"I learned early on that I wasn't an athlete," a humbled Luke Bryan told CMT at the Chicago White Sox morning workout in Arizona on Monday. "I saw all these boys hitting multiple home runs and not getting drafted, and I thought baseball is not for me! Maybe I need to pick up a guitar." Still, the country superstar hit a grounder that looks like, from the video below, it could've been a single (or maybe an RBI?).
The 38-year-old avid baseball fan joined the team for Spring Training during one of his rare days off from touring and from prepping for his ACM Awards hosting duties next month. Batting practice doubled as a reunion with Bryan's longtime friend, Adam LaRoche, who plays first base for Chicago. The two initially bonded over their mutual love of hunting, and are both co-owners of the Buck Commander brand of hunting clothing and gear. (The White Sox's country music connections run deep; pitcher John Danks is married to "On to Something Good" singer Ashley Monroe.)
Though the pro players were getting their pictures made with Bryan, it was the singer who was the most starstruck. . . especially by "the best athlete that has ever walked the face of the earth," as he declared to Comcast Sportsnet, Bo Jackson. The former Auburn football and baseball hero, White Sox All-Star and current ambassador to the team was there to give the singer a bit of advice: "Bo told me that everything about my swing was awful," Luke recalls with a laugh.
He went on to admit that his sons, Bo (7) and Tate (4), and his nephew, Til (13) — who lives with Bryan and his wife Caroline — are much more impressed by athletes than musicians.
"I would say right now that they'd rather be baseball players," he reports. "We were in St. Louis last year doing an amphitheater show, and [St. Louis Cardinal pitcher Adam] Wainwright was on the bus looking at some pitching stuff of Til, and Wainwright walks off the bus and and Til's like, 'Who is that guy?' I was like, 'Til, you just got pitching advice from someone who should have multiple Cy Youngs.' [Laughs]"
The singer is now gearing up for his second annual Luke Bryan's Crash My Playa, an all-inclusive concert experience in Mexico. The four-night event will take place January 22nd — 26th and will include two nights of music, with the reigning CMA Entertainer of the Year to be joined by a list of other artists to be announced soon. Pre-sales begin on April 6th for Luke Bryan fan club members, while general public packages go on sale April 9th. Get more info at www.crashmyplaya.com.