MINNEAPOLIS — The beat and melody began to echo around the expanse of Target Field as Miguel Sanó made his approach to home plate. From the rail of the Twins’ dugout, Nick Gordon beamed, sprang up and bobbed his arm to the easy rhythm of the rap blaring from the speakers.
For those few seconds, he was no longer Nick Gordon, utility infielder for the Twins. Instead, Minneapolis got its first introduction to the artist known as “Flash G.”
“I’ve heard a couple guys walk out to my music, but it was pretty cool to see one of my teammates do it,” Gordon said.
That’s right: Sanó’s new walk-up song, “Goat,” was the work of his teammate, Gordon, who goes by “G Cinco” or “Flash G” during the offseasons when he goes back home to Orlando, Fla., to spend time in the studio and record hip-hop music with his best friends — Julio, Giovanni and Travis.
“I tried to [use] Nick so that people can hear his song,” Sanó said. “He sings it pretty good and I think everybody can hear that.”
Music has been Gordon’s primary artistic outlet since eighth grade, but he’s always done it more for his own enjoyment than for any fame, he says. He’s never approached his art with the intent to distribute it or popularize it, but his friends have typically taken a lead on making it available to the masses, whether on Spotify, YouTube or otherwise.
You wouldn’t know that from how well his content has been received. His YouTube channel has more than 3,000 subscribers, and his most played song, “Off Season,” has more than 611,000 views. “RICH” has been played 264,000 times. “Goat,” the song Sanó now uses, has more than 206,000 plays.
One of Gordon’s biggest supporters all along has been, unsurprisingly, his older half-brother, Nationals utility man Dee Strange-Gordon.
Dee was the first to introduce Nick’s music to the Major League environment, Nick says. When Dee played in Seattle, he would blast his brother’s music in the Mariners’ clubhouse and was the first to use one of Nick’s songs as his walk-up music, even before Nick had put out some of those songs. That began a small trend in the Seattle clubhouse, making it six or seven pros in all who had used Gordon’s music as their walk-up songs, he thinks.
Shed Long Jr. went with “Lock It,” which was released on YouTube in March 2020. J.P. Crawford opted for “Bistro.” Sanó is the first of Gordon’s teammates to ever use one of his songs and the first to choose “Goat,” which is also a favorite of Twins second baseman Jorge Polanco.
“It’s dope,” Gordon said. “I appreciate it. Just the fact that they like it and they want to walk up to it is awesome.”
Sanó says he’ll stick with Gordon’s song throughout the season, replacing his initial choice of “Let Da Monkey Out” by Redman. (“‘Goat’ is a good one. Sanó got a good one,” Gordon said.)
All of this begs an important question, though: Would Gordon ever consider using one of his own songs as his walk-up music? He says his teammates encourage him to do so all the time, but he currently uses “Came and Saw” by Young Stoner Life & Young Thug (featuring Rowdy Rebel). He’s certainly in an extremely unique position to even be able to consider something like this.
“It’s just tough,” Gordon said. “I feel like I can’t be that guy. I don’t know.”
The thing is, even if he grew more open to the idea, Gordon could never settle on a favorite song because he’s always partial to the most recent one he’s recorded.
Does he even know which of his tunes he’d want to use if the time comes?
“I don’t even know, man,” Gordon said. “I would probably have to do something new. Something that somebody’s never heard. I’d have to come out with something like that.”
Fans might be waiting a while, considering Gordon only records during the offseasons, since he chooses to keep his focus entirely on baseball when he’s in season — but he’s not completely ruling out the possibility.
“We’ll see,” Gordon said. “Maybe one day.”