FORT MYERS, Fla. – One local man has a big goal in mind, to play the National Anthem in all 30 Major League Baseball stadiums.
When Jim Doepke retired as a band instructor he created “Anthem Across America.”
Doepke has been playing the trumpet since fifth grade. He started playing “The Star-Spangled Banner” at Florida Gulf Coast University games a few years ago.
Kevin Thurman, the marketing and promotions coordinator for FGCU Athletics says, “there’s something special about standing out on the field, on the court, on the diamond, wherever it is.”
Doepke says he started playing in the stands at Miller park in Milwaukee.
“Somebody from the Milwaukee Brewers came down and they actually gave me a card. They said they liked me to come to all the games as a guest of the team and perform in the stands.”
Thurman says, “to get him to do that across the nation at all the ballparks would be an awesome, not just for him but for the fans of major league baseball.”
So far, Doepke has played at 11 total stadiums including Fenway, Camden Yards and Kauffman. That doesn’t include that Doepke has played in all of the spring training facilities, both in the Cactus League and Grapefruit League.
But reaching all 30 has its hurdles.
Doepke does this all on his dime, which makes it nearly impossible for him to get into certain stadiums including his favorite in St. Louis.
“Unfortunately, it’s one of the parks that requires the group. I’m hoping that at some point and time, somebody will get me into the Cardinals stadium.”
If you would like to know about Jim’s goal to reach all 30 MLB stadiums check out his website, Anthem Across America.