Garth Brooks Has Been Spring Training With the Pittsburgh Pirates
Garth Brooks took a break from music to become a Major League Baseball prospect — for this week, anyway. Brooks spent the early part of the week (Feb. 11) at spring training with the MLB's Pittsburgh Pirates at their facility in Florida.
The Pittsburgh Pirates officially signed Brooks for a spring training contract in support of the 20th anniversary of his Teammates for Kids Foundation. The charity Brooks launched along with pro-athletes of every kind — including baseball stars — back in 1999. The organization seeks professional athletes to pledge donations based on their performance records from their season. The money that is donated goes to aid children's health and education.
"It's the proudest thing I have ever been a part of," Brooks tells the Tribune Live. "Other than the day I married my wife and had my three girls, this is the most important thing in my life." Brooks is not a stranger to giving back — he supports numerous charities through the years supporting a variety of causes.
This isn't the first time Brooks has played MLB for the charity. In 1999, he trained with the San Diego Padres, then the New York Mets (2000) and the Kansas City Royals (2004). While Brooks' former MLB contracts didn't land him a full contract on any of those teams, he jokes that he has high hopes this time around.
"As a celebrity, they haven't cut me yet, so we'll see," he jokes, Brooks speaking to ESPN about his baseball skills. "You've got to use your advantages, you know. Before you could crowd the plate all you want because nobody wanted to hit you. You haven't got speed. You haven't got fielding. You haven't got hitting. So, use the other thing you've got."
Brooks will be back to his evening job as a country music icon starting Wednesday (Feb. 13) — he's expected to appear at Country Radio Seminar in Nashville, performing an intimate acoustic show.
12 Professional Athletes Who Released Country Albums: