ST. LOUIS – The St. Louis Cardinals are testing out a new way to strike fear into opponents behind one of their All-Stars, debuting a new entrance Tuesday evening for lead closer Ryan Helsley.
Helsley entered his latest save opportunity behind his usual tune, “Hells Bells” by AC/DC, but the Cardinals added an epic twist. Right after the end of the eighth inning, the Cardinals signaled Helsley by turning off the main headlights. Crews then blasted the rock classic on the Busch Stadium speakers with a bright red neon light glaring on the scoreboard and illuminating a sea of red.
Many observers, including Cardinals fan Josh Calloni and Belleville News-Democrat reporter Jeff Jones, captured the momentum-building entrance and generally-positive reaction of tens of thousands on Twitter. Josh Calloni shared the attached video above with Helsley’s revamped entrance.
When teams have an established pitcher at the backend of their bullpen, going to a specific song or theme out of the pen has the potential to alarm opponents of challenges and become an iconic mark of a player’s persona.
“Hells Bells” is symbolic Helsley’s shut-down instincts out of the bullpen as the 28-year-old has also enjoyed a 9-1 record, 0.98 ERA, 14 saves and 81 strikeouts over 55.1 innings this season. The red light could also signify Helsely’s flame-throwing abilities as he has touched 100 miles per hour on multiple occasions.
Perhaps the song is inspired by Hall of Fame closer Trevor Hoffman, who also used the AC/DC hit to enter games en route to becoming baseball’s second all-time saves leader. Other notable entrances include current Mets closer Edwin Diaz, who came out to a live performance of “Narco” by Blasterjaxx and Timmy Trumpet last weekend, and all-time saves leader Mariano Rivera, who won multiple World Series titles with the Yankees using Metallica’s “Enter Sandman” as his mantra.
Among other notable Cardinals entrances from the past include Jason Motte using Green Day’s “Brain Stew” and Jason Isringhausen using Daughtry’s “Feels Like Tonight.”
Helsley and the Cardinals continue a four-game series with the Washington Nationals on Wednesday. St. Louis currently holds a 80-56 record and leads the NL Central by 8.5 games over the Milwaukee Brewers.