Josh Reddick was sitting in the Oakland A’s clubhouse on Sunday when randomly – and he assured us, it was randomly – the sultry strains of Wham!’s “Careless Whisper” began floating through the air. For whatever reason, he took this as a sign.
The following day, he made sure the song played as he walked into the batter’s box. He ended up going 2-for-3 with a triple and two runs scored. Last night, still accompanied by the song’s sexy sax, Reddick went 2-for-5 and smashed a home run. Seems “Careless Whisper” is here to stay.
“Somebody had Pandora on shuffle in the clubhouse, and it got thrown into the mix. I was like ‘What would happen if I tried this?'” Reddick told Rolling Stone. “And baseball players are very superstitious, so I can’t imagine changing it for a while, unless something dramatic happens … and I hope it doesn’t.”
Of course, it doesn’t hurt that in the days since he made the switch, “Careless Whisper” (which, depending on how you keep score, is also a George Michael single) has quickly become a fan favorite in Oakland, and turned the 27-year-old outfielder into a bit of an Internet celebrity, much to his own amazement.
“It’s definitely escalated more than I thought it would,” Reddick laughed. “The fans are the funniest; it comes on and they’re cheering and slow-dancing in the outfield. They seem to be having more fun with my walk-up song that the actual game.”
Reddick said that, so far, his teammates have taken his new at-bat music in stride (“They couldn’t believe I had the – uh, I’ll say courage – to put it out there,” he said), though he’s not surprised. After all, the A’s are a fairly musical bunch.
“[Nick] Punto’s got a good song, I forget what it is, but it’s an older song [a rep for the team revealed it was the Outfield’s “Your Love”], and [Sean] Doolittle’s got Metallica’s ‘For Whom the Bell Tolls,’ which is a great one,” Reddick said. “All the guys have got some good songs going. To be honest, it kind of all blends together.”
So, as long as the fans continue to slow dance (and he continues to hit), Reddick plans on keeping “Careless Whisper” around. Though if the song starts to lose its mojo, he’s got plenty of others waiting on deck.
“I know ‘Freedom’ and ‘Wake Me Up [Before You Go-Go],'” Reddick explained. “I wasn’t a huge Wham! fan, but, you know, I definitely respect what they did.”