A Cleveland man took the field on Friday, Sept. 16, at Minute Maid Park in Houston to perform the National Anthem before a crowd of 40,000 baseball fans before the start of the Houston Astros game against the Oakland A’s.
Daryl Cloud, a member of the Cleveland VFW Post 1839 Auxiliary, was asked by Post members to audition because he could “hit the high notes.”
“I was the only one they knew who could do it, so I sent in an audition tape and voilà, here we are now,” said Cloud.
The Sept. 16 game was a tribute to the Prisoners of War and Missing in Action (POW-MIA), and to celebrate America, according to Cloud.
For years, Cloud was the lead singer for the now-defunct Texas Roadrunners Band. These days, he sings in the shower, for family members and friends, and before the congregation at Cleveland Cowboy Church, where Cloud and his wife, Lisa, are members. No stranger to the stage, Cloud admits he still was nervous walking out onto Minute Maid field.
“Once I got to the field, I was fine and had no problems. I had practiced the song 223 times, so the performance on the field was the 224th time. I had really prepared for it. The biggest thing for me was to not forget the lyrics,” he said.
Also challenging for Cloud was the half-second vocal latency delay.
“When you start to sing at the game, there is a delay from when it comes out through the speakers. If I had listened to that, I would have really messed up, so I closed my eyes, paid no attention to that, and just sang the song,” he said.
Cloud said it was the honor of a lifetime to be invited to sing before a game for his beloved Astros team.
“It was amazing. I want to thank to the Houston Astros organization for the opportunity, a wholehearted thank you to them. Go, Astros!,” he said.
To watch his performance, go online to: https://www.facebook.com/100034250295127/videos/479222674064241/