By Rob Rains
Adam Wainwright spent Friday preparing – for what he knows will happen on Saturday, and for what he hopes happens on Sunday.
In the final weekend of his career, as a baseball player, Wainwright is starting the transition to his singing career as he is set to perform three of his original songs in a concert following the Cardinals game on Saturday night at Busch Stadium.
Wainwright, who has recorded an album that will be released early in 2024, will perform two of the songs from that album, “Hey Y’all,” and “A song will bring you back.”
His third song, “Time to Fly,” was finished after the album was recorded. It’s a song Wainwright wrote as a tribute to Cardinals’ fans.
“I spent two hours rehearsing this morning,” Wainwright said, “so if I botch it will just be because of nerves.”
Wainwright will be joined on stage by Gary Baker, who produced the new album, and Greg Barnhill. The two also performed with Wainwright when he sang the National Anthem on opening day.
Fans coming to the games on both Saturday and Sunday will receive a special code that will allow them to download two of the songs for free.
When he got to Busch Stadium Friday afternoon, Wainwright started preparing for what he hopes will be at least one final at-bat during Sunday’s game. He took batting practice on the field before the game, the first time he said he had hit against live pitching in two years. He did get one at-bat as a pinch-hitter and hopes to get at least one more.
The Cardinals have not revealed their plans for getting Wainwright at least one more at-bat, and it could hinge on whether the Reds have either clinched a wild card spot in the playoffs or if they have been eliminated.
It seems highly likely, however, that Wainwright will get another at-bat and perhaps even be used as the designated hitter for the game.
Wainwright hit his first of 10 career home runs in his first at-bat in the majors, on May 24, 2006 at San Francisco.
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, only three players have hit a home run in both their first game in the majors and in their final game – Eric Soderholm, Dave McKay and former Cardinal Will Clark.
None of them, however, did so on both their first at-bat and their last at-bat in the majors.
Technically Wainwright’s first home run did not come in his first game because as a relief pitcher, he did not bat in his first 16 career appearances.
During his batting practice round, he did not a home run.
Could Wainwright possibly hit a home run in his last game?
“That would be a cool story,” Wainwright said. “It won’t be an inside the park homer. I can promise you that.”
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