National and American League idols

National and American League idols

They have combined for nearly 10,000 hits in their Major League careers.

Now they've combined for another one.

New on the shelves is "Oh Say Can You Sing?", a CD/DVD featuring 11 tracks performed by past and present Major Leaguers. It's not atop the Billboard charts, and if someone plays it on the local clubhouse boombox, the featured players may be razzed. But it's at the Shop for $17.99, and a portion of the proceeds will be donated to the players' favorite charities.

Here's the news flash: This isn't your average karaoke bar.

If you can handle segueing from Indians outfielder Coco Crisp rapping his original "We Got That Thing" to Tigers reliever Matt Ginter's banjo on the Kentucky bluegrass song "Dooley," you will appreciate this album. It shows a side of 11 entertainers you never knew about, and it's licensed by Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association.

The album opens with Indians first baseman Ben Broussard handling vocals and acoustic guitar on U2's "With or Without You." Suddenly you realize that this guy, who rocks fastballs out of Jacobs Field, also rocks with a voice that has a hint of Eddie Vedder. The CD ends with Dodgers pitcher Kelly Wunsch performing John Mellencamp's "Hurt So Good."

In between are Reds first baseman Sean Casey ("How Do You Like Me Now?"/Toby Keith), Marlins outfielder Jeff Conine ("Plush"/Stone Temple Pilots), Crisp, Ginter, Devil Rays outfielder Aubrey Huff ("Letters from Home"/John Michael Montgomery), Padres reliever Scott Linebrink ("Wave on Wave"/Pat Green), Phillies shortstop Jimmy Rollins (rapping his original "Wish List"), Ozzie Smith ("Cupid"/Sam Cooke) and Giants shortstop Omar Vizquel ("Broadway"/Goo Goo Dolls).

"The overwhelming response has been totally positive," said Scott Schorr, who produced the album for Good Sports Recordings. "A special thanks must go to all our participating Major League players, who did an A-plus job."

Smith is the only former player among the 11. If you liked watching his son Nikko last until the late rounds of FOX's "American Idol," then you might want to hear the Hall of Famer try his hand.

How did all of this happen? Broussard explained: "Omar (Vizquel) called me in the offseason, and he told me that some guy was putting together a CD. Omar told him that I could play the guitar and sing. Omar gave him my number." Schorr called Broussard, who told him that Crisp had some musical talent as well. It grew from there.

Crisp's rhymes include:

any man try to walk in my shoes
guaranteed to give you playas
straight da blues
that chain you wearin
is dental floss to me
a sacrifice bunt's like
burnt offerin so
throw your hands up in the sky
and watch the way us playas fly

While a promotional tour isn't scheduled, players will go on the road to promote "Oh Say Can You Sing?" Huff will sign copies at the Devil Rays' Dugout Store (West Shore location) in Tampa on May 28.

Casey, who contributed a Toby Keith cover, said he especially liked Crisp's and Rollins' contributions, as well as Broussard's U2 cover. He said that his involvement in the album came unexpectedly.

"I didn't know him, but he apparently found out I love music," Casey said. "He came out to my house in the offseason. It was totally professional, the whole experience. We did it at a recording studio in West Palm Beach." Casey added that, after the experience, "I couldn't even talk for, like, three days."

Is a Grammy in his future? "I don't think so," he said, laughing.

Mark Newman is enterprise editor for Team reporters Anthony Castrovince and Justice B. Hill contributed to this story. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.