10 MLB stars turned musicians

You know about Bernie Williams, but do you know about Mike Piazza's death growl?

February 17th, 2021
Art by Tom Forget

Full-time White Sox star and part-time rapper Yoán Moncada put out a music video on Wednesday. The song, "Desastre Personal (Personal Disaster)," is catchy and the music video will definitely warm you up during this miserably cold winter. As Moncada told MLB.com's Jesse Sanchez, "I’m a better baseball player that sings a little bit.”

The hair, the beach vibes, the outfit -- is that a bromper?!

Either way, it's cool that Moncada pursues his interests off the baseball diamond. Of course, he's not alone in the baseball-player-musician world. Here are 10 other ballplayers who've made music videos, recorded albums or just, you know, screamed angrily during a death metal chorus over the years.

Barry Zito

The former curveball artist is now a full-time country artist. He came out with an album called "No Secrets" in 2017 that reached the Billboard charts. He's said Giants coach and musician Tim Flannery was a "grounding force" when he expressed interest in making an LP, but if he had to form a band with teammates, there's one fellow Cy Young pitcher he couldn't do without.

"Tim Lincecum, with his long hair coming out of his beanie, he'd be the perfect bass player. He'd just stand back there with his eyes closed, just feelin' it."

Bernie Williams

Williams is probably the most successful of any baseball player to turn into a musician. I mean, just listen to that sweet, soulful guitar-plucking in the above clip from The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson. You'll want to hold up a lighter in front of your computer.

The former Yankees center fielder, who went back to school to get his music degree, has recorded songs with Bruce Springsteen and Béla Fleck, written a book with Paul Simon and been nominated for a Latin Grammy Award. He also performed one of the greatest national anthem renditions of all time at Yankee Stadium.

Bronson Arroyo

The former long-legged, World Series-winning pitcher came out with an album called "Covering the Bases" back in 2005. It included a spoken word poem by Stephen King, an appearance by then-Red Sox GM and very serious guitarist Theo Epstein and a compilation with Michael Landau. It was all cover songs, but Arroyo did a pretty great job -- just listen to "Iris" in the above clip and you'd think he was one of the Goo-Goo Dolls.

But if Bronson really wants to become a rock 'n' roll star, he NEEDS to bring back the cornrows.

Ken Griffey Jr.

"Ken Griffey is a singer, not a swinger, a def rhyme bringer."

Griffey is, of course, also a swinger. But not during this 1990's collaboration with rapper Kid Sensation. The song begins with Dave Niehaus' broadcast of Griffey's first homer and three verses from The Kid.

Deion Sanders

Yes, the former outfielder made a music video and it's even more Deion Sanders than you dreamed it could be. He actually made an entire album called "Prime Time" in 1994 -- it reached the No. 70 spot on the R&B/Hip-Hop charts. Critics, though, didn't care for it.

"...dual-sport superstar Deion Sanders didn't bring the same game to the recording studio as he did to the playing field ... it's not just for sports fans -- it's not for anyone."

Mike Piazza

This one doesn't take a whole lot of talent, but it's way too weird not to include on the list. Mike Piazza performed "death growls" on Black Label Society's song Stronger than Death. You can hear the horrifying sounds at around the 0:55 mark in the above clip.

Piazza is a well-known metal fan, and actually plays some mean drums in his spare time.

Hyun Jin Ryu

K-Pop is huge in Korea and Korea-born Blue Jays pitcher Hyun Jin Ryu may be just as big.

So, it's no surprise that the two pop culture forces teamed up to record a song in 2013. Listening to Ryu's dulcet tones (and his ability to rap about bank cards), you may wonder why he even chose baseball over music in the first place.

Dick Allen

Dick Allen was one of the coolest people to ever live. He hit tons of dingers, sported some amazing glasses and should be in the National Baseball Hall of Fame. Or maybe he and his group "The Ebonistics" should be in the Rock N' Roll Hall of Fame? If not for his smooth voice, than maybe just for his entrance before a Sixers game years ago.

“Here came Rich Allen. Flowered shirt. Tie six-inches (152 mm) wide. Hiphugger bell-bottomed pants. A microphone in his hands. Rich Allen the most booed man in Philadelphia from April to October, when Eagles coach Joe Kuharich takes over, walked out in front of 9,557 people at the Spectrum last night to sing with his group, The Ebonistics, and a most predictable thing happened. He was booed. Two songs later though, a most unpredictable thing happened. They cheered Rich Allen. They cheered him as warmly as they have ever cheered him for a game winning home run."

Ben Broussard

Ben Broussard had a pretty sold seven-year career in the Majors, but while he was playing, he was constantly strumming his guitar and writing music. He's released two albums -- one in 2005 and another in 2009 -- and even had his tunes featured in the teen drama South of Nowhere. He sounds a little bit like Dave Matthews, and says he was influenced by life on the road and traveling the countryside during his baseball days. Even weird old dudes on Chicago park benches inspired him.

"All my songs came from my experiences traveling the countryside playing baseball. I can remember sitting on a park bench in Chicago one summer -- that day I wrote a song about this odd man sitting close by who resembled Einstein."

Jimmy Rollins

While he was playing in Philly, Rollins created the Jimmy Rollins Entertainment Group and the label Bay Slugga -- influenced by hometown Bay Area rappers like Too Short and Digital Underground. The song was part of the legendary "Oh Say Can You Sing" album.

If you liked that J-Roll rap then you will most definitely like this one with Ryan Howard. It's a Take Me Out to the Ball Game remix and it should be played in the seventh inning of every game from here until eternity.