For Pete's Sake

Royals’ Brett Phillips explains why one of his walk-up songs is by Vanessa Carlton

Royals center fielder Brett Phillips slides across the grass after catching a line drive by Toronto’s Luke Maile last season.
Royals center fielder Brett Phillips slides across the grass after catching a line drive by Toronto’s Luke Maile last season. KC star file photo

Royals outfielder Brett Phillips’ middle name is Maverick, so it makes sense that one of his walk-up songs is “Highway To The Danger Zone.”

That’s the Kenny Loggins song from the 1986 movie “Top Gun” starring Tom Cruise, whose flight name was Maverick.

Phillips’ other walk-up song: Vanessa Carlton’s “A Thousand Miles.”

That is an unexpected choice, right? So why did he pick that tune?

“Last year, I’m making my debut in Milwaukee in June and 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 said. “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.

“All I wanted for my first at-bat was to get calmed down. After the game, everyone was like, best walk-up song ever. Where did it go after the first (at-bat)? So I’ve just stuck with it now and that’s why it’s one of my walk-out songs.”

Phillips said the song choice has made people at the ballpark laugh and it often generates chatter among fans on social media. And walk-up music is not just for the players, he said.

“I feel like for a walk-out song, it’s for you, but at the same time it’s fan interaction,” Phillips said. “If the fans like it, then I’ll continue to keep it, but if they’re like I don’t know, I’m not feeling it, I may not (use the song).”

So how did Phillips do that first at-bat in the majors with Vanessa Carlton’s soothing music playing at Miller Park to calm him down?

“Struck out,” Phillips said with a smile. “Couldn’t feel my legs.”

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