Michigan's stamp on pregame festivities

Michigan's stamp on pregame festivities

DETROIT -- Tigers fans who are lucky enough to score tickets to the first two games of the World Series will not only get an eyeful of their favorite baseball players, but will also receive an earful from some of the biggest names in music, past and present.

Michigan has produced its share of music legends, including Bob Seger and Anita Baker, who will take the stage at Comerica Park prior to Games 1 and 2 of the World Series, respectively. Seger will perform "America the Beautiful" before Game 1, and Baker will sing the National Anthem prior to Game 2 on Sunday.

John Mellencamp is also on hand to perform before Game 2. He'll sing his new hit, "Our Country," his first single from his upcoming 2007 album release, "Freedom's Road."

Mellencamp will be joined on stage by Little Big Town, the country music group that also provides backup vocals on the recording of "Our Country." The performance will be shown live on FOX.

Seger, who has sold more than fifty million records, recently released his first studio album in eleven years, "Face The Promise." The album, which debuted last month at No. 4 on the Billboard 200 album chart, features eleven Seger originals, including duets with Patty Loveless and Michigan native Kid Rock.

Seger, with his signature richness, embodies the rock and roll seductive sounds for which Detroit remains famous.

Multiple Grammy Award winner, composer, producer, mother and all-around superstar, Baker, who was raised in Detroit, is counted as one of the most popular soul and R&B singers of our time. Baker, who got her first break with the popular Detroit group Chapter 8, has won eight Grammy Awards alongside numerous Soul Train, NAACP Image, Billboard and Rolling Stone Awards.

Baker is known for classic greats such as, "Giving You The Best That I Got," "Just Because," and "Fairy Tales." Baker has collaborated with countless musical greats including Babyface, Frank Sinatra, Kanye West, The Winans and Stevie Wonder.

Mellencamp's "Our Country", written over a year ago, has been part of all of his concert performances of late and is part of the marketing campaign promoting the new 2007 Chevrolet Silverado.

Chevrolet, the official vehicle of Major League Baseball, will debut a new commercial featuring "Our Country" during Game 1 of the 2006 World Series.

"I wrote this song to tell a story about some of the challenges our country faces and how our beliefs and ideals can help us meet them, a message of hope and tolerance," Mellencamp said. "It's a song that is all about standing up for the working people who are the backbone of our nation."

Over the course of his career, Mellencamp has sold more than 40 million albums and has earned 15 Grammy nominations. In 2001, he was awarded Billboard's highest accolade, the Century Award for distinguished creative achievement, and was the recipient of the 2003 Woody Guthrie Award. An advocate for the American farmer, he helped found Farm Aid in 1985 with Willie Nelson and Neil Young. Mellencamp, who lives and records in Bloomington, Ind., is an artist for and of the American heartland.

The pregame festivities won't be limited to musical acts. A slew of Tigers legends are expected to appear, beginning with Al Kaline and Willie Horton, who will throw out the ceremonial first pitch before Game 1. They will be accompanied by Tigers owner Mike Ilitch.

Sparky Anderson, Hall of Fame manager of the 1984 World Series champion Tigers, will throw out the ceremonial first pitch before Game 2. Members of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Southeastern Michigan will deliver the first game ball to the mound at Games 1 and 2.

At Game 1, the Boys & Girls Club member will be accompanied to the mound by Ernie Harwell, longtime voice of the Detroit Tigers and member of the Radio Hall of Fame. At Game 2, the Boys & Girls Club member will be accompanied to the mound by Alan Trammell, MVP of the 1984 World Series champion Tigers.

Alyson Footer is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.