Chuck Hayworth was a last-minute fill-in for the scheduled singer, who had gotten sick, when he belted out "The Star-Spangled Banner" before a game between the Atlantic League's High Point Rockers and Sugar Land Skeeters in High Point, the News & Observer of Raleigh reported.
In a Facebook post, Hayworth said “the heat had gotten to me” and that his “leg began to cramp” in the middle of his performance.
“By no means was this any disrespect to our country or our organization, nor all those who serve it,” he posted.
“By no means was this any disrespect to our country or our organization, nor all those who serve it.”
Hayworth noticeably struggled, as he botched up the words, took long, awkward pauses and asked the crowd to chime in.
The Barstool Sports blog tweeted a video of the performance. As of Friday morning, it had been viewed 173,000 times.
The Rockers issued a statement saying “the rendition was not up to organizational standards” and offered apologies to “any and all Americans,” WFMY-TV reported. Team officials said several voice coaches have reached out to offer their services to Hayworth in hopes that he would like to redeem himself, the paper said.
The team said it would consider having Hayworth come back once he’s had a few singing lessons.
Other singers more notable than Hayworth have also struggled with the nation’s most well-known song. Roseanne Barr’s infamous singing of the “The Star-Spangled Banner” at a 1990 baseball game between the Cincinnati Reds and San Diego Padres is considered one of the worst -- and arguably, most disrespectful – renditions ever.
During her performance, Barr was showered with boos. She grabbed her crotch and spat on the pitcher’s mound afterward. President George H.W. Bush called her actions “disgraceful.”
Other less controversial, but cringe-worthy performances include track and field legend Carl Lewis and singer Fergie.