Brett Phillips has a good reason for picking this pop ballad as his walk-up song

Blake Schuster
Yahoo Sports Contributor

Brett Phillips would walk a thousand miles for a good at-bat.

Maybe not literally, but the Royals outfielder is willing to get the song of the same name stuck in his head for six months at a time to avoid disaster at the plate. And anyone who has heard the opening piano riff has definitely had it stuck in their head. Phillips’ decision to use the early-2000s Vanessa Carlton jam might seem puzzling at first, but his reasoning for it actually makes a lot of sense.

Even if it isn’t the most intimidating of hits.

Phillips’ reasoning actually makes sense

Speaking with the Kansas City Star earlier in the week, Phillips explained the origin story for his walk-up song goes back to his major league debut and the nerves that came with it.

“I’m thinking, what can I listen to or not listen to walking up to the plate that is going to kind of calm me down, kind of be funny, but at the same time just get me in a zone?” Phillips told The Star. “Not too hyped up, because I knew I was going to be nervous. So sure enough, I came up with the song by Vanessa Carlton, ‘A Thousand Miles.’ I’m like that could work, it’s funny, everyone knows it.”

He’s not wrong. The single peaked at number three on the Billboard Hot 100, holding down the spot for three weeks in 2002.

Unfortunately, the song was the highlight of Phillip’s first at-bat. He wound up striking out. But Phillips received such good feedback about his choice of music that he knew he was stuck with it. The familiar, gentle piano ballad was piercing and you couldn’t help but notice it. Maybe it wouldn’t intimidate opposing pitchers, but it would surely get casual fans to snap out of whatever conversations are going on around the ballpark and refocus on the field.

Kansas City Royals’ Brett Phillips has an unusual walk-up song, but you can’t argue with his reasons for it. (AP Photo)

What other songs could fit Phillips’ criteria?

While ‘A Thousand Miles’ should always remain a staple of Phillips’ walk-up catalog, players often use more than one song for various at-bats each game. Phillips also uses the Kenny Loggins classic ‘Highway To The Danger Zone’. Which makes sense, given that Phillips’ middle name is Maverick, and that happens to be the name of the Tom Cruise character in the movie Top Gun, which heavily features the song. 

But that still leaves, at a minimum, one more at-bat for Phillips’ to rock the suburbs. 

While he could go with another typical pump-up song blaring over the speakers as he strolls to the plate, the notion of a more relaxing pop-rock hit just seems too good to pass up. So here are just a few other tracks that might pair well with ‘A Thousand Miles’:

Natasha Bedingfield – Unwritten

Sara Bareilles – Love Song

Avril Lavigne – Complicated

Colbie Caillat – Bubbly

Five for Fighting – 100 Years

Sugar Ray – Someday

Elton John – Tiny Dancer

Train – Drops of Jupiter

Tracy Chapman – Fast car

Phillip Phillips – Home 

Actually, that last one should probably be played every time Phillips steps up to the plate.

Maybe this ends up unlocking some kind of glitch in MLB pitchers. After all, if the song can relax Phillips, surely whoever is on the mound against him will be calmed down a bit. Try throwing a 99 mile per hour heater after hearing any of those tracks. It’s not happening.

Phillips may be onto something here.

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Blake Schuster is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!