BOISE — Jose Dore felt like a true professional, stepping to the plate for his first professional at-bat, with his specially selected song playing throughout the park.
It was 2011, Dore's first season above rookie ball, and he was in his first game with the Single-A Fort Wayne TinCaps in the San Diego Padres system.
He came out of the dugout, and through his ears came something he didn't want to hear.
"Taylor Swift," said Dore, in his first season with the Boise Hawks. "My teammates thought it'd be funny to switch out my song."
The Hawks can pick the song that plays after their name is announced when they approach the plate, or when they step toward the mound to get in their warmup pitches.
For most, it's a privilege that requires some serious thought.
"It's a big deal - a lot of times, it will take guys a couple weeks to come up with something really good," Dore said.
Finding the perfect song is sometimes a delicate process - one that gets you too pumped up might force some bad swings or a pitch that flies into the backstop behind home plate.
"You definitely want something that isn't too crazy, something that gets you excited, but lets you be focused on what's in front of you," pitcher Matt Iannazzo said.
Iannazzo picked a new song prior to the season. He intends to stick with his choice, though some find it vital to mix it up. Others are set in stone with theirs, maybe out to make it synonymous with their play, like Mariano Rivera's "Enter Sandman" or Chipper Jones' "Crazy Train."
"As a ballplayer, you're superstitious, so if something's not working, maybe it's the song that needs to be changed, too," reliever Jasvir Rakkar said.
Just as Boise is one of the first steps to the big leagues, it also gives some players their first chance to name their tune.
"I never got to do it in high school or anything like that, so it definitely makes you feel professional," infielder Danny Lockhart said.
Here's a look at the songs of a few Hawks, and why they chose them:
JOSE DORE, IF/OF
Song: "Boys 'Round Here" by Blake Shelton
"Growing up (in Florida), my mom loved country music, and I like it, too. I'm going to stick with it - we all have our ups and downs, but I think it's helped me be consistent."
JASVIR RAKKAR, P
Song: "That Power" by will.i.am, featuring Justin Bieber
"I changed it just a little while ago from a Kanye West song I'd used since college. I just heard my new one and thought, 'I've got to pick this.' "
TREVOR GRETZKY, IF/OF
Song: "Take Over Control" by Afrojack
"I like all sorts of house music, so I'll probably pick a different one soon, but I think it's awesome we can - it fires you up having your own."
MATT IANNAZZO, P
Song: "No Diggity" by Blackstreet
"It relaxes me, but also puts me in a good mood. It kind of reminds me that I don't need to be overly serious out there, that I can enjoy myself, too."
DANNY LOCKHART, IF
Song: "Remember the Name" by Fort Minor
"It gets me focused, ready to just think about it being just me and the pitcher. This is my first time picking out a song, so it took me about a month to find a good one."
Dave Southorn: 377-6420; Twitter: @IDS_Southorn