Land of the Free, Home of the Brave: Mudcat Grant's Odyssey to Sing the National Anthem

By Dan VanDeMortel

This article was published in the 2018 The National Pastime.

On October 4, 1970, at newly opened Three Rivers Stadium in Pittsburgh, before the Pirates hosted the Cincinnati Reds in the National League Championship Series, pitcher James “Mudcat” Grant, sporting muttonchop sideburns and an immaculate white pin-striped suit, took the microphone to sing the national anthem. Why was Grant singing the anthem? And how is that relevant today? The answers offer insight into a unique blend of accomplishment in both baseball and singing, both while navigating our country’s civil rights struggles. When San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick refused . . .

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