CHICAGO (AP) — Fans in Chicago might have been a bit surprised last week when the White Sox's Mark Teahen stepped to the plate against Kansas City.
Not only did Justin Bieber throw out the first pitch, but the teen sensation's hit "Baby" blasted through U.S. Cellular Field when Teahen came up to bat. Teahen usually plays a reggaeton song by former teammate Jose Lima's band and mixes in other tunes like "Barbie Girl" by Aqua and "A Bay Bay" by Hurricane Chris.
Not this night. With Bieber at the park, Teahen figured why not use "Baby"? Although he's not necessarily a die-hard fan of the singer, he said he got turned on to the song a few months ago by his girlfriend and even has it on his iPhone.
"The Bieber thing kind of started as a joke," Teahen said.
Yet teen hits keep popping up at the ballparks alongside the usual rock, rap and hip hop staples. The Yankees' Nick Johnson, Colorado's Troy Tulowitzki and Florida's Cameron Maybin have all used Miley Cyrus' "Party In The USA" at the plate. Not that they plan to use the songs for the entire season or anything.
"I used it for like one day, and then got rid of it after the first day. I wanted to change it. It was kind of for laughs," Maybin said. "It wasn't too serious."
For Bieber, hearing his song when Teahen stepped to the plate was another neat twist on an eventful day for the 16-year-old.
He taped an appearance on "Oprah" and got the star's treatment at the stadium.
He smiled at the sight of his name on the scoreboard during the introduction, and with a black cap and a No. 10 "Bieber" White Sox jersey, he did a good imitation of a big leaguer when he shook off Mark Buehrle behind the plate and glanced toward second like he was checking the runner, all while "Baby" was playing.
When Teahen used the song again, Bieber "was sitting up in box, and we all got excited. He was very honored," the singer's publicist, Melissa Victor, wrote in an e-mail.
To her knowledge, Teahen was the first player to use a Bieber tune, but if others did, "that would be cool."
"He's catchy," said White Sox second baseman Gordon Beckham, who uses The Outfield's "Your Love" when he bats.
AP freelance writer Rich Dubroff in Washington contributed to this report.