44 years ago in Detroit, José Feliciano's career was almost destroyed when he sang a soulful and unique rendition of the national anthem. Tonight in San Francisco, before Game 1 of the National League Championship Series between the Giants and the Cardinals, Feliciano felt the power of redemption.
The Puerto Rican legend had a preview of the love this past April in Miami, but that was the regular season. This is the postseason. More interest. Larger audiences. And kudos to Major League Baseball for giving Feliciano the second chance he has deserved since 1968.
For those who don't know about what happened in 1968, this video explains it:
Here is the broadcast from 1968:
Tonight in San Francisco, Feliciano sang his rendition again. MLB put on its main site and won't allow for video embeds, so you can click on the link here. However, if you don't want to go there, someone recorded it off their phone and uploaded it on YouTube here (we will see how long it will stay up, since MLB is paranoid with YouTube):
The reaction on Twitter has been one of joy, especially for those who know Feliciano's history. We did a Storify containing some of the initial reactions. Overall, they were extremely positive, with one or two haters, which will always happen. And what's up with the guy who called him the "Mexican Stevie Wonder?" Still, this was a night of triumph for one of our favorite artists ever.