed the 'Laser Dance', in which a man moves through a field of lasers to the beat. Lamm said he saw the film and thought the song would be perfect for him and that every time he runs towards the mound, he hears it playing and it gets him excited to pitch.
   The redshirt senior has struck out 17 batters this season in 18.3 innings of work and every time an opposing batter goes down in Hawkins field, the song Chillin by Wale and Lady GaGa can be heard. The intro to the song is a jingle that says "Goodbye" and Lamm claims it gets the crowd pumped up. During the game, he does not hear the song because he is so focused on the next batter, but he knows that batters and fans can hear the sendoff.

Conrad Gregor
   Conrad Gregor's song debuted six years before he was born, but it is still a classic that he appreciates. The freshman chose to go with Burning Heart by Survivor, who wrote it for the movie Rocky IV in 1985. For those who do not know, Rocky IV is a compelling tale of Rocky Balboa's comeback from retirement after regaining his championship title from Clubber Lang in the previous film. In the fourth installment of the series, Rocky trains to fight Ivan Drago of the Soviet Union; an intimidating boxer - played by Dolph Lundgren - who comes to America to become the heavyweight champ. After some dark moments for Rocky, the boxer decides to fight Drago in is home country and eventually defeats him, winning the title for himself, and America.
   Getting back to Gregor's song, the music can be heard during Rocky's arrival in the Soviet Union, where there is a montage of events taking place in the snow-covered country. Gregor said the song gets him excited every time he steps up to the plate. He states, "I approach the plate like I'm going to battle with the pitcher, just like Rocky approached the fight against the Russian guy from Rocky IV."



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