Music

New York Mets’ Jose Iglesias, a.k.a. Candelita, Achieves First No. 1 on a Billboard Chart With ‘OMG’

New York Mets’ infielder Jose Iglesias – recording under the moniker Candelita – is just getting started on a chart winning streak as he debuts at No. 1 on Billboard’s Latin Digital Song Sales survey (dated July 20) with his debut single, “OMG.”

The Cuban-American baseball player, and now also Latin pop artist, sang “OMG” live for the first time after a 7-2 Mets’ win over the Houston Astros at Citi Field in Flushing, N.Y., on June 28. According to Luminate, the single sold a little over 1,000 downloads in the United States during the June 29-July 4-tracking week.

The high-spirited song, adopted as a Mets anthem, about overcoming hard times, and penned by Iglesias in 2023, has translated into a fastball of positive energy for the Mets (who are now up to 45-45 on the season following a win on July 9), and Iglesias, who captures his first Billboard No. 1 entry on a first try.

Notably, Iglesias’ new No. 1 matches the uniform number that’s he’s worn over the years; he now sports No. 11 for the Mets. The 34-year-old broke through to the majors in 2011 with the Boston Red Sox and has played for seven Major League Baseball teams. He’s currently hitting .313, having compiled a .279 average in over 1,000 big league games.

Iglesias/Candelita, meanwhile, joins other baseball players-turned artists who have scored hits in the musical field, and on Billboard rankings. Here’s a team of five such notable stars:

Deion Sanders: The former baseball and football player – aka, “Prime Time” – played 14 years in the NFL and nine in MLB. He made his Billboard chart debut in 1995 with Prime Time, his debut album released in 1994 through MC Hammer’s Bust It Records. The 16-track effort hit No. 14 on Heatseekers Albums and No. 70 on Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums. Also, an actor and football coach, Sanders won Super Bowls XXIX and XXX and earned eight NFL Pro Bowl selections between 1991 and 1999.

Bernie Williams: The Puerto Rican-born former all-star baseball player and four-time World Series winner for the New York Yankees, secured his first entry on the Billboard 200 as The Journey Within debuted in 2003 and reached No. 57. The 13-track set concurrently took Williams to No. 3 on Jazz Albums. In 2009, he topped Smooth Jazz Airplay with “Go for It” after his LP Moving Forward gave him another No. 3 peak on Jazz Albums. “Ritmo De Otoño,” featuring Dave Koz, marked Williams’ second Smooth Jazz Airplay No. 1, holding strong at the summit for seven weeks in 2010.

Bronson Arroyo: In 2005, the Cuban-American baseball player, a veteran of the Pittsburgh Pirates, Red Sox, Cincinnati Reds and Arizona Diamondbacks, achieved his first entry on Billboard 200 with the No. 123 debut and peak of his collection Covering the Bases, which also reached No. 2 on Heatseekers Albums. The set capitalized on the pitcher/musician’s popularity after the Red Sox, for whom he won 10 games in 2004, won the World Series that year, ending a famed 86-year title drought.

Barry Zito: The former American baseball player, who pitched for the Oakland Athletics and San Francisco Giants, reached No. 18 on Heatseekers Albums with his EP No Secrets in 2017. He now focuses on producing and writing music. “My dream in music was always to be a writer-producer, even in my early baseball days, when I was able to hang out with some amazing producers in L.A.,” the 2002 American League Cy Young Award winner and 2012 World Series champ told Billboard earlier this year. “After I came to Nashville in 2015, [I] was a little more into the songwriting, which I view now as so necessary. Writing with a lot of great writers and published writers helped me so much in my role now as a producer.”

Yoán Moncada: In 2021, the Cuban-American, and Chicago White Sox infielder since 2017, reached a No. 16 high on the Tropical Airplay chart with “Desastre Personal.” This week, he began a rehab assignment following an injury that has limited him to 11 major league games this year, although he hit .282 when playing. He scored single-year bests of 25 home runs and 79 runs batted in and a .315 average in 2019.

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