The 2011 "American Idol" winner began singing in a dead mic while the camera panned past him at St. Louis' Busch Stadium. By the time he got to "By the dawn's early light" producers pressed reset and the 18-year-old "Clear as Day" star revved up his now-trademark baritone warble. Watch:
On hand to watch the chart-topping teen were 46,406 red-wearing fans, including First Lady Michelle Obama and Jill Biden, wife of Vice President Joe Biden.
The notoriously tough song did trip him up once, when he appeared to swap "O say does that star-spangled…" with "No Jose does that…"
On national anthem duties for Game 2 will be country singer Trace Adkins, followed by another Nashville staple, Ronnie Dunn, in Game 3 in Texas. At Sunday's Game 4, the MLB is trading country for the smoky voice of hipster darling and Fox TV star Zooey Deschanel. The "New Girl" actress moonlights in indie pop duo She & Him.
The Cardinals and Rangers battled it out Wednesday night in Game 1 at Busch Stadium in St. Louis, with the Cards winning 3-2.