On a night Madison Bumgarner further cemented his legacy as one of this era’s biggest money pitchers and Giants manager Bruce Bochy booked his ticket to the Hall of Fame, it was an opera singer who stole the show at Game 7 of the World Series on Wednesday night.
And it happened before a pitch was ever thrown.
Opera star Joyce DiDonato put quite a big checkmark on her bucket list, taking the field at Kauffman Stadium to sing the national anthem. And DiDonato did just fine, belting out "The Star-Spangled Banner."
But, as the longtime Royals fan from Kansas walked off the field, she tripped in the batter’s box. She managed to catch herself, but after regaining her balance, the Grammy Award-winning mezzo-soprano took another step or two and fell to the dirt, as dramatically as she might on the stages of the world’s greatest opera houses.
The 45-year-old DiDonato laughed at her misstep and the Kansas City crowd cheered her effort.
And she took it in good stride afterward, as well, as evidenced by her Twitter account.
One of the most wonderful experiences imaginable. Thank you ALL for #LettingMeSing!!! Now let's go Royals!!!
DiDonato earned the gig thanks to a social media campaign, according to The Oregonian. A Change.org petition drew more than 3,000 signatures, and subsequent media coverage increased the groundswell of support.
After taking her tumble following her singing of the national anthem, Joyce DiDonato plays good sport and takes a (modified) bow in front of the Kauffman Stadium faithful.
By the time the World Series headed back to Kansas City for Game 6, DiDonato was at the top of the list. But, according to The Oregonian, there was one little problem for the singer.
OK, there were four of them.
DiDonato told the New York Times, upon first being asked to sing at Game 6, that she could not because she already was committed to teaching a master class for four middle-school students in New York that day.
"I thought about it for two seconds," DiDonato told the paper, "but I just couldn’t do that to the students. If I was 13 like them and the class got canceled, I would cry for a month."
Of course, she did not expect there to even be a Game 6 when the Series started. Before Game 1, she told The New York Times, “The Series, I’m sure, will be over by then,” she said. “The Royals won’t need a sixth game.”
Before Game 5 in San Francisco, country singer Aaron Lewis messed up the lyrics to the anthem. Lewis, acclaimed as the lead singer of the metal band Staind, later apologized for the mistake.