Major League Baseball has used the seventh-inning stretch to pay tribute to service members during this year’s World Series, with representatives from various branches singing “God Bless America” in front of packed crowds and millions watching at home on network television. Sunday night was Army Sgt. Christine Permenter’s turn, for example, and the Game 1 singer, former Marine Sgt. Dan Clark, brought down the house with his rendition … and nearly melted the Battle Rattle blog’s servers for doing it while wearing a borrowed uniform.
Saturday night, for those who may have missed it, was the Navy’s turn. The fleet’s representative didn’t disappoint:
Retired Navy Counselor 1st Class Generald Wilson is no stranger to the St. Louis sports-singing scene — that’s him on the right, knocking out the same song during the 2012 National League Championship Series between the Cardinals and the visiting San Francisco Giants.
His big break, according to a Navy.mil news release, came in 2003, when the then-Reserve recruiter belted out the national anthem before a St. Louis Rams-Baltimore Ravens game on a Monday night as part of a Veterans Day ceremony.
“I’ve been singing in front of people since I was 5,” Wilson said at the time. “But you always have to remember who you are and where you came from. There is always someone out there who is better, so we all need to be thankful for what we have.”
In 2009, his rendition of the anthem kicked off St. Louis’ Navy Week. In 2011, an Associated Press photographer caught this striking shot of Wilson singing the anthem before a St. Louis Blues hockey game.