Clay Aiken – Batter Up!

The St. Louis Cardinals beat the Texas Rangers at Game 1 of the World Series Wednesday night in St. Louis.   For those who follow baseball the game was exciting and a close scoring game.

For those who follow musicians, there is usually a great interest in the singer that is chosen to sing the National Anthem before the game.  This year Scotty McCreery, the 2011 American Idol was chosen for this honor.  The young country singer had a scare as he began the Anthem…his mic was not working.  Fortunately, he was able to start over and sang a country rendition of the Star Spangled Banner.

Scotty is the second American Idol to sing the National Anthem at Game 1 of a World Series.  In 2003, Clay Aiken performed the anthem.  For Clay, the 2003 World Series must hold a special place in his memory.  The New York Yankees were hosting the Florida Marlins at Yankee Stadium. Clay sang a great rendition of the difficult anthem, even when being interrupted by the low flying Stealth Bombers. I wonder if Clay still has his World Series Jacket from that night.

The following are a few interesting facts about The World Series.

  • The first World Series of baseball took place in 1903 between the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Boston Americans.
  • Don Larsen of the New York Yankees pitched the first and only perfect game in World Series history in 1956.
  • The first World Series shown on TV was the 1947 World Series between the Yankees and the Dodgers.
  • The 1989 World Series between the San Francisco Giants and the Oakland A’s was postponed for 10 days after a massive earthquake rocked Northern California.
  • The 1994 World Series was cancelled after baseball players went on strike in August of 1994.

I have always thought it was a huge honor to be invited to sing at the opening game of a World Series. It made me wonder who has done this in the years since Clay sang in 2003.

  • 2004 Steven Tyler – the lead singer of Aerosmith
  • 2005 Josh Grobin
  • 2006 Bob Seeger – refused to sing the Star Spangled Banner because he said it was too hard to sing. He chose to sing America the Beautiful.
  • 2007 John Williams and the Boston Pops Orchestra
  • 2008 Backstreet Boys
  • 2009 Keni Thomas (a U.S. Army Ranger)
  • 2010 John Legend
In 2010, Kelly Clarkson sang the National Anthem at Game 3 in her home state of Texas.

Did you watch Clay sing the Star Spangled Banner that night? Did you hold your breath the entire time like I did? What an exciting time for Clay, his family, friends and fans!!

Why not watch the performance again. This time you can breathe!!

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8 thoughts on “Clay Aiken – Batter Up!

  1. Scotty did a great job but I have to say that nobody sings the national anthem like Clay. I get chills!

  2. I remember this so well, 8 years later. I think we were all nervous for Clay, but he pulled it off wonderfully. Even when the planes went over in the middle of the song…Clay carried on like a pro. I love his version, he doesn't do the vocal acrobatics like some singers do.

  3. I didn't see it that night but have seen the video a number of times. Still brings tears to my eyes! He was a true professional even in the early years. Excellent rendition…straight on, no frills..loved it!

  4. I didn't see it real time. but I've watched the video a lot!!!! Clay does a great jib with the national anthem, superb =)

  5. Wow – just watched the videos of Scotty's and Clay's Star Spangled Banner performances. We are talking night and day. Not only in regard to vocal range, but definitely in style, listening appeal, and smooth professional singing.

    Clay certainly is the superstar in those categories. He truly gave an outstanding and amazing performance – Stealth Bombers be darned and all.

    Thanks for the look back, as well as the mention of what is now the latest. Enjoyed it all.

  6. After watching this video again, I went over to youtube to check out Scottie's version. No comparison! Clay does a wonderful job on not only the Star Spangled Banner, but on all the songs he sings. I also like the dark blue jacket Clay is wearing. The green one this year is not as nice.

  7. I did hear Scotty sing the SSB and he did OK…BUT….When Clay sang it, it was more than OK

    Thanks for putting the video up. I will always enjoy watching Clay at the World Series!!

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