When The Field Meets The Fretboard: 5 Athletes Who Play Guitar

Here are five famous athletes who have opted to pick up the guitar in their spare time, and to show that not every interest or hobby needs to be the only one you devote time to.

There aren’t many times during the year when fans of different activities cross each other’s path. Most of the time people are so wrapped up in their own events and news that they forget there are so many other things that are out there. However, there are a few events that bring people of every background and interest to a mutual path because of cultural importance. There are a few that will always draw people to the television or gatherings, such as the Grammys, or the New Year’s Eve ball drop. Yet the Super Bowl, assumingely the most watched event of the entire year, draws in almost every single person because of the cultural weight it carries. Football fan, commercial lover, and music fan: there is something for everyone, and it’s something everyone can enjoy.

With the Super Bowl hastily around the corner, it’s important to acknowledge this amalgamation of culture not only for the enjoyment, but also for the fact that there are so many paths and interests crossing at the same time. One of these that is crucial is music, and it makes you wonder: are there any other times during the year that athletes look towards music?

Here are five famous athletes who have opted to pick up the guitar in their spare time, and to show that not every interest or hobby needs to be the only one you devote time to.

Alexi Lalas

Coming in first on our list is a favorite of fans of soccer, and particularly of the golden age of American talent in the sport. Most known for his work on Fox Soccer as an announcer, Alexi Lalas is a retired soccer player who is best known for being part of the ’94 United States’ soccer team in the FIFA World Cup. During Lalas’ college years he was part of a band called The Gypsies, playing guitar while also singing. He still plays with The Gypsies, and he has also released seven solo albums, which includes his most recent release Look at You (2019).

Manny Pacquiao

Our next athlete on this list is instantly recognizable no matter what you enjoy as an interest. Manny Pacquiao is a man of many, many, many talents. Most notably recognized as one of the greatest boxers of all time, Pacquiao is also a senator, basketball player, an actor, and a musician. His musical background is more focused on singing, but he plays guitar on some of his songs. His most recent release is 2015’s Lalaban Ako Para Sa Pilipino (I Will Fight For The Filipinos).

John Daly

Whether you are a golf fan or not, there’s a fair chance that you’ve heard of John Daly. From his infamous victory of the ’91 PGA Championship, to his impressive statistics, Daly is an icon when it comes to the world of golf. However, in addition to being a business mogul Daly also is an established musician. Releasing music with Darius Rucker, Willie Nelson, and Johnny Lee, the PGA pro has released two full length albums: My Life (’02) and I Only Know One Way (’15).

Chris Kluwe

Being the only NFL player on this list, Chris Kluwe has an impressive list of attributes and talents in his repertoire. Most famously known as a kicker for the Seattle Seahawks, Minnesota Vikings, and the Oakland Raiders, the now retired football player has pursued two different passion of his: writing and music. In 2013, Kluwe became a humor columnist for a sports website Deadspin, as well as focusing time towards his band Tripping Icarus, where he plays bass. An alternative/progressive band from Minneapolis, they have released an EP The Sideshow Sessions as well as three full-length albums: Perfect Citizen, Simulacrum, and Killing Time Between Disasters.

Bernie Williams

Rounding out the list might be the most technically advanced guitar player in this starting line-up (see what I did there?) Bernie Williams is a former professional baseball player who is most famous for his time with the New York Yankees. Commonly referred to as one of the greatest switch-hitting center fielders in the history of the sport, when Williams retired he decided he wanted to switch towards another goal. Williams is an exceptional classically trained guitarist, composing music with jazz, classical, pop, Latin, and Brazilian influences. Most recently having received a Bachelor of Music from the Manhattan School of Music in 2016, Williams has released two albums: The Journey Within and Moving Forward.

While this is only a very short list of the talented athletes who have crossed the bridge into the realm of music, this gives us a good sense of how important music is to people of different backgrounds and how our close our circles really come.

Are there any other athletes who have become musicians that you like? Let me know in the comments!

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One thought on “When The Field Meets The Fretboard: 5 Athletes Who Play Guitar

  • February 2, 2020 at 2:48 pm
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    I believe Cash and McEnroe were both guitarists in a band together. They did a gig in Wimbledon quite a while back.

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