Gerardo Parra

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Trumpets are in and 'Baby Shark' is out for the 2020 Nationals

Trumpets are in and 'Baby Shark' is out for the 2020 Nationals

We may have witnessed the birth of a new movement for the defending World Series champions. 

The air trumpet. 

During a monster game in which he went 3-for-4 with four RBI, Victor Robles broke the trumpet out first when he reached second base on an RBI double in the second inning. After the game, he wore a shirt with a trumpet on it and confirmed that the trumpet would be this year's team celebration, replacing the legendary "Baby Shark" chomp from last year. 

Robles credited Emilio Bonifacio for the idea, an 11-year vet who's now the de facto chemistry guru for the 2020 Nationals. Last year, Gerardo Parra obviously held that title and turned his walkup song, "Baby Shark" into a city's rallying cry during an unforgettable run to a World Series title. 

Apparently Bonifacio has a history of playing trumpet, but he unfortunately did not bring the instrument to the game Saturday. However, Robles said Bonifacio would bring it on Sunday for the Nats' third and final game of their opening series against the Yankees. 

RELATED: DOWN TWO STARS, NATS FIND A WAY TO HANDLE YANKEES

We saw hints of a new team celebration during the Nationals' preseason scrimmages. Though most of us thought they were playing the flute and the new song might be "Hot Cross Buns."

It'll certainly be difficult to say goodbye to "Baby Shark." I mean, it's on the team's World Series rings. But with Parra playing in Japan and 2020 bringing a new season and different challenges for this team, it was probably time to shake things up. 

So get ready for more air trumpets, and hopefully some actual trumpet play from Bonifacio inside the dugout from time to time. They just need someone to pick a walkup song to go with it. 

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Gerardo Parra and 'Baby Shark' continue to shine with Tokyo Giants

Gerardo Parra and 'Baby Shark' continue to shine with Tokyo Giants

Around this time last year, then- Nationals outfielder Gerardo Parra changed his walk-up song to the popular children's tune 'Baby Shark.' From there, the Nationals flipped the switch from a middling team to one that would make a run to a World Series title. Along the way, the shark clap that injected excitement into the stadium and dugout played a role.

RELATED: THIS DATE IN NATS HISTORY: PARRA INTRODUCES 'BABY SHARK'

Fast forward 12 months and it seems that the 'Baby Shark' magic is still doing wonders for Parra and his new team, the Tokyo Giants. Signing with the team in the offseason, the outfielder has gotten off to a fast start in the NPB and 'Baby Shark' is still his walk-up song. The Giants sit at 5-2, and Parra blasted his third homerun of the season on Saturday.

Of course, the 'Baby Shark' celebration had to come out.

Parra's hot streak at the plate combined with the Giants' top of the division standing can really only mean one thing. The 'Baby Shark' success is showing no signs of slowing down.

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This Date in History: Gerardo Parra introduces Nationals fans to ‘Baby Shark’

This Date in History: Gerardo Parra introduces Nationals fans to ‘Baby Shark’

The Nationals are credited with turning around their 2019 championship season on May 24, the day they began climbing out of the depths of a 19-31 start.

However, it would take a while before the team would work its way back into contention. On June 19, Washington was still just 33-38 and inclement weather had prevented them from playing for three days. To make matters worse, Max Scherzer had just broken his nose during batting practice. It still seemed like every time something went right for the Nationals, three other things went wrong.

The Philadelphia Phillies—owners of the NL’s top Wild Card spot—were in town for a three-game series, which would begin with a doubleheader forced by the recent storms. Scherzer was going to start Game 2—the “black eye game” or “broken nose game,” as it would eventually be called—but there was another significant moment for the Nationals that came in Game 1.

Gerardo Parra was struggling. After going 14-for-40 (.350) with three home runs over his first 14 games with the Nationals, the veteran outfielder stumbled into an 0-for-22 slump. He tried changing up his routine, but nothing was working. Nothing, until he got some inspiration from his two-year-old daughter.

Starting in center field, Parra stepped up to the plate for his second at-bat with a new walk-up song blaring throughout the stadium: “Baby Shark.”

“I wanted to put on something different,” Parra said postgame. “My [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.”

Something clicked for Parra, who roped an RBI double in the fourth inning and followed it up with a solo home run in the eighth.

As if that wasn’t endearing enough for Nationals fans, Parra also threw out Phillies outfielder Bryce Harper on the basepaths to prevent Philadelphia from threatening in the sixth.

“That's the only chance I had to get Harper,” Parra said. “I know he's an aggressive player and I tried to get everything perfect. Bare-handed, throw the ball as fast as I can. I think that changed the game.”

The Nationals went on to sweep the doubleheader and the series, knocking the Phillies out a playoff spot entirely. Suddenly, Washington was 36-38, third place in the NL East and just three and a half games behind the Milwaukee Brewers for the second Wild Card spot. It only took one series, but the Nationals’ outlook was much brighter than it was just two days prior.

Of course, “Baby Shark” didn’t go away, either. Parra kept it as his walk-up song the rest of the year, inspiring the Nationals Park crowd to shark chomp every time he came to the plate. His teammates also embraced it, using shark-inspired hand signals to celebrate base hits. A plush shark even made its way into the Nationals’ dugout. Where is it now? Some place called Cooperstown.

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Parra is credited with helping the Nationals stay loose and enjoy the game they grew up playing, even when the team was at the bottom of the standings and critics were calling for firings and blockbuster trades. He played such a big role that “Baby Shark” even made it onto the team’s World Series rings.

“I’m completely overwhelmed about the honor the Washington Nationals organization gave me in our World Champions ring we earned last season,” Parra wrote on Instagram after the ring design was unveiled. “I cannot say thanks enough to the organization and, of course, our fans, because you were the ones that made the Baby Shark song our anthem. I just feel really blessed and I want to say that I will be forever grateful for being a part of the Washington Nationals history!”

RELATED: GERARDO PARRA KEEPS 'BABY SHARK' ALIVE IN JAPAN DEBUT

“Baby Shark” may not be played at Nationals Park anymore—as Parra is now playing for the Yomiuri Giants in Japan—but the children’s song is always going to be tied to the Nationals’ World Series run.

Sure, May 24 gets all the hype. But June 19 did just as much to propel Washington toward its first championship in 95 years.

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