Top Nine Closer anthems

Remember last week's edition of The Niner, where we sort of led you on that "Enter Sandman" would be the No. 1 Yankee Stadium song, only for you to see it wind up at No. 2? This week, there will be no such tease, as we're saluting the Best MLB Closer Entrance Songs of all-time - and quite frankly, even with personal bias, there's no way we could even think of justifying anything but Mariano Rivera and Metallica at No. 1.

So, we hope you enjoy the countdown of runners-up, and stay tuned for a special surprise at the bottom of the page. We'll miss you, Mo.

  • Chad Cordero: "Hail to the Chief"
    One million creativity points for ex-Nationals closer Chad Cordero, who initially entered games to the sound of fire engine sirens before switching to this march normally reserved for one of D.C.'s other key power brokers as a play on both his nickname (The Chief) and his location.
  • Mike Timlin: "Black Betty" by Ram Jam
    One of the most notable omissions from our Yankee Stadium songs list was "Black Betty," which Timlin used throughout parts of his career as a closer and set-up man alike - including in his final appearance, which came Sept. 28, 2008 in a Red Sox season-closing win over the Yankees at Fenway Park.
  • Robb Nen: "Smoke on the Water" by Deep Purple
    As you'll see on this list, it seems the key to a good closer entrance theme is an extended instrumental bridge in the beginning of a song. There are few better than the intro to "Smoke on the Water," which Total Guitar magazine ranked as the fourth-best guitar riff ever.
  • Brian Wilson: "Jump Around" by House of Pain
    Long before you had to Fear the Beard, Brian Wilson made his presence known by entering to this 1992 hit from Everlast and company. Sure, he may have "borrowed" the idea from the downstate-rival Angels and their Rally Monkey…but who are we to argue with 171 saves and two World Series titles?
  • Mitch Williams: "Wild Thing" by The Troggs
    Williams was always somewhat wild throughout his whole career, but he was so erratic early in his career that when he joined the Cubs in 1989, the organists at Wrigley Field decided to serenade him with this "salute" when he came into games…and yet, that turned out to be his only All-Star season.
  • Eric Gagne: "Welcome to the Jungle" by Guns N' Roses
    The opening riff of GnR's first big hit is guaranteed to get fans rocking at any sporting event - and that phenomenon got Chavez Ravine rocking from 2002-04 as Gagne forced opponents onto their na-na-na-na-knees for an MLB-record 84 consecutive saves.
  • Jonathan Papelbon: "I'm Shipping Up To Boston" by Dropkick Murphys
    Most themes are chosen because they fit a closer's persona, but there are also a few that have some local flair to them - like Papelbon's Red Sox theme, a gritty ditty that was written by folk legend Woody Guthrie, adapted by local heroes DKM and blew up thanks to the film "The Departed."
  • Trevor Hoffman: "Hells Bells" by AC/DC
    Hoffman is numerically the second-greatest closer of all-time, and "Hells Bells" signified that it was "Trevor Time" for nearly two decades…and in fact, it was the reaction he got while entering to that song in the 1998 World Series that spurred the Yankees to find a theme song for Mariano Rivera.
  • Mariano Rivera: "Enter Sandman" by Metallica
    And so, in 1999, the legend of "The Sandman" was born, and he has taken opponents to Never Never Land ever since. It's been played probably a thousand times at Yankee Stadium via recording, but as far as we know, only once live…and it rocked. comments