Santa Clarita resident Kelly Packard marked the beginning of Wednesday’s National League Championship Series playoff game between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Milwaukee Brewers at Dodger Stadium.
Known for her eight-year stint as April Giminski on the NBC television show, “Baywatch,” Packard sang the national anthem in front of a crowd of nearly 50,000 people.
“It is a bucket list item for me to be here,” she said. “I’m a huge Dodger fan.”
Packard said singing the national anthem is a special and sacred occasion and she often struggles to contain the tears that accompany the moment.
“It’s almost emotional every time I sing it,” she said. “I don’t take it for granted.”
The actress’ husband, Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital Emergency Medicine Dr. Darrin Privett, was in attendance and praised his wife for her courage to sing on live television.
“She is such an amazing person,” Privett said. “I’m definitely a very lucky guy. We both are very patriotic and love our country and what the flag stands for. We also love the Dodgers. So to see her to be able sing the national anthem was very special.”
Wednesday’s game wasn’t the Canyon High School alumna’s first time belting “The Star-Spangled Banner” at Dodger Stadium. She’s been invited each year for the last four years including a game in October 2015 when she sang before the Dodgers took on the San Diego Padres.
“It was pretty awesome,” Packard said. “I had the fortune of singing five times now but this was definitely the highlight, singing at a playoff game.”
Packard hopes to reach children in the community by encouraging them to pursue their dreams.
“Kids out there just need to know they can do whatever they put their minds to,” she said.
The Dodgers won Tuesday night’s lengthy Game 4 of the NLCS against the Brewers 2-1 when Cody Bellinger singled in Manny Machado in the bottom of the 13th inning to tie the series at two games apiece. On Wednesday, the Dodgers took a 3-2 series lead with a 5-2 win as the series heads back to Milwaukee for game 6 and game 7, if necessary.