Although Julienne Irwin
was not hailed winner of the second season of America's Got Talent
, she was able to fulfill a dream she aspired long before becoming a finalist on the NBC reality program. As a baseball fan, the 14-year-old singer from Bel Air, Maryland had set her eyes on singing the national anthem at a Baltimore Orioles game. Fantasy turned into reality when she was given the opportunity to perform at the Orioles-Red Sox matchup on Sunday, September 9.
Irwin's interest in baseball sparked at an early age while watching television with her father. Eventually, she and her father followed the Orioles to many games, traveling to cities with historic baseball stadiums.
"We usually attend 10 home games a year," Irwin, who saw several major league baseball games while in Los Angeles, competing on America's Got Talent
, told Baltimoresun.com. "I watch all of the games on TV."
Monica Pence, director of public relations for the Orioles, learned about Irwin's dream during an episode of America's Got Talent
"We saw the show and we wanted to help her fulfill her dream," Pence said. "We were happy to do that… It's a neat story to have someone locally do so well."
Irwin, who ranked 4th place on America's Got Talent
, caught the attention of viewers with her rendition of songs like "How Do I Live" by LeAnn Rimes and "Over the Rainbow" by Judy Garland to name a few. However, many fans consider her performance at the baseball game as her most memorable.
Prior to her performance, Irwin displayed signs of a typical awe-struck teenager when she briefly conversed with Orioles starter Melvin Mora. When it was time to perform, she showed a sense of poise and maturity just like she did during her stint on America's Got Talent
"That song is hard to do," Irwin, who was draped in an Orioles jersey with her last name on the back, revealed. "I was worried about forgetting the words."
Her mother, Marcia, nervously watched her daughter sing from a skybox with a group of family and friends.
"There was a knot in my stomach the size of a football," Marcia said. "She's talked about this since she was 5 years old."
Rhonda Fraczkowski, the mother of Irwin's closest friend, Morgan, described her rendition of the national anthem as "awesome."
"It was so natural," Fraczkowski said. "It was a dream come true."
-Kris De Leon, BuddyTV Staff Columnist
Source: Baltimore Sun
(Image courtesy of Baltimore Sun)