Garth Brooks fielded some grounders on the first day of Pirates camp
The Pirates made waves on the first day of Spring Training when they announced that country music star Garth Brooks would join them for the first week of camp:
It isn't unusual for celebrities to show up at Spring Training, either through charities or to live out their dreams of being a baseball player. This isn't even the first time Brooks has shown up to Spring Training. He was with the Padres in 1998 and '99, the Mets in 2000 and the Royals in 2002. This time around, he's marking the 20th year of his Teammates for Kids Foundation.
Here's Brooks at his locker (!), located those belonging to Jameson Taillon and Mitch Keller:
It didn't take long for Brooks to lace up the cleats and hit the field. He took some grounders at third base, and actually looked pretty good doing it:
Even though the Pirates are the fourth team he's appeared with, they're first in his heart. Because of Roberto Clemente, Brooks grew up as a Pirates fan. That, coupled with teh 20th anniversary of his foundation, made this a great opportunity:
"We're celebrating 20 years, and the Bucs were sweet enough to let me come here," Brooks explained regarding his foundation. "This has been my team since I was a kid. I'm a Roberto Clemente fan. The day he died, I promised him that I would do some foundation work with baseball. This came really late in my life, but I feel very lucky now we're celebrating 20 years. Here's to 20 more."
But really -- Garth Brooks playing the infield, showing up during Spring Training with his fourth different organization?
"When I was playing with the Mets, Padres and Royals, I felt confident to play the game. I'm not sure now, at 100 years old. We'll see. Everybody's been real sweet. We'll be here a couple weeks then try to get out of their way," he joked.
Maybe the Pirates will put Brooks in right field once games start, so he can follow in the footsteps of his idol.