Washington Nationals

‘Baby Shark’ is taking over the World Series

Gerardo Parra came in to pinch-hit for the Washington Nationals in the sixth inning of Friday’s Game 3, so it was time for the entire stadium to sing along to “Baby Shark”

Gerardo Parra has had a decent 11-year career in the big leagues, spent with six different teams. He owns two Gold Glove awards and a lifetime batting average of .276. But his impact on the Washington Nationals this season goes well beyond his statistics.

Parra began the season with the San Francisco Giants but was struggling mightily when the Giants released him in May. He signed on with the Nationals, but on June 19 was hitting just .209 with four home runs on the season in 55 games. That day Parra decided he needed to make a change. His two-year-old daughter, Aaliyah, liked the ubiquitous children’s song “Baby Shark,” so Parra made it his walk-up music.

In that first game, Parra hit a home run and a double to help the Nationals beat the Philadelphia Phillies. The legend of “Parra Shark” was born. Whenever he steps out of the dugout at Nationals Park, the entire stadium erupts into a rendition of the popular song. Shark costumes and mock shark chomps are rampant.

So when Parra came in to pinch-hit in the bottom of the sixth inning of Game 3 of the World Series on Friday night, what was a baseball game turned into a Baby Shark concert.

Parra struck out against Astros relief pitcher Brad Peacock, but his at-bat injected some energy in a stadium that was growing quiet as the Astros took a 4-1 lead.

Such small things might look like harmless fun to an observer, but they can prove the difference to a winning ballclub. The Angels had their Rally Monkey on the way to the World Series in 2002. In 2011, it was the Cardinals and the Rally Squirrel who took home the championship.

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The Nationals lead the series 2-0 and are two wins away from the franchise’s first title after starting the year 19-31. Parra has only made five plate appearances in their magical run through the postseason, but “Parra Shark” is still a rallying cry for this team of destiny.

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