Waino serenades Cards fans with 3 original songs

October 1st, 2023

ST. LOUIS -- Much like when he would take the mound and command the attention of everyone in attendance at Busch Stadium, Cardinals cornerstone  stepped up to the microphone late Saturday night and admitted some rare nervousness before debuting his new music.

“I never thought I’d be doing this here,” Wainwright said before performing a three-song set off his new album that is expected to be released in early 2024.

Wainwright, who announced long ago that this season would be his last as an MLB pitcher, took the stage a night after becoming just the fourth pitcher in MLB history to pinch-hit for a designated hitter. In his one at-bat, Wainwright received a thunderous ovation upon stepping out of the dugout and doffed his helmet to the crowd before smoking a 102.1 mph grounder to second base.

The 42-year-old Wainwright won his 200th game on Sept. 18 by shutting out the rival Brewers over seven innings. Bothered by back and shoulder pain for weeks, the Cardinals ruled Wainwright out of pitching again, leaving time for such things as getting a pinch-hit opportunity and taking the stage to debut his budding post-baseball music career.

In a place where he closed out a World Series victory in 2006 and cheered on the 2011 World Series championship with the birds on the bat across his chest, Wainwright came out in jeans, a flannel shirt and a camouflaged hat. His playlist included “Hey Y’all” and “Time to Fly.” However, before singing “A Song Will Bring You Back,” Wainwright chucked his green camouflaged hat and donned a red Cardinals hat with the interlocking STL logo.

Out most of the 2015 season after rupturing his Achilles tendon early in the season, Wainwright picked up the guitar and passed the time by teaching himself to play. For years, he has recorded songs and jotted down lyrics and sent them to teammates and managers for their approval. He performed his first music set for fans last January in Illinois and ended up pulling manager Oliver Marmol on stage and made him promise to fans that he would give the pitcher an at-bat in his final MLB season. Wainwright also performed for his teammates earlier this season on a riverboat cruise in London as the team floated down the Thames River.