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They're better known for fastballs, touchdowns, layups and right hooks. But some of those hunky sports guys are doing their best to become hunky music guys. 

Welterweight champion boxer Oscar De La Hoya, -already familiar for his lightning jabs and GQ appearance-joined the music ranks in October with a self-titled album produced by Grammy-winning producer Rudy Perez. 

But he's hardly alone. Basketball players Shaquille O'Neal, Kobe Bryant and Allen Iverson have all made hip-hop recordings, and several members of the Nashville Predators hockey team-no doubt inspired by their Music City location-made an album for Warner Bros. Records. Even football players Ricky Watters and Andre Rison appeared on 1996's NFL Jams, a compilation that paired gridiron stars with such acts as R&B singer Donell Jones and Wu-Tang Clan rapper Method Man.

In 1998, two albums were recorded, "NFL Jams" and "NFL Country", that featured duets between artists and athletes. Included were country artist Mark Nesler with Chad Cascadden of the New York Jets and R&B star Mary J. Blighe with Scott Galbraith of the Dallas Cowboys. 

Former Chicago White Sox and Angels pitcher Jack McDowell is notorious for his hard-rock performances away from the baseball diamond. Referring to his current band "Stick Figure", he says, "My band is very important to me and I don't want to jeopardize the sincerity of the music. The way the season is going, it will probably be my full time endeavor after this season is over." Asked which he finds more exciting, being on the pitchers mound in front of a full stadium or being on stage and playing his music before a sell-out crowd, McDowell says, "It's kind of both the same. It's a similar feeling, / Issue 10 - September 2018
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