Welcome to my new baseball blog! I think blogging will be just a cooler way, a more detailed way, of letting fans know what I’m up to — letting them know my thoughts, my opinions on things, different things like that. Twitter is cool for just little snippets, Facebook is little snippets. But this is a way for fans to really get to know me, and get to know what I’m up to on the road, whether it’s ballparks, or concerts or whatever. It should be a cool thing. They’ll see a different side of me, too. They see the music side of me all the time on the stage. Now they’ll kind of get to know my baseball side.
2011 World Series Game 1 in St. Louis
When I was growing up, I had two loves in life, and that was music and baseball. My Dad kind of fostered my love for baseball. He played in college at a small community college in North Carolina. He kind of raised me with a ball in my hand pitching. I grew up on the mound ever since, all the way through my senior year in high school. It taught me a lot. You learned your life lessons out there. I had a ball out there. Playing with the guys, throwing it around. I looked forward to practice — that’s how much I love it. A lot of people, they’re happy when practice gets canceled. I looked forward to going to practice and game days. I just had an extreme love for the sport from a young age.
I was more of your finesse pitcher. I wasn’t a flamethrower. I topped out around 80 miles per hour. But I had a pretty mean slider and a pretty mean curveball that would keep you off balance. I relied pretty heavily on them, too. That was me. You would have thought otherwise since I took a year off my whole junior year, but my senior year was my best year of pitching in my life growing up. I still throw it around a little bit. I get out there with the boys, and we go out to intramural fields at North Carolina State and throw it around some. But between touring and school, it doesn’t leave a lot of time for baseball in the middle, except for watching it, of course.
My junior year I was out in LA for the show. It would have been my first year on varsity. I pitched the varsity summer ball league before I went out to LA, and I threw the game of my life before I went to LA. So I guess this was God’s way of saying goodbye to baseball — “He gave me a good gift and now I’m done.” But luckily I got to go back my senior year.
Being out there in Hollywood, it was tough missing the season and stuff. I remember there was one day in particular. Me and my Dad, we hadn’t played in a while. He had to stay in North Carolina to work, and I was just like, “Hey when you come out to LA this week for the show, bring the gloves and let’s throw it around.” We were in a cement parking lot out back from Interscope Studios where we were recording our songs. He and I were just throwing it around, trying not to hit cars. All of a sudden I see this car pull up. I thought, “Well, who in the world is just parked right in the middle of our game, while we are throwing?” And he got out, and my Dad and I looked at each other and it was The Boss. Bruce Springsteen walked out. We were throwing, and he’s just parking right there, and he goes and picks up Jimmy Iovene and they drive off. We’re like, “Well, that’s a pretty cool throwing experience.” Getting to see Bruce Springsteen in the middle of a throwing session. I don’t even know if he saw me. He was on a mission. For me, it was an ohmygod moment.
I’m a Media Communication major at State, and the whole school-and-tour schedule is working great. We actually kind of got this model from Brad Paisley. We were on the road with him all last year, and we kept the same schedule. Monday through Wednesday we were home, and Thursday through Sunday we toured. We figured if we were going to do a headlining tour, we might as well keep that same model of touring instead of just sitting on my butt at home when I’m in college. So I’m at NC State Monday to Wednesday, go to all the games, football, baseball and basketball, as long as they fall in between those days, and then we hit the road Thursday through Sunday.
The great thing about the tour bus, they have every channel you need to watch games. So MLB Network and all the games are always on. There’s no shortage of baseball. Being away from the game, it’s nice to be able to watch it. I try to stay around the game as much as I can. I go to all the NC State baseball games. They went to Omaha this year, and they have potentially the No. 1 Draft pick in 2014 in Carlos Rodon, a filthy left-hander. I’ve gotten to know him and toss around with him some. I try to still go back to high school games some. I don’t get the chance to go there a lot being in college now, but if I can make a game, I head back out there. So I try and keep myself around the game.
Do I wish I could walk-on the team? In a perfect world, yes. But honestly, their coach, Elliott Avent, we were talking one time as I’ve gotten to know him. He said, “Scotty, you’ve got a D-1 slider, but a D-5 fastball.” I said, “I know.” I wasn’t a flamethrower but I had a pretty sick slider.
The ballpark tour has been great, and you can see photos on my site and join Team Scotty for a chance to win a cabin on the Duck Commander Cruise. We initially just started this trying to help kids, started it out in Nashville to help the Nashville RBI program. That’s Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities, a Major League Baseball community initiative that has made a big difference in helping underserved kids and making baseball available to more people. For me, it just kind of springboarded into a bigger thing with MLB, and doing the park tour. Getting to go out there, seeing all the parks for me was cool, seeing how parks are different. But helping out kids was the main part. Getting to meet them, hearing their stories, hearing how some went to the RBI World Series in Chicago, it was cool, just getting to help out.
Here are some of the videos from the ballpark tour:
The Braves game was pretty awesome. When I got to meet the kids on the field, and then after that, after the check presentation, they let me do a little postgame concert kind of thing. It was like I legitimately got to put two of my loves together, my loves for baseball and music, I got to do them both in one day.
So welcome again to my blog and please pass the word around and leave comments here whenever you want!