Island sisters start the ballgame
Holly Rizzo (left) signs and she and her sister,
Trin a, sing the National Anthem.
SUN PHOTO/TOM VAUGHT
Leaving the Island for McKechnie Field on the eve of arguably the business holiday of the year in Manatee County is something only a die-hard baseball fan would endure.
Holly and Trina Rizzo, of Holmes Beach, went for another reason. – to sing.
The talented sisters were invited to sing the National Anthem before the Pittsburgh Pirates’ spring training game with the Cincinnati Reds Friday before a sellout crowd.
The weather was perfect; the sun was shining and the temperatures were in the low 70s. The air smelled of hot dogs and the crack of the ball against the bat brought back a load of memories for anybody who ever fielded a grounder or swung at a high, hard one.
The Pirates were honoring the Boys and Girls Club of Manatee County and there was a check presentation before the game. The club was $30,000 richer, thanks to the Pirates.
After ceremonial first pitches by members of the Boys and Girls Club, it was time for the Rizzos to step up to the mic.
The two sisters, dressed in pastels and wearing their red tennis shoes, followed the American Legion Honor Guard to an area behind the batter’s boxes and began to sing.
Trina held the mic as Holly signed the words to the song and their voices, trained and strong, mixed perfectly as they sang. After the last stanza, the crowd erupted in applause. The two looked shocked for a split second until they realized the ovation was for them. Trina politely returned the mic to a Pirates assistant and everyone on the field congratulated them. The kudos continued as they made their way to their parents, Natalia and Tony, in the stands behind home plate.
"It was really fun," Trina said after they got back to the Island. "It was different and we would do it again if we were able."
The two auditioned for the performance earlier this year. Trina, who is now in middle school, has had several musical performances in plays around Manatee and Sarasota counties and her younger sister, Holly, is a fifth-grader at Anna Maria Elementary School.
Their father said that they put the performance on You Tube. If you want to see it, go to www.youtube.com. In the search window, put holly trina.