Monday, February 23, 2015

Star-Spangled Ballplayers

The U.S. national anthem is a big part of baseball, almost as big as the players themselves. But what about the few players who have performed both in the game and in the pre-game patriotic ceremony? In my cursory search, I've found six players who have performed it, five with singing, one on the trumpet.

White Sox first baseman Lamar Johnson had a big day in 1977 when he sang the anthem and got all three White Sox hits, including two homers, in a 2-1 Sox victory:

Cub outfielder Dwight Smith had a soulful rendition:

Royals pitcher Jose Lima may be the most interesting member of this list, as he wasn't born in America, and he's clearly not singing in his first language. Lima was always known to be a character.

 <a href="^544x306&playlist=videoByUuids:uuids:1bab105f-d181-44c6-82d9-84abf1afb7f4&showPlaylist=true&from=dest_en-us" target="_new" title="Lima sings the national anthem">Video: Lima sings the national anthem</a>

Former Dodger infielder Nate Oliver and former Oriole Jim Traber are both known to have sung the anthem, but I can't find video of either.

And then we have our trumpeter, former Cub utility man Carmen Fanzone, whose name you may have heard mentioned at the end of the Dwight Smith video. I think this is the anthem I most wish I could hear but can't.

Such a curious list, and definitely an exclusive one.