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Garth Brooks steps up to the plate for a cause close to his heart Associated Press
Entertainer Garth Brooks (1) and New York Mets' Derek Bell (19) have a chat during stretching exercises Sunday, Feb. 20, 2000, in Port St. Lucie, Fla. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

When Garth Brooks was in Chicago in the fall of 2014 to launch his world tour, he visited with his old college classmate, White Sox manager Robin Ventura, and got in a little batting and fielding practice as well.

You see back in 1998, Garth joined the San Diego Padres for a few days of spring training and was invited back to camp in ‘99. He soon found out he had a harder time getting hits in baseball than country music. Even though Garth didn’t make the team, he got two more shots — one in 2000 with the NY Mets where he went 0-17 and his last in 2004 with the Kansas City Royals, where he collected his one hit in three at bats.

Garth’s final career stats: 2-42 for a career batting average of .048.

As fun as it all was, all Garth’s “salaries” were donated to the charity Teammates For Kids. Since it’s inception in 1999, the nonprofit has raised more than $100 million.

Based in Chicago but often in Nashville, Ken Churilla is a contributor for Rare Country. Follow him @KenChurilla and join the conversation @RareCountry.
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