Tuesday, April 12, 2011


April 5, 2011
Page B3
I was finally able to do something that I've been wanting to do for years and years: sing the national anthem at a Cleveland Indians game.  As I blogged last month, I was pretty excited about it all and I've been wanting to do that since I was in probably 6th grade.  My chance finally came, and I hope it's not my last one.  I was very happy with how the singing went, which is no small task for me.  I'm definitely someone who is rather critical of my own singing, but I also know when I have done well.  As I was finishing the song, I was practically floating I was so happy, but my upbringing kept my emotions under wraps to a degree.  In looking at the pictures, I never burst out in a full smile.  Not sure why, but I didn't.  I'm not someone that gets overly emotional all that often, but I was near that point when I was about done singing.  It was just an intense feeling of happiness; accomplishing something I had always wanted to do along with realizing that I didn't blow the opportunity.  It's one thing to be cocky and arrogant; it's another to be confident and know when you totally nailed something like that.  There was an interesting echo to deal with too.  It didn't affect me staying in tune, but it did keep me from changing the tempo.  The echo was probably a good second behind me, so far different than when I have sung in a gym like the MAC Center at Kent State.  

The whole experience was a lot of fun.  I was glad to have my sister and parents at the game.  Not only did we get great (FREE) seats, but also free parking in the garage adjacent to Progressive Field.  Normally when we go to games on our own, we have seats much further away (cheaper!) and end up parking several blocks away for at least $5, sometimes more.  The only downsides to the evening were the weather and the attendance.  The weather was pretty cold (gametime temperature was right around 40), so it made for a "memorable" game.  It felt more like when I watch late-season football than baseball.  I can't remember the last time I wore my coat, gloves, and winter hat to a baseball game.  I remarked the last time I was at Progressive Field I was basically wearing the same thing for Snow Days back in December.  Oh well; weather in Northeast Ohio like this is nothing new, though it's been a colder Spring than usual, even for here.  The weather, combined with the Indians' not playing so well the past few years and many fans' unhappiness with the owner pushed attendance way low.  The attendance for my game was 9,025, the second-smallest crowd in the history of Progressive (formerly Jacobs) Field.  The night before was the smallest crowd of around 8,700.  I'd always hoped the stadium would be full or mostly full, but it was not meant to be.  Maybe next time.  When I chose April 5, I figured having the Red Sox in town would bring more fans in, but that didn't really happen.  The Red Sox didn't bring as many as usual and neither did we.

Me with Mom and Katie...Mom's first trip to
Progressive Field!
Despite the cold and sparse attendance, we all still had a great time.  It definitely made for a memorable night on many levels.  Seeing myself and my name on the scoreboard was pretty cool.  I noticed in the pictures Dad took that my name was also on the auxiliary ribbon scoreboards around the park.  Later that evening I was editing Wikipedia and another editor mentioned he had seen my name on the scoreboard in the background of the Indians' pre-game show on SportsTime Ohio (STO).  Awesome!   The game was fun too as the Tribe beat the Red Sox 3-1, which keeps a streak alive of my teams winning the game I sing at!  I know it's all coincidence, but still pretty cool.  I also enjoyed seeing parts of the ballpark I have never seen before like the area underneath the lower deck.  I've been going to Indians games at Progressive Field for 16 years and there is so much I haven't experienced yet!

Oh, and the article I have up at the top?  It's an interesting read.  The Indians sent me a press sheet to fill out, and then they sent something to the Record-Courier about it.  I had already emailed the editor that I would be singing and he said they'd have a reporter call, but nothing ever came of it.  I can tell from this article they had some of what I wrote to the Indians plus they came here to my blog and got some information and the picture (it's a crop of my picture here on the top right).  It's mostly correct, last year's performance at the Aeros game was my first time singing for a professional sporting event.  Singing at the Indians game was my first time singing for a major league (and Major League Baseball) event as the Aeros game was minor league baseball.  The two times I sang at the KSU-Akron games were 2008 and 2009.  I find it interesting that being a graduate of KSU is always mentioned, but not the fact that I am actually from Kent.

On the huge scoreboard just before singing.  After 16 years of
Indians games I finally made it onto the scoreboard!  What's
funny is later in the game we were all on the scoreboard when they
did random crowd shots!
Gives you a good idea how empty it was (made for an interesting echo).
You can see my name on the far right on the ribbon scoreboard!!
Picture the Indians took.  They had a photographer who took
several shots while I was singing and I selected this one
Singing on the scoreboard and looking all stretched out!

1 comment:

Tiff said...

Cool, Jon! Glad the night was great.