CHICAGO (CBS) — One special singer brought his spectacular talents all the way from the Big Apple to LaGrange Park.
On a little league pitcher’s mound in LaGrange Park, Daniel Rodriguez performed the Star Spangled Banner.
Rodriguiez is known as “The Singing Policeman.”
The 11 and 12-year-old players on the baselines weren’t bored when Rodriguez sang for the world at Prayer for America and the first New York Yankees home game after 9/11.
Rodriguez, a then New York City Police Officer, was at Ground Zero in 2001.
“I witnessed the Towers coming down,” he said.
Already a singer, he kept performing, helping New York and the country move forward after the national tragedy. It also helped him, he says.
“That was the beginning of my healing as a first responder, as a New Yorker, as an American, as a human being,” said Rodriguez.
Ground Zero is where he met local retired officer, Jack Kielcynski.
“He’s a dear friend of mine,” Kielcynski said.
Kielcynski asked Rodriguez to sing at his grandson’s little league game. Rodriguez happily agreed.
“It was very heartwarming,” said a little league player.
“What a gift it is to our kids and to our community,” stated a parent of a player.
Rodriguez said, “I never miss an opportunity like this. Especially when kids are involved and when friends are involved.”
He says he still performs at professional sports games and venues all around the world.
He retired from the New York City Police Department in 2004.