Behind The ScenesMLB

John Kruk teams with Davisson Brothers Band for musical open

Plenty of baseball and hot dogs on ESPN platforms for the Fourth Of July

* ESPN is celebrating July 4 weekend by televising four Major League Baseball games, starting with a holiday tripleheader presented by ExxonMobil on Friday, July 3.

At 2:10 p.m. ET on Friday, the Miami Marlins and Dee Gordon will visit the Chicago Cubs and Kris Bryant. At 6 p.m., ESPN will air the first of two holiday weekend matchups in Washington D.C. between the defending World Series Champion San Francisco Giants – led by Buster Posey – and the Washington Nationals and Bryce Harper. In the nightcap, east meets west as the New York Mets will visit the Los Angeles Dodgers and expected starting pitcher, ace Clayton Kershaw, at 10 p.m.

For more details on ESPN’s baseball coverage including Sunday Night Baseball, visit ESPN MediaZone.

*WatchESPN and ESPN3 will have coverage of both the Men’s and Women’s Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contests on Saturday from Coney Island.

ESPN3 will carry the Women’s competition beginning at 10:50am ET, and then ESPN2 and WatchESPN will carry the Men’s competition live at noon ET.

Additionally, ESPN3 will also have an ESPN3 Surround iso cam for each competition featuring Miki Sudo for the women, and Joey Chestnut for the men.

John Kruk, ESPN Sunday Night Baseball analyst and former Major Leaguer, has joined forces with country music superstars Davisson Brothers Band to record a special track, titled ‘Right Here on ESPN,’ for the ESPN telecast “opens” during the July 4 weekend.

Kruk provides vocals for the song, which will serve as a slice of Americana and focus on baseball and the Independence Day holiday. Kruk and Davisson Brothers Band also have created customized renditions for each game.

Kruk shares with Front Row how merging his two passions — country music and baseball — is the perfect way to celebrate the Fourth of July holiday weekend.

How did you get involved with the Davisson Brothers Band?
I met them about seven years ago in Morgantown, West Virginia on a show that had what they considered celebrities and local music groups. I was in the green room and heard music down the hall and walked in and introduced myself. Chris Davisson handed me a guitar, taught me a couple of chords and we started playing and singing. I never had the desire to sing, but Chris really got me into it.

How did the opportunity to record a broadcast “open” for ESPN come about?
A few weeks ago, I was on the set of Baseball Tonight and was talking to [ESPN Vice President, Production] Jay Rothman and Phil Orlins [senior coordinating producer].

The conversation turned to music and I told them about a few songs I did with the band. Jay found the music and the next day asked if we could write one for the July 4 weekend. I called Chris the next morning, and he was like, ‘Yes! You’re the baseball guy so you write the lyrics and we’ll put the music to it.’ I went to West Virginia and the song just came together perfectly.

Tell me more about the song and how you got into country music.
When I was a player, during Fourth of July games I would see fathers and sons, mothers and sons, fathers and daughters and mothers and daughters together. Many fathers come to games reliving their Little League, college or high school days.

I’m 54 and I still haven’t grown up. When you talk to most players and former players, you realize that you don’t have to grow up. That’s how we got the lyric: kids of all ages.

At seven or eight years old in the late ’60s, my mom gave me a cassette tape with [country music legends] Roy Clark and Buck Owens and I loved the instruments and hearing them sing about life.

Ben Cafardo contributed to this post

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