Awesome Coverage of Mike Rockin’ The Anthem

by Kathy Davis on May 20, 2009

Golly, there sure was a nice bit of coverage of Mike at the Mariners Vs. Angels game Tuesday May 19th.  Here’s a nice little recap of the night. Too bad the Mariners lost, though!

The official Major League Baseball site, reports that Mike took batting practice before the game. 

SEATTLE — A few hours before performing the national anthem at Safeco Field on Tuesday night, Pearl Jam guitarist Mike McCready put on a Mariners uniform, grabbed a bat and took some batting practice.

As a hitter, McCready is a great musician.

Mariners strength and conditioning coach Allen Wirtala fired some BP-speed pitches at the entertainer and most of the “hits” were of the infield variety.

McCready, who has had a strong desire to perform before a Mariners home game on his signature electric guitar, got his wish prior to Tuesday night’s game against the Angels in a promotion to raise money and awareness for the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America.

In 2002, McCready made public his 20-year battle with Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis and has since been committed to raising awareness and funding for CCFA.

“As a patient living with Crohn’s and colitis, the CCFA has played a huge part in helping me get the support and information that I need,” McCready said in a recent interview with Rick Turner of Health Talk.

The goal of CCFA Night at Safeco Field is to raise funds for the foundation and the Northwest Chapter, which actively supports more than 60,000 Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis patients living in the Northwest. In addition to raising funds, CCFA will be on-site to help raise general awareness of both diseases, which, due to severe symptoms, are often kept quiet.

The Seattle Times talked to Mike about taking batting practice:

The celebrities seem to be getting a little better for the Mariners these days. Tonight, they’ll have Pearl Jam lead guitarist Mike McCready strumming the national anthem. He’s doing it to raise awareness of the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America and this evening’s performance was arranged by that group’s Northwest chapter. McCready was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease roughly 20 years ago. I chatted with McCready a few moments ago and he showed off the batting stance he’d used taking some cuts in the cage.

Yes, he’s a left handed hitter. No, he isn’t in tonight’s lineup.

“I hit a few of them out,” he said, pointing just beyond the infield dirt.

What, you thought he meant the ballpark?

He’s played the anthem before, but never at a ballgame.

“So yeah, I’m a little bit nervous,” he admitted. “More like, excited. We practiced it a bit just before and it sounded great, so I can’t wait to play it.”

McCready has also taken BP before with the other band members.  He said bass guitarist Jeff Ament and lead vocalist Eddie Vedder were better hitters than him and that Vedder is probably the best in the group.

He was born in Pensacola, Fla. but his family moved to the Seattle area when he was still an infant. I asked him whether he was a lifelong Mariners fan.

“I wouldn’t say lifelong because I was more into football and basketball when I was younger,” he said. “But lately, yeah, as I got more into baseball, the Mariners were my team.”

Yes, he’s a left handed hitter. No, he isn’t in tonight’s lineup.

Some lovely photos:

Finally, here’s great footage of Mike performing the National Anthem. Doesn’t he look snappy in his Mariners uniform? His name on the back and number “59″ are a nice touch.  (Remember the scene in Immagine in Cornice of him talking about having the number 59 tattooed on his arm, because his favorite guitars are ’59 Les Pauls & ’59 Strats? I knew that you would. )

 Thanks Mirella from Bugs for the link!

Kathy Davis ( Twitter: @CrookedArm23 )
A Bay-Area based entrepreneur, co-editor Kathy conceives and writes her share of TFT’s articles and sections. She was co-editor/co-founder of one of the first Pearl Jam fanzines "Footsteps" (1992-1997). Kathy’s first Pearl Jam show was at the Bridge School Benefit on November 1, 1992.

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