'I'm giving him some superpowers': Artist talks viral Stott clip (2024)

Tai Verdes loves being part of Phillies postseason run

October 16th, 2023

'I'm giving him some superpowers': Artist talks viral Stott clip (1)

Matt Monagan

@MattMonagan

The timing was perfect for it.

Bryson Stott walked up to the plate with the bases loaded and the Phillies up, 3-0, on the Marlins in Game 2 of the National League Wild Card Series. It was a giant opportunity for Philadelphia to put the game away and punch its ticket to the NL Division Series.

Philly fans were ready. They could feel the weight of the moment. They were, as they are on most gamedays in any sport, very into it.

As Stott strode up to the batter's box, Citizens Bank Park became one cohesive chorus -- singing the second baseman's carefree, feel-good walkup song "AOK," by Tai Verdes. It was something you don't normally see or hear at baseball games. A surreal, goosebump-inducing few seconds that, after the first pitch, turned into complete chaos.

stott grand slam w/ no commentators thx to ESPN's dolby 5.1 mix pic.twitter.com/2vhUzWKpup

— jaiden (@steph_turkey) October 5, 2023

"It was just a beautiful moment," Verdes told me over Zoom. "I've been all over the world performing that song and to see in the stadium. I mean, it's where it belongs. It's what it was meant to do. That pitcher had no chance. No chance."

Verdes said he first saw the clip when a friend sent it to him the day after the game. It had about 1,500 views at that point, but the California native -- like everyone else who watched it -- immediately liked it and knew others would, too. It was just different.

"Some of the most beautiful times in sports is when the whole crowd is vibrating on the same wavelength," Verdes said. "It happens a lot of the time in big soccer games. I remember watching the World Cup during the summer with my friends -- watching Team USA go play. And the chanting the crowd does in the stadium is just electric. Baseball bringing that in, and especially with my music, having it be a little bit unorthodox. It's a little bit like 'Sweet Caroline.' The whole game stops because there's like this 'if you know, you know' moment happening for a team."

According to MLB.com's Todd Zolecki (who wrote up a tremendous breakdown of the at-bat), Stott has been using "AOK" as his walkup music since 2020. The crowd has sang along to the song at various times, and it has developed a kind of a cult following among the Philadelphia fanbase. People post about it on X, Eagles broadcasts have played it and Philly Little Leaguers use it to get excited about their baseball games. They've even, apparently, used it as their own walkup music. Something Verdes was particularly amused by.

"That is insane," Verdes said. "That's exactly what I did as a kid."

Parker LOVES Bryson Stott. He picked out baseball cleats to match. He knows every word to his walk up song and cherishes his baseball card. Parker just lost his mind with joy when Stott hit that grand slam. A moment we’ll both remember forever ⚾️❤️ pic.twitter.com/MQ7tyGy9gD

— Kate Hanisco (@katehanisco) October 5, 2023

Of course, the Game 2 in-stadium version of the song was by far the loudest and strongest it's ever been.

“Obviously, at the time, we’re not listening to a broadcast," Garrett Stubbs told Zolecki. "We’re out there on the field. It’s just raw noise from fans and players and all that."

"I got chills the first two times I watched it," Stott, who blacked out after the grand slam, said.

Even better? The nearly three-year-old song's message almost perfectly fits the moment.

"It's about being real, being alive," Verdes said. "You gain a perspective when you listen to my song that maybe you didn't have before. Maybe you were down and you needed a boost. Or you were up and you just wanna feel more up. It's a little spark, a little dopamine hit for people to just carry in their pocket and access at any time."

Seemed like Stott definitely accessed that pocket dopamine at around the six-second mark.

Drop it like it's Stott. #Postseason

(MLB x @SportClips) pic.twitter.com/qoR8yWAqCT

— MLB (@MLB) October 5, 2023

After a heart-thumping, heartbreaking 5-4 loss to the Braves on Monday night to even the NLDS at one game apiece, the Phillies need to bounce back quickly in Game 3 on Wednesday. Fortunately, they'll be back in their home park in their home city. The passionate crowd will, like always, be loud from the first pitch to the last -- but they'll be paying special attention when Stott, who's batting .357 with seven RBIs this postseason, steps up to the plate.

The combination of his talent, the energy and the song has the chance to create something magical again.

"I think I'm giving him some superpowers," Verdes laughed.

'I'm giving him some superpowers': Artist talks viral Stott clip (2024)

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