For a kid who never was able to see his baseball field of dreams come true, Scotty MCreery is certainly getting to at least step on to those fields of dreams.
Sunday it was Petco Park in San Diego. He had never been there before as hetrotted out mid-game to sing “God Bless America” on a typical Petco “Military Sunday” sporting a San Diego Padres’ camouflage shirt. Next will come AT&T Park in San Francisco, another park he has never entered. Then comes Tampa Bay, Philadelphia, Atlanta and Washington. The trip will almost be as arduous as his current “Weekend Road Trip” tour that has taken him around the country this summer and has been
extended with a few more dates through September at least.
The baseball gig is all in the name of RBI Youth Baseball, a Major League Baseball promotion to bring awareness of the game to youth.
“It’s a great program just to encourage inner-city kids to play the game more,” McCreery, winner of American Idol Season 10, said. “I played a little myself and I know what a great game it is.”
No doubt, McCreery, who was a high school pitcher back home in North Carolina where he claimed his fastball topped out at about 86 mph, will enjoy this tour of MLB stadiums. But earlier this summer he notched a visit that will be hard to top.
“We got to tour Wrigley Field,” he explained on a video on his website. “We went into the broadcasters’ booth, in the dugout, even in the clubhouse. But they weren’t allowed to let us on the playing field. Then a groundskeeper came up and took out there anyway on the field and to the ivy-covered walls. Just standing out there was a thrill.”
McCreery, who at 17 was one of the youngest winners ever on the 12-year run of Idol, has already made his name in the country music world and recently released his second (“We did make a seasonal Christmas CD also,” he said) CD called “See You Tonight.”
“I think it’s better than the first CD,” he said, “because I think we are better now than we were and this shows another side to our band as artists. I wrote five of the 13 songs on the CD and I feel really good about that.”
Touring and recording and singing at ballparks are one thing, mastering social media is another. McCreery’s team is linked into that world 100 percent with a Facebook offering, constant Twitter messages to this fans, producing YouTube videos, selling merchandise over the web. “Oh, yes, we do all that and I really enoy interacting with the fans,” he admitted.
Idol he watches when he can. “I know it took a slip in the ratings last year, but I think with Keith Urban and Harry Connick, Jr. and now JayLo coming back…that’s a strong judges’ panel. It should be interesting.”
And where would he be now if it weren’t for his run on Idol? “I’d probably be like any other kid, going to school and running over to Nashville with my guitar every once in a while trying to make it in the music world,” he said.
So, for now, it’s back to the tour and school at his beloved North Carolina State. Aside from being a fan of the Wolfpack, don’t let his southern roots fool you into thinking he is strictly a fan of teams from that geographical locale.
“My favorite teams are the Red Sox and the Patriots,” he admitted.
“My dad grew up in the Boston area,” he said