Dwight Gooden knew.
Dr. K had gotten tipped off that the 29th-round pick of the 2003 draft by Yankees, a rookie 5-foot-8 second baseman from Long Island, had a secret talent. So during one of the long bus rides across Florida for the 2003 Gulf Coast League Yankees, for whom Gooden was the pitching coach, he requested Adam Unger get up and sing.
The 18-year-old Unger obliged. He sang Frank Sinatra — his go-to was always either “New York, New York” or “My Way.” He wasn’t the only one who would entertain teammates on the bus. Tyler Clippard played his guitar. Some of the Dominican players on the team rapped.
“It was basically kind of like ‘American Idol’ on the minor league bus,” Unger said.
But none of them got the reaction he did — that he should quit baseball and start singing.
“Which I didn’t love at the time, because I was trying to make it to the major leagues,” Unger said.
A little more than a year later, though, he left baseball and forged a new dream, which would still put him under the bright lights of New York. This one involved singing opera. It included a detour to become a lawyer along the way — this, after his voice went missing…