Red Sox hold National Anthem Auditions

Posted at 11:04 PM, Jan 17, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-17 23:04:06-05

Baseball fans heading to Jet Blue Park a little earlier than pitchers and catchers. However, it was lyrics instead of baseballs that were being belted in the park.

Over eighty people auditioned in person and another forty submitted video clips to have their shot at singing the National Anthem for Red Sox spring training. The selection committee has nineteen available positions.

"I mean a lot of great people, all different ages, you know from someone in the first grade, to folks in their seventies and eighties," said Matt Thome, one of the judges who has to help round out the spring training line up of singers.

Both the judges and singers say the National Anthem is a hard song to sing.

"A heck of a range and people are waiting for you to screw up the words. it's a little nerve racking, but it's fun," said Robert Bortman, who is trying to sing at Jet Blue Park two years in a row.

Some of the talent have a few games under their belt.

"I have played at all the spring training sites in Arizona and Florida and it will be nice to come to Jet Blue," said Jim Deopke, a trumpet player who has the goal of performing at all the parks across the country.

Others excited to make their major league debut.

"It's a huge thrill. It's one of our favorite things to do so we are really good in the car," said Tracy Caruso, after she wrapped up her mother-daughter duet.

The Caruso team thinks they've hit a home run, but might balk at telling too many people about their audition.

"I have told a couple people, but she was like, 'don't tell anybody unless we get it'," said Tracy.

The selection committee says they will have their spring training singing lineup picked by the end of January. The singers chosen will also get tickets to Red Sox games for their families to watch them in action.