Lifelong Kansas City Royals fan Joyce DiDonato sings the US National Anthem at the final game of the Major League Baseball World Series tonight, 29 October, where her home team meets the San Francisco Giants, attracting over 25 million viewers. This is the first time in 29 years the Royals have made the final, which will be played out in Kansas City’s Kauffman Stadium.
Her appearance is the result of a spectacular social media campaign started by fans using the hashtag #letJoycesing, which gathered immense momentum, pushing DiDonato to the top of the poll. She was first asked to sing at Tuesday’s Game 6, but said her prior commitments teaching a master class to middle-school students in New York took priority, stating: ‘I thought about it for two seconds, 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.’
DiDonato, who grew up in Kansas City as an avid baseball fan, remembers fondly her father taking herself and six siblings to watch the Royals play at home, for which her father had to save for months. ‘It was one of the biggest days of our lives as a family. It gives me goose bumps just thinking about it. Being able to sing if there’s a Game 7 and have a few of my siblings in the ballpark — it’s not just about the World Series; it gets very personal.’
In another twist, Joyce last night revealed that her new-born great-niece is the baby at the centre of the trending ‘world series baby’ story of a Kansas City couple who missed Game 1 to have their baby but returned to Game 6 with their new-born.
The coverage in the US starts at 19.00 (ET) on Fox Sport. In the UK it starts at midnight (GMT) on BT Sport Channel 1.
WS2014 Gm7: Grammy Award-winner Joyce DiDonato sings the National Anthem