The anthem of the Nationals World Series team has now set a record of its own.
On the one-year anniversary of the Nats’ World Series celebration, “Baby Shark” has become the most-viewed video on YouTube with 7.05 billion views (for reference, the world population is estimated to be around 7.8 billion). The previous record-holder was “Despacito” by Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee with over 7.03 billion views.
While the video of the song by Pinkfong and its accompanying dance went viral in 2018, it didn’t join DC sports folklore until a year later, during the Nationals’ 2019 season and postseason.
The song became the Nats’ anthem and rallying cry after Gerardo Parra made it his new walk-up song on June 19, 2019, in an effort to get out of a hitting slump.
“I wanted to put on something different,” Parra said postgame. “My [two-year-old daughter Aaliyah Victoria] loves that song. Before the game, I tried merengue, reggaeton, hip-hop, then I said, ‘You know what, I want to put in Baby Shark.’ I'm happy for that.”
His slump ended, the Nats started to look like real playoff contenders and the song became a hit with the team and its fans alike. The players used the “Baby Shark” hand motions to celebrate getting on base; fans danced along every time Parra stepped up to the plate.
Washington went wild for the song. It even got a classical remix when members of the National Symphony Orchestra dressed in shark outfits entertained visitors to the Kennedy Center with a special rendition.
The legend of “Baby Shark” grew during the postseason as the Nats delivered stand-out performance after stand-out performance. Parra even received a shipment of singing “Baby Shark” puppets from the manufacturer, WowWee, one of which he hung from the dugout fence for good luck.
The plush shark proved successful as a good luck charm, as the Nats beat the Houston Astros in seven games to win the title. Parra carried the toy shark with him throughout the Nats’ parade and celebrations.
Although Parra no longer plays for the Nationals, the impact he and his favorite song made on the District of Champions will remain.