Former Juneau resident Anna Graceman isn’t throwing out the first pitch at tonight’s Seattle Mariners home opener, but she will be bringing the heat to her national anthem rendition in the ball club’s SafeCo Field. Or maybe it will be a change-up.
“Yeah,” Graceman said with a small laugh about the baseball metaphor. “Just a little bit.”
Graceman stated that the national anthem, The Star Spangled Banner, is a hard song due to the wide ranges, from a low start to really high pitches.
“The actual song is a whole octave,” Graceman said. “It is really a challenge because of that. Also, it is really hard to sing because it means so much to our country and it is such an amazing song that you really need to sing it with feeling. So that is another challenge. It has always been a song that I have liked to sing and I have always liked to challenge my self with a song. I always practice it and I really like the song a lot, it means a lot.”
Graceman said she practices the National Anthem every day for over an hour.
“I do like to change the song up and make it a little bit more of my own,” Graceman said. “I like to change things up and make it challenging for myself so I do little rifts and runs and make it different.”
Seattle Mariners’ public information personnel saw Graceman’s finalist performance on America’s Got Talent recently and her multi-million viewed YouTube videos and asked her to sing.
“I felt really honored and I am really excited about singing the national anthem,” Graceman said. “I do like baseball. It is probably one of my favorite sports to watch and play. I have never played on a team but I really like playing it for fun and we play it at home with family. But really the only thing I have ever played is the piano.”
And as far as other baseball songs on the piano Graceman sticks to the one-two punch.
“I know Take Me Out To The Ball Game but that is pretty much it,” Graceman said.
“But I really do like the Mariners, I think they are great. I think they are going to win. After I sing I get to watch the game, which I am really excited about. It will be the second baseball game I ever got to watch in person and I am really excited. I watched the Diamondbacks with family in Arizona.”
Graceman is currently residing in Arizona where she is recording an album.
The Graceman’s will visit with family and friends in Seattle as well, enjoying the similar weather that Washington State shares with her hometown of Juneau, Alaska.
“I really miss a lot of family and friends,” Graceman said of Juneau. “I really miss how beautiful it was and it really is a lot of the inspiration for a lot of my songs… how beautiful it is. It is still my home and it is beautiful there and I love it.”
Graceman won’t be in a Seattle uniform when she sings but she will certainly be a tough act to follow for the Mariners.
“I will be dressing pretty nice though,” Graceman said. “I think I will wear a Mariners’ hat when I am watching the game.”
As to that secret “pitch” Graceman will let loose from the diamond as she takes on the two professional teams standing along the base lines, the opening day crowd standing with hands on hearts, and the millions of viewers awaiting the beginning of America’s pastime?
Like a true major leaguer Graceman isn’t giving away any trade secrets.
“Oh it is just a little surprise,” Graceman said with an assured cunning.
If a sports fan didn’t know she was just 12, a sports fan would think Graceman had a pinch of chewing gum in her cheek, black chalk under her eyes, a mile-long scouting report of the opposition, and was staring roughly 60-feet down from the rubber to the catcher’s glove.
Anna Graceman’s national anthem performance will be shown live on the Seattle Mariners website, www.Mariners.com at approximately 6:50 p.m. PDT (5:50 Alaska).
Fans may want to get on their computers a little earlier just to navigate the site as the streaming will start at 6:30 PDT (5:30 Alaska) with pregame activities. They will include popular former Mariner Mike Cameron throwing out the first pitch, the annual first run around the bases of Safeco Field by 12-year-old Make –A-Wish recipient Olivia Hanstad of Mount Vernon, and a video of a game ball that has made a trip around the Northwest and photographed in well-known locations with noted area residents.
Anna Graceman’s performance will also be archived on the Mariners site so fans can view it again later.
ROOT SPORTS will also carry a live one-hour pregame program beginning at 5 p.m. Alaska time, but due to issues between ROOT SPORTS and G.C.I., Juneau residents may not be able to find a television viewing option. While ROOT SPORTS is doing a pregame, they plan to break for a commercial and will exclude the anthem.
Said Seattle Mariners Director of Public Information, Rebecca Hale, “We definitely want to make sure our fans (and Anna’s) in Alaska can see her. We will use our in-house feed so the anthem will be on the live web-stream.”