Tuesday night marked the MLB debut of catcher Will Smith, considered one of the top prospects in the Los Angeles Dodgers organization.
While the Dodgers weren’t able to come away with a victory, falling to the New York Mets, 7-3, the night was still a memorable one for Smith. He stepped to the plate for his first career at-bat in the second inning and promptly hit a single off Mets shortstop Amed Rosario’s glove for his first hit.
Smith later doubled, finishing 2-for-4 at the plate and also threw out a runner trying to steal second base, amounting to a debut he and his family will never forget.
After getting called up on Monday, Smith said he was dealing with so much that he didn’t have time to choose a walk-up song, via J.P. Hoornstra of the Southern California News Group:
Befitting his background, Smith walked up to a country tune prior to his at-bats at Triple-A Oklahoma City. But he was so overwhelmed with higher priorities Tuesday, he could not remember the name of the song, let alone relay a specific request to the Dodger Stadium DJ booth. “A few more important things, sure,” Smith said.
Considering he shares the same name as actor and rapper Will Smith, his walk-up in his first career game fittingly wound up being ‘The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air’ theme song. That initially wasn’t the case, however, as it was Russell Martin who was behind a change:
That left the choice to Lanier Stewart, the Dodger Stadium disc jockey who performs under the moniker DJ Severe. … Stewart’s choice for Smith’s walk-up track? “What So Not” by Jaguar, a popular club track from 2013. “Until he settles in,” Stewart said. “I’m sure something will come to mind.”
But Dodgers catcher Russell Martin had something else in mind: the theme song to “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air,” Will Smith’s signature track and one of the most recitable television tunes ever.
Joc Pederson approved of the possibility of Smith using the show’s song he selected for himself during stretches of the 2016 season:
Before the game, Dodgers outfielder Joc Pederson said a Smith-Smith walk-up connection “could be catchy.”
The Dodger Stadium crowd erupted when Smith stepped to the plate for the first time and “In West Philadelphia, born and raised…” staring blaring out the stadium speakers. Considering how well he did at the plate, it is hard to see him changing his walk-up any time soon.