The Washington Nationals are heading to the World Series — and they’re taking an unlikely anthem with them.
“Baby Shark,” the popular children’s song that miraculously cracked the Billboard Hot 100 chart earlier this year, has become a rallying cry of sorts for the Nationals and their fans this season after reserve outfielder Gerardo Parra began using it as his walkup song in mid-June.
Parra, whom the Nationals signed after he was cut by the San Francisco Giants in May, was in a slump at the time, so he started searching for a new walkup song to switch things up. He landed on “Baby Shark” because his 2-year-old daughter, Aaliyah, “loves that song.”
“I tried merengue, reggaeton, hip-hop,” Parra told reporters after he first used the song June 19, according to NBC Sports Washington. “Then I said, ‘You know what, I want to put in Baby Shark.’ I’m happy for that.”
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The song drew smiles (and eventually baby-shark hand-chomping motions) from Nationals fans, and inspired “Parra Shark” T-shirts. And the players have embraced it, too. After an extra-base hit, they’ll often turn to the dugout and make the baby-shark motion with their hands in celebration.
“If the players get excited, we get excited,” said Nationals fan Travis Eagleson, who attended Tuesday night’s series-clinching win over the St. Louis Cardinals in a shark costume. “If that’s what they’re about, that’s what we’re about.”
Contributing: Chris Bumbaca