Cardinals great Adam Wainwright belts out US national anthem before St. Louis’ Opening Day game against Toronto Blue Jays, just nine days after representing Team USA at WBC
St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Adam Wainwright belted out ‘The Star-Spangled Banner’ ahead of Thursday’s Opening Day matchup against the Toronto Blue Jays, just nine days after the US’ stunning defeat to Japan at the WBC title game.
The 41-year-old MLB veteran was expected to start the Cardinals’ first game of the 2023-24 season on the mound, but was replaced by Miles Mikolas after sustaining a groin strain while on duty with Team USA.
Wainwright will now likely sit out for ‘several weeks’, St. Louis manager Oliver Marmol told reporters last week.
That didn’t matter to the home crowd, however, as Cardinals fans were desperate to get their 2006 World Series champion involved in what could very well be his last Opening Day.
The public announcer at Busch Stadium raised a few eyebrows when he said an ‘up-and-coming singer’ from St. Louis was taking center stage, and fans went wild once they realized it was the three-time All-Star.
St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Adam Wainwright belted out the U.S. national anthem on Thursday, ahead of the team’s Opening Day matchup against the Toronto Blue Jays
Cardinals fans were both stunned and delighted to see their local hero take center stage
The righty didn’t disappoint in his cameo appearance, singing in tune with two guitarists by his side.
Wainwright – a two-time Gol Glove Award recipient – had a chance to retire last season along with other Cardinals greats, such as Albert Pujols and Yadier Molina, though he chose to play for one more season.
He pitched to a 3.71 ERA in 32 starts last season.
Wainwright is fondly remembered in St. Louis for closing out for the 2006 World Series against the Detroit Tigers. Coming up as a reliever that year, he was finally integrated into the Cardinals’ pitching rotation afterwards.
Wainwright represented Team USA at the WBC earlier in March (seen pitching against Cuba)
Wainwright, 41, was the closing pitcher in 2006 when the Cardinals won the World Series
The Georgia native then turned into a two-time NL wins leader before winning the Silver Slugger Award in 2017 and Roberto Clemente Award in 2020.
Wainwright has a career 3.38 ERA and was a finalist for the Cy Young Award in 2009, 2010, 2013 and 2014, even though he never won baseball’s ultimate pitching prize.
The Cardinals are expected to reach the postseason again this year after winning the NL Central title in 2022, potentially giving Wainwright one last title to add to his already extensive resume.
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