Los Lonely Boys sing national anthem
In area for concert, band excited to be part of World Series
ST. PETERSBURG -- Having grown up in central Texas, in the small city of San Angelo, the Garza brothers -- Henry, Jojo and Ringo, also known as Los Lonely Boys -- admit they're more fans of football than baseball.
But judging from their excitement to be singing the national anthem prior to Game 2 of the World Series at Tropicana Field on Thursday night, it's clear they appreciated the magnitude and prestige that accompanies performing in such venues. Sporting events, especially the Super Bowl and World Series, bring out the kid in people, and that was clearly the case with this Texas trio.
"Being given a stage like the World Series, to sing in front of the world, you don't say no to that," said Henry Garza, the eldest of the three brothers. "If you're blessed with music like we know we are, you should be doing it."
The band is in the midst of a 13-city tour through Florida and Texas and was scheduled to perform at the Jannus Landing in St. Petersburg later Thursday evening, after the anthem. They're promoting two new albums -- "Forgiven," which came out in early July, and "Christmas Spirit," released earlier this month.
For this World Series performance, the band stuck to its plan to sing the anthem in its traditional form, abandoning any temptations to dress it up for dramatic purposes.
Good decision. Singing a cappella, the trio was so well received by the sellout crowd at The Trop that fans were on their feet cheering with around half of the song still remaining.
When they finished, they gathered for a group hug, saluted the fans and headed toward the area in front of the home dugout.
"We get a rush just singing the national anthem, because normally, we don't sing it," Jojo said. "As far as entertainers and musicians go, to be able to sing at this level is legendary. We feel really honored, really."
Added Henry: "Music's been our way of survival, and our No. 1 way to live. That's why when we say we're honored to sing at the World Series, we really mean it, because we've seen a lot of our heroes or just artists sing the national anthem."
The anthem was one of several events that comprised the pregame festivities. Gen. David Petraeus, incoming commander of the U.S. Central Command, threw out the first ceremonial pitch, which was delivered by Travian Blakley, a 13-year-old eighth-grader and member of the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Suncoast-Wood Valley Club in Clearwater, Fla.
Capt. Edward Torres, an Air Force Reserve from Eglin, Fla., was slated to sing "God Bless America" during the seventh-inning stretch.
Dallas Green, the manager of the 1980 World Series champion Phillies and currently a senior advisor to general manager Pat Gillick, read the Phillies' lineup on the FOX broadcast, while Tampa Bay Bucs head coach Jon Gruden presented the Rays.
Alyson Footer is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.