It wasn’t his normal pregame routine.
Normally, Steven Brault just stands quietly with the rest of the Pittsburgh Pirates during the national anthem before heading to the bullpen with the rest of the pitchers.
This time, though, it was Brault’s turn behind the mic.
Brault sang the national anthem on Tuesday night at PNC Park ahead of the Pirates’ game against the Milwaukee Brewers — his first time doing so in the major leagues.
Steven Brault sings the National Anthem tonight at PNC! https://t.co/rBDC48WXzV
— Pirates (@Pirates) June 19, 2018
“This is something I’ve always wanted to do,” Brault said before the game, according to MLB.com. “I’m really excited I get to do it. My grandma was always a big proponent of it. She really wanted me to take the opportunity that a lot of people wouldn’t have, to be able to sing then also be in the Majors right after it. I’m pretty excited.”
Brault has sang three times before — twice while playing in the minor leagues and once before a summer-league game. While he’s most known as a pitcher — he’s pitched in 19 games for the Pirates and compiled a 5-1 record in five starts this season — Brault has always been involved with music.
The San Diego native majored in music performance with an emphasis on vocal performance while in college at Regis University in Denver, has been in multiple musicals and sings in a band called the “Street Gypsies.”
“I’m excited for Steven, and I think Steven’s whole precept is that you can do other things and be happy with the other things you can do, the other gifts you can have,” Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. “I know Steven appreciates gifts. They don’t always have to be athletically inclined.”
Brault was immediately congratulated by high-fives from teammates and a handshake from Pirates president Frank Coonelly after his 80-second rendition on Tuesday night.
And now that he’s made the first move, Brault said he hopes to encourage others in the MLB to step up and sing the anthem, too.
“I know I’m not the only singer in Major League Baseball,” Brault said. “It’s a fun song to sing, a hard song to sing. Maybe it’ll encourage some other guys that are better than me to go and do it, too.”
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