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Estefan starts Game 3 on right note
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10/21/2003 10:35 PM ET 
Estefan starts Game 3 on right note
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Gloria Estefan sings the national anthem as New York Yankees' Derek Jeter and Alfonso Soriano stand at attention. (Alan Diaz/AP)
MIAMI -- Considering her name was first linked with The Miami Sound Machine, it's only fitting that Gloria Estefan would be the first featured national anthem singer at a World Series game in south Florida.

Estefan, who went on to realize as much fame without her Sound Machine as Gladys Knight did without her Pips, gave a stirring rendition of "The Star-Spangled Banner" during the pregame ceremonies prior to Game 3 of the Fall Classic Tuesday night at Pro Player Stadium.

The festivities began with the on-field presentation of the Roberto Clemente Award to Seattle Mariners left-hander Jamie Moyer, followed by recognition of 11-year-old Madeline Barnicle, the winner of the Join The Major Leagues @ your library contest.

Participating in the ceremonial first pitch ceremony were members of the 2003 Boynton Beach, Fla., Little League Team, which captured the United States Championship before losing to Japan in the finals.

David Cintra, an 11-year-old from the Boys & Girls Club of Miami, threw out the first pitch.

After the introductions of the uniformed personnel of the New York Yankees and Florida Marlins and Estefan's performance, the bald eagle "Challenger" flew above the infield to close the pregame ceremonies.

"Challenger" is named in honor of the crew of the Space Shuttle and has been making educational appearances throughout the country since 1993. Acting as an ambassador for his species, "Challenger" has raised a great level of national public awareness about the need to restore and protect America's eagles, natural resources and environment.

"Challenger" is the only trained bald eagle in the U.S., and the only eagle in U.S. history that has been trained to free-fly into major league sports stadiums during the presentation of the national anthem. His appearance Tuesday night was his first since he became spooked by F-14 jets flying over Yankee Stadium during his flight prior to a Division Series game on Oct. 8.

For our middle-aged baby boomers, former teen heartthrob David Cassidy can still belt out a note or two. He was scheduled to sing "God Bless America" during the seventh-inning stretch. He already sang the national anthem during the Division Series between the Marlins and Giants at Pro Player Stadium.

Alyson Footer is a reporter for This story was not subject to approval by Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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