And she bangs, she bangs/Oh baby When she moves, she moves/I go crazy 'Cause she looks like a flower but she stings like a bee/Like every girl in history/She bangs, she bangs ... It had to be this way: Minor League Baseball and the career of William Hung, hopelessly intertwined, so that when you think of one, there is no escaping the other. Although it's been four years since Hung was gonged from the American Idol stage during that infamous San Francisco audition, his goofy cult star has not diminished one bit. If anything he's stronger: An off-key force of nature who is likely to appear anywhere without reason or warning; like an earthquake, or a urinary infection. Hung, 25, quit school in 2005 and now tours full time, with visits to minor league baseball parks these days comprising a large chunk of his income. This past Saturday he was the feature attraction at Alexis Stadium, home of the Schaumburg Flyers of the Independent Northern League. I talked with William by phone on Monday, as he professed a love for minor league baseball, the Oakland Raiders, college football, and yes, ping pong. Also, we learn that "She Bangs" is no longer his favorite song. Yes, a William Hung scoop! Also a hunk of video goodness, following the jump."I'm a baseball fan in general, and I love performing in small towns," said Hung, who estimates that he accepts "seven or eight" minor league invitations per season. And then there's the Major League teams such as the Blue Jays and Dodgers who have invited him. "I love visiting new places and meeting people. I try to accommodate them as much as I can."
Of course, Ricky Martin's "She Bangs" is still the No. 1 Hung request (see below). But if he had his druthers, Hung would rather sing his new favorite tune, Billy Ray Cyrus' "Achy Breaky Heart." "I also really like 'It's a Miracle' by Barry Manilow," said Hung, who has released three albums; including the 2005 Christmas effort, "Hung For The Holidays." "Most of the time people love [my singing]," he said. "I've had a few negative experiences, but those are rare, and I don't let it get to me. I'm taking voice lessons, and I know that I'm a better singer now than when I started. I think that it's important to have confidence in yourself and enjoy what you're doing." Hung, who was born in Hong Kong and moved to the Los Angeles area with his parents when he was 11, was an engineering student at Cal Berkeley in 2004 when he heard about the American Idol audition and decided to give it a try. He now attends Cal State Northridge, and wants to become a math teacher. He likes the A's and Angels, is depressed that "the Raiders aren't very good anymore," enjoys playing ping pong and practicing karate, and is "really looking forward to the Beijing Olympics." He had not heard of Deadspin. "My career is still going strong," he said. "At first it surprised me, but not anymore. I have a lot of fans and people seem to like my singing. So I'll keep doing it for awhile, I guess."
Upcoming promotions: • Tribute To Bob Night. Thursday, July 31. Toledo Mud Hens (Class AAA International League). Sponge Bob Square Pants is the featured guest, but Bobs of all stripes will be honored. There will be Bob trivia contests, music by Bob Seger, and scenes from the film What About Bob? between innings. • '80s Night With Gary Coleman. Friday, Aug. 1. Madison Mallards (Summer Collegiate Northwoods League). Includes special appearance by former Diff’rent Strokes star Gary Coleman! Plus, free Mallards Slinkies to the first 1,000 fans! • George W. Bush Retirement Party. Monday, Aug, 4. Grand Prairie AirHogs (Independent American Association). This past Saturday, the AirHogs set the Independent League record for the most ceremonial first pitches thrown off the back of motorcycles. I can't see anything topping that. • Medieval Times Night. Monday, Aug. 4. Brooklyn Cyclones (Class A New York-Penn League). I've always said that there isn't enough jousting in baseball. Knights will do battle between innings, and square off in a post-game joust in center field. In addition, King Alfonzo the Conqueror (not to be confused with Edgar Alfonzo the conqueror) will be on hand to throw out a first pitch, greet the commoners, oversee the battles, and knight a deserving giant seagull or two. • Office Olympics. Tuesday, Aug. 5. West Virginia Power (Class A South Atlantic League). The World's Largest Office Party, which last season featured one of the cast members of the NBC series The Office. Still waiting for them to call and fill me in on this year's special guest. • Brett Favre Night. Monday, Aug. 4. Augusta GreenJackets (Class A South Atlantic League). The GreenJackets will give out flip-flops to the first 100 fans, and will retire Favre's jersey in a solemn pregame ceremony (they will then un-retire it the next day). There will also be a Lambeau Leap contest between innings. • Bobblehead Of The Moment. Andrew Johnson. Thursday, July 31, Greeneville Astros (Rookie Appalachian League). The 17th President of the United States, and coincidentally, the first bobblehead in my collection to be impeached.
• Bobbletoy Honorable Mention. Bobbling Wrecking Ball. Saturday, Aug. 2. Brockton Rox (Independent Canadian-American Association). Fans will receive a replica of Yankee Stadium with a mini wrecking ball that moves. Tiny Freddy Sez figurine sold separately. We want your minor league tips! Send game accounts, photos, promotional news or Ricky Martin lyrics to Rick@Deadspin.com. And thanks!