As platinum-selling country artist Scotty McCreery prepares for the much-anticipated release of his sophomore album, See You Tonight, he is taking time out of his busy schedule to support youth baseball with a six-city Major League Baseball ballpark tour.
At the baseball park tour’s culmination, McCreery will have donated $50,000 to youth baseball programs, including Major League Baseball’s RBI (Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities) program, this year.
“I learned some of my greatest lessons playing sports and being a team member,” McCreery says. “Sports teach you so many life lessons about self-discipline, responsibility, teamwork, setting goals, and being fit. It’s awesome that Major League Baseball provides opportunities for kids who might not have a chance to play baseball and softball elsewhere. I’m proud to provide assistance to this program.”
McCreery’s baseball park tour began on Thursday, Aug. 29, at the home of the Tampa Bay Rays, where he presented a personal $5,000 check to a Tampa youth baseball organization before the game. In addition, he threw out the first pitch and sang “Take Me Out to the Ball Game.”
Referring to McCreery’s donation to the Rays Baseball Foundation, the Tampa Bay Rays tweeted, “Great job by @ScottyMcCreery with today’s first pitch (he throws gas)–and thank you to him for his donation to RBF!”
At each game, McCreery will invite local radio winners to be his guest as he throws out the first pitch, provides CDs for lucky-row giveaways, sings as part of the seventh-inning stretch, and serves a guest broadcaster and/or participates in other various activities that day. Fans can follow the activities at every game in real time by following McCreery on Twitter at @scottymccreery.
Founded in 1989, the RBI youth outreach program is designed to increase participation in baseball and softball with underserved and diverse youth, as well as encourage academic achievement and teach important life lessons. The program has served more than 1 million young people, including more than 220,000 baseball and softball players in 2013.
Baseball has played an important part in McCreery’s life, so he is excited to have the opportunity to give back to the game that has given him so much. Indeed, it was baseball that first provided him with the confidence to perform in public. He started pitching at an early age, following in the footsteps of his father, who was also a baseball pitcher.
As a pitcher for Garner Magnet High School in Garner, N.C., all eyes were on him, and that’s where he learned to be focused and handle pressure. Fortunately, all of that training paid off, as evidenced by his success in high school. During McCreery’s senior year, he continued to pitch while spending weekends opening for Brad Paisley’s Virtual Reality Tour. McCreery finished that season with a 0 .88 ERA while striking out more than 40 batters.
Another thrill was when he sang the national anthem at the 2011 World Series Game One in St. Louis.
McCreery’s MLB tour is as follows:
Thursday, Aug. 29: Tampa Bay Rays v. Seattle Mariners, at Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg, Fla.
Sunday, Sept. 8: San Diego Padres v. Colorado Rockies, at PETCO Park, San Diego
Thursday, Sept. 12: Philadelphia Phillies v. San Diego Padres, at Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia
Sunday, Sept. 15: Chicago White Sox v. Cleveland Indians, at Comiskey Park/U.S. Cellular Field, Chicago
Sunday, Sept. 22: Washington Nationals v. Miami Marlins, at Nationals Park, Washington, D.C.
Friday, Sept. 27: Atlanta Braves v. Philadelphia Phillies, at Turner Field/State Mutual Stadium, Atlanta
He co-wrote his current single, “See You Tonight,” which is the title track to his sophomore album that will be released Oct. 15. Fans can pre-order the upcoming album, See You Tonight, at www.scottymccreery.com, which also offers opportunities for fan club memberships, autographed guitars and limited edition T-shirts.