Ali Berke of Oceanside is setting out to perform "The Star-Spangled Banner" at all MLB parks. Credit: James Escher, Stan Godlewski

Before the lights at Barclays Center lit up the game between the Washington Mystics and the Liberty on Sunday, they first beamed down on a solitary figure at center court gripping a microphone.

“O say can you see, by the dawn's early light,” 23-year-old Ali Berke, of Oceanside, sang in a stirring rendition of the national anthem as fans stood at attention.

Parents and children alike, some resting their hats near their hearts, erupted in applause when Berke's finish of “and the home of the brave” ended only after she held the final note a touch longer.

“It was amazing,” Berke said shortly after her performance. “The crowd was so receptive, and they seemed like they really enjoyed it, so that makes me super happy. It couldn’t have gone better.”

Far from a lark or a one-off, Sunday's performance in Brooklyn was Berke's latest in front of fans and, she said, definitely not her last. 

Her inspiration came, naturally, at a ballpark.  

After she booked a performance last season at Fenway Park in Boston, Berke said: “I started thinking, 'How cool would it be to sing for all the Major League teams.' It doesn’t look like anyone has done it before.”

Berke, a singer and songwriter who has opened for performers such as the late Aaron Carter and Backstreet Boys' A.J. McLean, has set a goal of singing the anthem at all 30 Major League Baseball ballparks.

Her father, Jack Berke, a sports memorabilia dealer and agent, is serving as her manager and has booked pregame anthem performances later this season at Wrigley Field in Chicago and at two stadiums in Southern California: Petco Park in San Diego and about 90 miles north on the freeway, Angel Stadium in Anaheim.

“Her passion for singing is amazing,” Jack Berke said. “They’re all tough to get into. ... We’re on a mission and this is a special case. Everybody knows about Ali and we’re trying to get through every park.”

Most ballparks take submissions and schedule anthems throughout the year, Jack Berke said. In addition to working with team staff, he said they have sent submission video of her past anthems to teams with openings.

If all goes as planned, she will have sung the anthem at 14 major league parks by the time the last out is made for the 2024 season, with roughly half more to go. Yankee Stadium, which often uses a prerecorded anthem, was booked through the rest of the year.

Ali Berke’s first stadium anthem came when she was 17, at a Mets game at Citi Field. She's also performed before at a Long Island Ducks game. Even so, Berke added, she's not much of a baseball fan, but is instead more of a basketball and hockey devotee.

When she isn't focused on performing the national anthem, Berke records her own original music at a Syosset recording studio. She is preparing for a June 27 performance at the Jones Beach Bandshell.

When Berke first sang the anthem before a Knicks game, she'd never been "more nervous for anything in my life. It was a surreal experience and MSG is a huge bucket list item for me. The Knicks were shooting right behind me.”

After she applied to sing at a Brooklyn Nets game in February, a representative for the Liberty offered a performance at Sunday’s game.

As she stood at the microphone Sunday, Berke, by this point a veteran at singing the anthem before games, kept her cool.

She still gets the thrill of singing for a big crowd, but now is used to the players lining the basketball court or the baseball field.

“I wasn’t nervous,” she said. “I feel super comfortable, and the fans make me feel comfortable.”

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