2) Wilmer Flores – “I’ll Be There For You” by the Rembrandts
On September 5, 2016, Wilmer Flores made headlines in New York by debuting a new walk-up song, the famous theme song from Friends. At first glance, this might seem like a curious choice for MLB walk-up music. Most players across the league select songs in the hip-hop, rap, or rock genres as their music of choice.
But for Flores, his walk-up music held much more personal significance than just a song he liked. When Flores was signed by the Mets at age 17, he was a high school student in Venezuela who spoke very little English. As he began playing Class-A ball in Savannah, Flores decided that he did not want to rely on a translator to communicate with the outside world. He began watching Friends as often as he could, to improve his English skills.
“You have to learn,” he said in a 2016 interview. “If you’re smart enough and you really want to, you will . . . I really wanted to understand what they were saying when the coaches were talking.”
As with everything else Flores did, this walk-up song immediately endeared him to Mets fans, who had already connected with him after his famous on-field tears from the year before.
Though Flores may not have a spot on the current Mets roster, I (and I suspect many Mets fans) would absolutely welcome Wilmer back with open arms. No matter where he goes in his major league career, he, along with the characters on Friends, will always belong in New York.