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9 Mar 2000: Garth Brooks #1 of the New York Mets grips his bat during the Spring Training Game against the Houston Astros at Olceola County Stadium in Kissimmee, Florida.

Garth Brooks spent spring training working with the Pittsburgh Pirates to celebrate the 20th Anniversary of his Teammates for Kids Foundation, and the athletes that support it.

Brooks said of being part of spring training with the Pittsburgh Pirates, “It’s all about what kind of guy you are…what kind of person you are…on and off that field. And that’s…that’s what I picked up from them. Because of Roberto Clemente, you grew up loving the team. But it’s like meeting James Taylor. You know, this is your hero…and you meet him; you love him even more. I gotta say that, in all my years of worshipping the black and gold, when you meet these guys you just love ‘em even more.”

Brooks’ two weeks as a member of the team drew crowds to training camp, but also provided a lot of renewed attention to the Teammates organization, which assists children in need – focusing on health, education and inner-city services – with the help of about four-thousand professional athletes across virtually every sport in the world. He said, “All these athletes doing great things for kids in need – [it’s] great to be part of the family.”

To learn more about Garth’s Teammates for Kids Foundation and its efforts, click here.

-Nancy Brooks