25 Years Ago: Garth Brooks Joins The San Diego Padres

CBS 8 San Diego / YouTube

On February 12, 1999, Garth Brooks made headlines for signing a minor league contract with the San Diego Padres.

He also joined them for their pre-season Spring Training in Peoria, Arizona, which kicked off on February 23rd that year. While some were surprised by this unexpected move, Brooks was always a lifelong fan of the sport, and this opportunity allowed him to live out a childhood dream.

During his time with the Padres, he went 1-for-22. His lone hit was against the Chicago Cubs. In the bottom of the fifth inning, with the Padres trailing 4-0, Brooks stepped up to the plate to face Cubs pitcher Mike Sirotka. The crowd roared as he took his stance, and he dug in, ready to do his best.

On the third pitch of the at-bat, Sirotka threw a high fastball that Brooks swung at with all his might. The ball sailed high into the air, carrying all the way to the warning track in left field. As the ball descended, the left fielder backed up, his glove outstretched. But the ball cleared his glove and bounced off the wall, allowing Brooks to sprint to third base for a stand-up triple.

The crowd went wild, and Brooks raised his arms in triumph as he stood on third base. His teammates mobbed him, patting him on the back and congratulating him on his hit. The moment was a testament to Brooks’ determination and love of the game, and it earned him a place in baseball history.

RELATED: 7 Facts About Garth Brooks’ Life & Career

His stint with the Padres was actually in partnership with his foundation, Touch ‘Em All Foundation, and Major League Baseball. He donated his salary to the foundation, which helps with various children’s charities. Brooks wore #77, a tribute to his album Sevens.

Garth Brooks "Sevens" album cover
Capitol Records

This wasn’t the last time he joined a team for Spring Training. In 2000, he trained with the New York Mets.

In 2004, he played with the Kansas City royals during Spring Training.

And finally, in 2019, he returned to Spring Training, this time with the Pittsburgh Pirates.

While none of his baseball stints were anywhere near successful, he definitely raised lots of money for his charities! Watch a short video about Garth’s time with the Padres below.

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