Anyone who is a fan of the arts (film, music, art, theatre) or sports have artists/performers/players that they consider their favorites and maybe even their “heroes” to an extent. My baseball hero and my musical hero were both in the news within a week of each other and it made me reflect on the day I got to see them at the same time in 1994.
Van Cliburn and the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra performed the first National Anthem in the new Ballpark that day and I thought it was awesome that pianos were allowed in the RBiA. His rendition of the Star Spangled Banner, found here, was a grand way to open the park and the new season. My dad pointed out that the man on the piano was someone I had heard of before on the radio but never seen and that I’d learn more about him as I got older. The more I did learn of his legacy later on, the more he became a musical hero of sorts for me. He recently passed away after a fight with bone cancer and I will forever be grateful for his musical influence.
19 years later, I get to say that one of my heroes is a Ranger once again and will get to pave a new Ranger legacy. The other is no longer with us, but his legacy will continue as well in the music community. I will eternally be thankful to both for a wonderful day that I can only dream my children will get to experience themselves. They both inspired a little 8 year old to pursue knowledge of music and baseball and I’m still eager to learn about both everyday.
Now, with all that being said:
Welcome back, Pudge.
Good bye, Van.
Sarah Powers is a Staff Writer for ShutDowninning.com. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @Power_Play86.