A highlight–aside from the ballgame–at Wednesday’s first World Series game that left San Francisco Giants victorious over the Detroit Tigers was a San Francisco police sergeant belting out “God Bless America” during the seventh inning.
Sgt. Jerry D’Arcy, 58, who works out of the San Francisco Police Department’s Tenderloin Station, performed the patriotic ditty, something he’s done at previous home games honoring law enforcement and at other San Francisco events.
However, this was his first World Series performance.
Earlier this year Giants representatives had asked if he was available for the playoffs, but it wasn’t until Tuesday that he was called in to sing at Wednesday’s game.
“I was genuinely shocked,” said the 32-year veteran of the force.
He said once he got onto the field and up to the microphone he had to remind himself to stay on task and forget about everything else–except for the lyrics and the tune.
As a Bay Area native, he’s been a lifelong Giants fan and attended his first game at Candlestick Park when he was 8 years old, but he said despite several performances over the years he has yet to meet any of the ballplayers.
“I have my job, they have theirs,” he said.
He called Wednesday’s performance a “unique experience” and “a thrill,” especially since by the seventh inning the Giants had a strong lead — something he had hoped for so fans would be in good spirits.
He said his police colleagues, including his wife Sgt. Kim D’Arcy whom he met 22 years ago while they were both working in the Department’s narcotics unit, have been very open in sharing their pride for the singer, who is known around the station for his strong voice and singing background.
He said he started performing in his 20s and he studied singing formally for four years, but always suffered from extreme stage fright.
It wasn’t until he got involved with a church choir in Belmont that he was able to become a comfortable and confident singer, he said.
Since his 15 minutes of World Series fame, which D’Arcy says have been stretched out much longer, he’s gotten emails from grammar and high school classmates he hasn’t talked to in decades.
He said his mother has even received calls from Ireland, where his family’s roots are.
The sergeant, set to retire from the force in eight months, has been told he was better than the American Idol star Phillip Phillips who sang the National Anthem at the start of the game.
Other big-name stars will be singing for baseball fans at the upcoming series games at Detroit’s Comerica Park including singer Aretha Franklin at Monday’s possible Game 5.
At Sunday’s Game 3 Zooey Deschanel from the TV show “New Girl” and lead musician of the band “She and Him” will sing the “Star-Spangled Banner” for crowds.
Game 4 will feature pop star Demi Lovato, who is on the reality competition show “The X Factor.”
Games 6 and 7 could be back in San Francisco if the series is stretched out, with performers at those games yet to be announced, Giants spokeswoman Staci Slaughter said.
During the World Series, Giants team organizers work to find a local angle for the performances of “God Bless America” or “Take Me Out to the Ballgame,” while the “National Anthem” is organized through MLB, Slaughter said.
She said the Giants search for well-known celebrities who are big Giants fans throughout baseball season for the ballpark performances.
Sasha Lekach, Bay City News