ST. LOUIS – Adam Wainwright is an established veteran in one career, but completely new to another. The longtime St. Louis Cardinals ace will soon take his talents to a live music stage.
Wainwright headlines a benefit concert Monday in Springfield, Illinois, through his charity Big League Impact. Hundreds are expected to gather for the show at Boondocks Pub. Music stars Gary Baker and Greg Barnhill will join Wainwright on the floor.
To some extent, it’s business as usual for Wainwright.
“I’m going to go into it expecting to be locked in like I’m pitching,” said Wainwright. “That’s how I get ready for things.”
To another degree, it’s uncharted territory.
“I’m so much more worried about singing tomorrow than I have ever been for any baseball game in my life,” said Wainwright. “I was nervous singing for 75 people before that. Tomorrow’s going to be in front of 750. I don’t even know what that’s going to be like.”
Like his Cardinals journey, Wainwright has made early strides in producing music. Big League Impact notes he spent the offseason recording 17 original songs in Muscle Shoals, Alabama.
Much of the baseball world first publicly learned of Wainwright’s music endeavors during a Sunday Night Baseball start against the Atlanta Braves last year. ESPN introduced fans to a Wainwright-made hit titled “Sounds Real Good To Me” in late-August.
“I know we have good songs and good music. I’m worried I’m going to talk too much and won’t have any voice when I go out to sing,” Wainwright joked with media members at the Cardinals Winter-Warm Up.”
Wainwright picked up guitar as a hobby during the 2021-22 offseason, particularly during the MLB lockout. In one of his earliest recordings last March, which gained attention via Twitter, Wainwright expressed optimism when it first seemed the lockout might eliminate parts of the season.
From then on, he gained support of Baker, Barnhill and many other musicians.
“The best of the best songwriters in the world,” said Wainwright. “They’ll be singing with me, some backgrounds and harmonies with me. They’re definitely improving my guitar skills, covering my guitar skills with theirs. We’re going to have a great time.”
Wainwright expects to play around 8-10 songs on Monday. The concert is a ticketed event and starts at 5:30 p.m. He will sign autographs for several fans in attendance as well.
This year will also mark Wainwright’s final MLB year, which he reiterated with his comment “This is it!” on Sunday. Wainwright, a 2006 World Series champion, is third in St. Louis Cardinals’ history with 195 wins, fourth in games started (386) and second in strikeouts (2,147) with a 3.38 career ERA.