New York Yankees' Nick Swisher singles against the Chicago White...

New York Yankees' Nick Swisher singles against the Chicago White Sox. (Aug. 2, 2011) Credit: AP

BOSTON -- Knowing how ballplayers like to kid each other about the smallest things, can you imagine the ribbing Nick Swisher is taking over his latest charitable venture?

Swisher, the gregarious Yankees rightfielder, is the lead singer on a children's CD titled "Believe" that will land in stores Tuesday. It's already available -- and doing quite well -- as a download on iTunes and Amazon.com.

An unnamed Yankee played the CD over the clubhouse speakers after Thursday's game in Chicago. Laughter ensued as the team listened to Swisher sing old favorites such as "I Won't Back Down," "Lean on Me" and "Hang on Sloopy."

"He's pretty good," Jorge Posada said Saturday. "But he won't be able to go on tour."

"Terrible," A.J. Burnett said. "Comical and terrible."

All kidding aside, Swisher is putting himself -- and his voice -- out there for his charity, Swish's Wishes. A portion of the proceeds from the full-length, 12-song CD will go to the foundation, which is dedicated to enriching lives and lifting the spirits of children who are facing health issues.

"It was brought to me," Swisher said. "I thought to myself, 'I better think about this. A lot of people are going to hear this.' Then I kind of thought, 'Why not?'

"I enjoy doing stuff like that. I mean, baseball is everything in my life. Through that, you get to do a lot of cool things, and I'm having a lot of fun. I was so happy the way it turned out."

Swisher was joined on the project by former Yankee Bernie Williams, who plays guitar and also wrote the title track. Another guitar player on the CD is Giants pitcher Barry Zito, Swisher's former teammate in Oakland.

But the main focus of the CD is the lead singer. Listen to a few tracks and you can't mistake the voice. Swisher said he was nervous, especially because his singing background was "mostly in the shower and the car."

He added, "As nervous as I was to go in there, Loren Harriet, the producer, he made that experience so amazing for me. I had a blast."

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