11/01/09 9:05 PM EST
A Star-Spangled dream comes true
Air Force sergeant sings anthem; Carlton throws first pitch
By Brittany Ghiroli / Special to MLB.com
And her "biggest dream ever," to sing "The Star-Spangled Banner" preceding a World Series game, came to fruition at approximately 8:15 p.m. ET on Sunday night. Johnson, a United States Air Force staff sergeant, did the honors prior to Game 4 of the World Series between the Phillies and the Yankees.
"It one of those things you always want to do, but you never think you will get the chance," said Johnson, who was originally scheduled to sing "God Bless America," but got a phone call from the Phillies early Sunday afternoon asking her to switch.
"It's bizarre," Johnson said of her humble background. "Why am I doing [the anthem] instead of some famous person? It's just amazing for me to get to do this."
Stationed in nearby Willow Creek, the six-year military member has sung "God Bless America" at Phillies games eight times -- including Game 3 of last year's World Series -- and also had once opened the festivities at Citizens Bank Park with the national anthem.
But Sunday's honor, complete with fireworks and a raucous crowd of Philly Phanatics waving their white towels, was one that Johnson won't soon forget.
And given her record at Citizens Bank Park -- the Phillies were 9-0 in the previous games she has sang at -- Philadelphia would be wise to keep Johnson in mind should the Phillies win Sunday's game.
"Oh, I will make sure to remind them," Johnson said, laughing.
Following, Johnson's performance, the Phillies tapped World Series veteran Steve Carlton to throw out the first pitch. The former Phillies pitcher, a Hall of Famer who appeared in the Fall Classic with Philadelphia in 1980 and '83, threw the ball to current Phillies pitcher Jamie Moyer, who is injured and not playing in the postseason. Moyer made his Major League debut against Carlton on June 16, 1986.
Brittany Ghiroli is a contributor to MLB.com This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.