SAN FRANCISCO — Jose Feliciano, introduced to the crowd as "the man who first stylized the national anthem," sang "The Star-Spangled Banner" before Sunday's game. In 1968, his jazz-infused version of the anthem at the World Series triggered a national uproar.
"They wanted to deport me," he said. "How can you deport a Puerto Rican from the United States?
"I opened the doors for people to express themselves."
On Sunday, Feliciano presented a guitar-driven interpretation of the anthem. Tony Bennett delivered a traditional rendering of "God Bless America" during the seventh-inning stretch.
Feliciano lives in Connecticut, where he roots for the New York Yankees and keeps tabs on the Boston Red Sox. He believes the Dodgers ought to take good care of Josh Beckett.
"Boston royally screwed up this year, by trading their whole club away," Feliciano said. The Dodgers "need to say, 'Listen, Josh, we want you to pitch for us. We don't want any of your antics. Just pitch. That's what you do best.' It's like me and my music. People don't want me giving opinions. They want me to play music."