It’s the song that gets stuck in your head — but that’s not the reason Washington Nationals fans are so obsessed with it.
The popular kids’ bop “Baby Shark” has become the MLB team’s rallying cry and good luck charm, all thanks to one player: outfielder Gerardo Parra, who many say has changed the team for the better.
“I was like, ‘Look, this guy is amazing. He’s changing the culture of this team,’ ” Nationals fan Matt Kucinich, who dressed in a shark costume to the team’s game on Tuesday, told USA Today Sports. “I’ve been watching since 2005, the whole time they’ve been (in D.C.), and we’re doing really, really well. We’re so used to defeat. There’s something different.”
It all started when Parra used the tune as his walk-up song in June in honor of his 2-year-old daughter. The moment coincided with a turning point for the team after a rather rough start to the season, according to The Washington Post, and was quickly adopted as the team’s good luck charm.
Fans began performing the iconic “Baby Shark” dance during games as part of a new ritual to hype up the players as they went up to bat.
The team’s starting pitcher, Aníbal Sánchez, said that Parra helped the team find a more positive attitude, which ultimately helped them find a better groove on the field.
“I remember in L.A., he made his first noise about, like, positive thoughts in the clubhouse,” Sánchez told the outlet. “From that moment on, we try to bring — like try to have fun.
“This guy is unbelievable. He’s funny, and he’s happy, and he brings all the energy to the team,” the pitcher added to the Post. “I’m glad to have this guy on the team.”
RELATED VIDEO: Play Ball! Prince Harry Attends the First MLB Game in London Between the Yankees and Red Sox
During game three of the National League Championship Series on Monday, Parra made sure to bring a token of “Baby Shark,” hanging a stuffed baby shark toy from a railing in the Nationals’ dugout. The team went on to win the game 8-1, giving the team a 3-0 lead in pursuit of securing a spot in the World Series.
On Tuesday, they did just that in game four against the Cardinals, winning 7-4 and moving forward to compete in the franchise’s first series.