On Tuesday, baseball pitcher Adam Wainwright with the St. Louis Cardinals was unable to pitch on his team’s final Opening Day of his 18-year MLB career due to a groin strain he suffered while playing for Team USA in the World Baseball Classic.
However, despite this setback, Wainwright managed to make the game something he and the fans at Busch Stadium would forever remember by singing the national anthem before the game started.
Wainwright noted that he plans to transition his career life into becoming a country music singer when his baseball career concludes and has already held a concert in Springfield, Illinois, back in January for approximately 500 fans.
His fan base is going and we can imagine it’s growing even more after singing the rendition of the anthem and receiving a thunderous ovation from the sellout crowd.
In the video, Wainwright stands with his hat over his heart as he sang and as he hits the song’s final note, he extended both arms and grinned ear-to-ear with a big ol’ smile.
“My goals were to honor the country with a decent rendition, not mess the words up and sing it at a decent tempo, which I didn’t do. But the other two I did,” Wainwright said in an interview, after singing the national athem.
Despite the positive reception, Wainwright was critical of his performance, saying that he should have sung the anthem at a quicker pace. However, he expressed satisfaction with the fact that he did not mess up the words and was able to honor his country.
Wainwright emphasized that singing the anthem was far more nerve-wracking than pitching in an MLB game. He stated that there was no comparison between the two experiences.
“Way more nervous,” he said in the interview. “Probably seven times more nervous today than any start I’ve ever had in my life.”
Watch Wainwright Sing The National Anthem Below
According to Wainwright, he was approached by Melody Yount, the manager of player communications for the Cardinals, with the proposal that he sings the anthem.
At first, Wainwright declined the offer, but he swiftly changed his mind when he was benched due to a groin injury.
Yount said that Wainwright is currently on the 15-day injured list and will most likely miss “several weeks” of game time because of it.
This season, the tall 6-foot-7 right-handed pitcher has 195 career wins, only 15 away from equaling the second-place spot in the team’s history books.
In the previous season, he and catcher Yadier Molina made history by becoming the pitcher/catcher battery with the most starts (328) and team wins (213) in the National and American Leagues.