Don’s love for baseball and music guarantees that the two will
somehow merge in his songwriting- and travels.
He takes every opportunity to support the game and its legacy.
Don’s song, 'April in the D,' has received national attention from Scott Miller of CBS Sports.com.
“Big congratulations to Don Middlebrook, tropical rock troubadour in Michigan, for being named a top 10 finalist in Fox Sports Detroit's "April in the D" music video contest (the celebrity judging panel was led by none other than Kid Rock). This isn't Middlebrook's first at-bat in the baseball song department, by the way. He wrote a classic a few years back about the Ted William’s head in the cooler fiasco called ‘Frozen in Arizona’."
The song ‘Frozen in Arizona’ (Changing Lanes CD) has been spun in Fenway Park, home of the Boston Red Sox.
Don’s 2011 music video titled, ‘April in the D’ (see below), is available on his TALESPIN CD/DVD. The lyrics of “April in the D” appear in the forward of the baseball-themed book, “Field of Screams” by J. D. Gordan.
Minor League performances:
Don Middlebrook performs at several minor league games every year:
Lansing (MI) Lugnuts (next - July 5, 2013)
West Michigan Whitecaps
South Bend (IN) Silver Hawks
Columbus (OH) Clippers
Major League performances:
Don and Greg ‘Fingers’ Taylor (formerly with Jimmy Buffet) have had the privilege of performing at Comiskey Park (now Cellular Field) for the Chicago White Sox, and in 2011, Don played at Comerica Park, home of the Detroit Tigers.
Every year Fox Sports Detroit sponsors an "April In The D" song/video contest. With hundreds of entries, this years' 10 semifinalists were selected by a celebrity panel led by Kid Rock. This was Middlebrook's first video effort and, low and behold, he made the TOP TEN CUT!! A Tiger fan as a kid, Don's entry captured moments of his youth as a lifelong Tiger fan.
By Dillon Davis | Published 03/02/11 9:09pm | Updated 03/02/11 9:14pm
East Lansing resident Don Middlebrook is one of 10 semifinalists in the April in the D contest sponsored by Fox Sports Detroit. The music video he submitted features a country rock song he wrote about growing up as a Detroit Tigers fan.
From sitting at a picnic table with his father, listening to Ernie Harwell’s voice on the radio, to taking in a warm July evening at Comerica Park in Detroit, the Detroit Tigers always have been a big part of Don Middlebrook’s life.
Middlebrook, a Haslett resident and MSU alumnus, wanted to express his passion for his favorite team when writing a song to enter Fox Sports Detroit’s annual April in the D contest.
Through the use of images from his life along with pictures of some of his favorite Tigers players, Middlebrook’s country-rock music video celebrates his love of baseball and how it has intertwined with the progression of his life and family.
“I wanted this to be about what baseball meant to me, especially with the passing of Sparky (Anderson),” Middlebrook said.
“The point I want to make is it always makes you feel like a kid — I don’t think (any other) sport does that like baseball.”
The April in the D contest began in 2008 and was the brainchild of Fox Sports Detroit Senior Vice President and General Manager Greg Hammaren.
The idea behind the contest was to highlight the network’s busy programming schedule in April, which features the start of the Tigers’ season as well as the push to the playoffs for the Detroit Pistons and Detroit Red Wings.
Tim Bryant, director of media relations for Fox Sports Detroit, said the network was looking for a combination of a good song and creativity in the music video among the 50 submissions to the contest this year.
Bryant said the list was cut down from 50 to 20, and then Detroit musician Kid Rock, along with a panel of music critics and team representatives, whittled the list down to 10 finalists, including Middlebrook.
On Sunday, the contest will be trimmed down even further from 10 to three, and fans again can vote until March 20 for the winning music video.
Ricky Nalett, a DeWitt, Mich., resident and producer at L.A. Productions in DeWitt, was the producer and editor of Middlebrook’s song and video.
Nalett said Middlebrook’s situation as a finalist is similar to that of an American Idol finalist, and he hopes it will open doors for him in the future.
“Don is a very creative person and always has been,” Nalett said. “(He has) a very, very good business mind, and this is another vehicle to promote himself.”
The winner will receive a prize of $5,000 and have his or her song played during broadcasts of Tigers, Pistons and Red Wings games, as well as other programming during the month of April.
Bryant said the contest illuminates the dedication of the fans in the city and serves as an annual celebration of sports as well as the arrival of spring in Detroit.
“For Don, I will say this — to make it in the top 10 is his passion in the teams and his musical ability,” Bryant said. “It takes a lot of commitment, and we appreciate everyone who took the time to enter.”
Although Middlebrook said it would be nice to win, being in the top 10 and getting through the judging process has been a satisfying experience.
“You just put your heart and soul into what you believe,” Middlebrook said.
“I love the Tigers. Who can’t love April in Michigan when it starts changing back to normality?”
To vote, fans can visit foxsportsdetroit.com and pick their favorite submissions.