Alex Moreno makes Phillies history, becoming first Venezuelan to sing National Anthem at Citizens Bank Park
The Venezuelan singer performed the Star Spangled Banner prior to the Phillies game, which was also the 20th annual Goya Latino Family Night.
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Thursday night’s Philadelphia Phillies game against the Cincinnati Reds was significant for a variety of reasons.
Philabundance teamed up with the organization for the 20th Annual Goya Phillies Latino Family Celebration; and the late Ruben Amaro Sr., former Phillies player, coach and scout, became the 79th inductee into the Hispanic Heritage Baseball Museum Hall of Fame.
However, a first-time occurrence took place just prior to the first thrown pitch of the game.
For the first time in Phillies history, the singer of the national anthem was a Venezuelan native.
Alex Moreno took the mound before the game and performed the National Anthem in front of the 20,000-plus fans that filled Citizens Bank Park on Thursday.
“For me it is a great honor and a great responsibility, as an immigrant singing the anthem of this country is also a way of saying thank you, not only for me but for the entire Venezuelan community that lives in the United States,” Moreno told AL DÍA about what it meant to him.
While he holds the honor, he noted that it was also a vocal and psychological challenge to hit the notes of “The Star Spangled Banner,” however, he is proud of the job he did.
Upon arriving in the United States, it has been among his dreams to sing the national anthem at a large venue with thousands of people in attendance.
It just so happened to be at Citizens Bank Park for the Phillies, a team with two pitchers who are also Venezuelan, in José Alvarado and Ranger Suárez.
As a Venezuelan native, Moreno noted that it is a “general rule” to be a baseball fan, and praises the “impressive pool of baseball talent” and players of Venezuelan descent who have swung a bat, thrown a pitch, or placed their cleats onto the diamond throughout Major League Baseball history.
Prior to Thursday night, Moreno had never performed any national anthem in front of such a large crowd.
“In elementary schools in Venezuela it is a tradition that every single day before starting classes all students must sing the national anthem, and additionally I sang in the choir of my university and we sang the anthem of Venezuela in all events,” he said.
“As a soloist, I also did it in some events in my city, but never in a location like Citizens Bank Park,” he continued.
Last week, he was able to check this privilege off his list.
Moreno, however, is no stranger to performing in front of crowds.
On Sept. 17, he is set to perform a concert at Uptown! Knauer Performing Arts Center in West Chester titled, “Latin Romance in Concert.”
The Phillies beat the Red 4-0 on Thursday night to improve their record this season to 70-55. The team is third in the NL East, trailing the New York Mets and Atlanta Braves, and is currently in the wild card race.