ARLINGTON -- Pearle Peterson’s hometown of Sequim, Wash., only has eight stoplights and a population of a little over 8,000. So it would have been understandable if some nerves kicked in as she walked onto the playing surface at Globe Life Field and saw nearly six times that many people jam-packed into one place.
With all the focus squarely on her just minutes before the start of Game 2 of the World Series, Peterson -- who was representing the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Olympic Peninsula -- took a second while positioned behind home plate to soak in the atmosphere. Gathering herself, she delivered a flawless rendition of the national anthem.
“Upon finding out I was performing, I was super nervous,” Peterson said. “But oddly enough, I haven’t felt nerves today. Just knowing I have the support of my Boys & Girls Club back home and clubs all across America was enough to make me feel super comfortable.”
Peterson’s delivery of “The Star-Spangled Banner” drew a thunderous ovation from the sellout crowd. On her way back near the visiting dugout, Peterson was stopped by a group of kids asking for her autograph. She then returned to a group of family members, including her mother, Kelsie, who emotionally embraced her.
“Walking off and seeing my Mom crying was so emotional for me just knowing how proud my parents are,” Peterson said. “I never doubt it. But in that moment, it was just so fulfilling for me and meant so much.”
While Saturday was without question her most high-profile performance, Peterson has had plenty of preparation for this grand moment. Over the past year, the 18-year-old high school senior has had opportunities to perform across the country at multiple venues, including the Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s National Conference, Regional and National Youth of the Year competitions and the North Lake Tahoe summer performing arts production of “Footloose.”
Earlier this month, Peterson performed at a Boys & Girls Club event in New York, where her impressive vocals left a strong impression on a group of MLB executives in attendance.
“Singing for all of those events is what got me ready for this,” Peterson said. “I’m so thankful for the Boys & Girls Clubs and Major League Baseball for bringing me here today. I feel so proud to be able to put [Sequim] on the map.”
The contingent of support for Peterson was strong in Texas, though it was even stronger back home at the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Olympic Peninsula, where she has been a member for 11 years, participating in numerous club programs focused on leadership, skill building and community engagement.
“The Boys & Girls Club is a huge part of my life,” Peterson said. “They’ve raised me and helped me both academically and socially, and now, musically. The Boys & Girls club is my second family. They’re my home away from home. They’ve been there through everything for me and mean everything for me.”