Garth Covers the Bases, On and Off the Field

Enthusing about his spring training experience with baseball’s New York Mets, on Monday Garth Brooks met with the press to discuss a wide variety of topics, from his Touch ’Em All Foundation to movie projects.

Brooks spoke from the Mets’ Shea Stadium, praising the baseball organization for its support and participation with the Foundation, founded by Brooks in January 1999. The charity, which uses 100 percent of its contributions for the benefit of non-profit children’s organizations, raised $2.1 million last year with the help of 67 baseball players from Major League Baseball. So far in 2000, there are already at least 120 players committing to the program, raising estimated proceeds to $5 million. While the league is an active participant in the Foundation, donations are accepted from anyone interested in contributing. For more information about the Touch ’Em All Foundation and how you can give, check out

Although he went 0-17 at-bats during spring training in Florida, Brooks was presented with the John J. Murphy Award as Rookie of the Year. An avid baseball fan since idolizing Roberto Clemente as a child, Brooks also cited Charley Pride and Conway Twitty for being music stars that were devotees to the game. Admitting that his talents lie more with music than baseball, he noted, “I didn’t get any hits, but I got to rip the ball three or four times and it felt great,” according to the music news Internet column, Allstar.

Brooks also commented briefly about the controversial departure of Whitney Houston from the Oscar show (see Music News Archive, March 29), saying “All I know is that Whitney was at rehearsal and did her best, but you could tell she was sick,” reports Neil Haislop’s Nashville IQ. Attesting that he was happy to see Faith Hill fill in for Houston, he added, “Faith did a wonderful job showing up that late at such a high profile event.”

As for upcoming movie projects, Brooks announced that the final script for the Chris Gaines film, The Lamb, has been delayed because the screenwriter is facing a personal crisis. However, New Line Cinema stated in a press release that Brooks and songwriter Jenny Yates have contributed an original number, “When You Come Back to Me Again,” to the Dennis Quaid-Jim Caviezel movie, Frequency. The movie will be released April 28.