While fans may not be in the stands across Major League Baseball this season, that doesn't mean walk-up songs aren't played.
From Kanye West to the Rolling Stones, members of the Yankees certainly have a wide range of tunes and artists played at Yankee Stadium. For rookie right-hander Michael King, however, the song that blares from the speakers each time he takes the mound has much more meaning than just a popular song that gets him pumped up.
"It was a Christmas gift from my sister, actually," King said on Thursday, smiling from ear to ear. "She's the one that wrote the song and sings the chorus in it."
The song is called "Messin' With The King" and if you listen closely enough as his fastballs pop his catcher's mitt while he prepares for his appearances to begin, the lyrics fit perfectly. Just check out the bridge King's sister, Olivia, belts out toward the end of the song.
I feel like the King of the hill
Lately they’ve been tryna test my will
Only room for one man on the throne
Tables turning time to take it home
Like her brother, Olivia is also a rising star, just in another industry. She has a follower count approaching six figures on Instagram with tens of thousands more between Facebook, Twitter and Youtube.
As the story goes, King's singer and songwriter sibling debuted the track as a present for her baseball playing brother ahead of his junior year at Boston College. King recalled always having trouble picking the perfect walk-out song throughout his baseball career. After joking with his sister that she should make him one, she surprised him and left him "shocked," making his walk-out song decision-making process a whole lot easier.
"It's the best song I've ever heard," King said. "Since my junior year I've had it every year and I try to make sure that every home stadium plays it for me because one, it's really cool, gets me pumped up and I'm just trying to get my sister as much publicity as possible because she's so talented."
Along with Olivia, artist Maye Star is featured on the song, rapping out lines like "I step to the mound and I put on my crown" and "ammunition is my mission, throwing bombs when I'm pitching."
In his first full season with the Bombers, King doesn't have a particular role just yet, but he's been a valuable piece of New York's pitching staff, starting three games and making six total appearances.
On Friday, in Game 1 of a doubleheader on the road against the Orioles, King didn't hear "Messin' With The King" played as he took the mound, but he was still able to showcase his potential with his performance. The right-hander threw four innings, allowing three runs and throwing a career-high 74 pitches.
To keep up with all of Inside The Pinstripes’ coverage, click the "follow" button at the top right-hand corner of this page.