Metallica are a Bay Area institution much like the Golden Gate Bridge and Coit Tower, so for the third consecutive year, the San Francisco Giants honored the band with a “Metallica Day” at their AT&T Park. The heavy metal crew’s annual celebration at the ballpark, held this season on May 2nd, featured drummer Lars Ulrich throwing out the first pitch, guitarists James Hetfield and Kirk Hammett performing “The Star-Spangled Banner” and Ulrich leading the crowd in a “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” sing-along, Blabbermouth reports.
“We are fortunate enough to live in the Bay Area and hook up with the Giants,” Hetfield, who served as public address announcer when it came time to read the starting lineups, told local rock station Live 105 of the tradition. “They are a bunch of local boys doing good and we are hopefully in the same department as that. It’s basically a fun night. Local people. Local music.”
As part of this year’s Metallica Day, which provided the group a little breather as they work on their new album, the band also filmed an amusing commercial where they hijacked the Giants’ locker room and replaced all the home white uniforms with “The Black Jersey,” a nod to their 1991 masterpiece The Black Album. The occasion marked the first time that the Giants have worn black jerseys at home.
Although they’re diehard Giants fans, AT&T Park isn’t the only stadium that has been graced with an in-game Metallica performance. In September 2013, the band made a surprise appearance at Yankee Stadium to play “Enter Sandman,” the longtime entrance song for New York Yankees closer Mariano Rivera, who was retiring at season’s end.