- Associated Press - Wednesday, August 3, 2011

CHICAGO (AP) - New York Yankees right fielder Nick Swisher always seems to have a smile on his face. He has a popular Twitter account and made a guest appearance on CBS’ “How I Met Your Mother” last year.

So the naturally gregarious Swisher jumped at a chance to record a children’s album for charity. And he was quick to add his own personal touch.

Swisher’s 12-song record, “Believe,” was released this week and includes “Take Me Home, Country Roads” and “Hang On Sloopy.” The classic John Denver song is for Swisher’s hometown of Parkersburg, W.Va., and “Hang On Sloopy” is a staple at football games at the slugger’s beloved Ohio State University.

“A blast, man. I had a good time with it,” Swisher said before the Yankees faced the Chicago White Sox on Wednesday night. “The opportunity was presented to me and I took it and ran with it. It was a one-time shot so why not.”

Swisher also got some help. Former Yankees center fielder Bernie Williams and San Francisco Giants pitcher Barry Zito both played guitar on the album, and a 13-year-old granddaughter of Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig was among a group of children who were backup vocalists on each song.

The album is available online and a portion of the proceeds goes to Swish’s Wishes, the switch hitter’s foundation for children with health issues.

Swisher said his favorite songs are the cover of David Bowie’s “Heroes” and the title track, which was written by Williams. He also playfully brushed aside the notion he could be headed for some good-natured ribbing from his teammates.

“Maybe it’s great,” he said with a grin.


Jay Cohen can be reached at https://www.twitter.com/jcohenap

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