Former MLB pitcher Barry Zito was pretty well-known for his side hobby of singing and playing guitar. And now that he’s retired from baseball, he’s been able to devote so much time to it, it might just become a career: Zito is planning to release a country album. And the first single from it, which he posted last week to YouTube isn’t…bad! In fact, it’s pretty good. See what you think
BUT, Zito is far from the first athlete to also try their hand at music. He’s not even the first San Francisco Giant. Jake Peavy loves playing guitar–he’s even performed onstage with Sacramento artist Jackie Greene. And like Zito, Peavy’s tastes run toward country as well. Here’s Jake and a buddy using a stairwell for acoustics on a decent version of a Willie Nelson/Merle Haggard classic.
And Zito isn’t even the only former Oakland A: check out Nick Swisher, singing a song called Believe, which is the title track from a children’s album he recorded.
One of the most successful athletes-turned-musicians? The late, great former Sacramento King Wayman Tisdale, who became a very well-respected jazz bass guitarist, and released eight albums after his NBA career.
But, Wayman was literally all about that bass–he was primarily an instrumentalist. Not so with football great Terry Bradshaw
Or Troy Aikman
The NFL did produce at least one seriously legit singer/songwriter. Former all-pro defensive lineman Mike Reid, who’s written hits for the Judds (Born to Be Blue), Ronnie Milsap (the Grammy-winning Stranger in my House and others), Alabama (Forever is as Far as I’ll Go) and Bonnie Raitt (I Can’t Make You Love Me). He also kept a few for himself, like this hit from 1990
A lot of athletes have tried their hand at rap…Shaq, Kobe Bryant, Tony Parker, and another couple former Kings, Metta (Ron Artest) World Peace and…Chris Webber
Non-team sports have also produced a few aspiring singer/players, including a not-half-bad blues/rockin’ golfer John Daly
And boxing champion Manny Pacquiao
Still others went the commercial jingle route, like wrestler Hulk Hogan, who recorded, um, this for a Japanese air conditioning company.
And of course, Peyton Manning for, yes, Nationwide Insurance. Good luck getting this little diddy out of your head…
…and good luck with your music career Mr. Zito. Looks (and sounds) like a pretty level playing field to us!