Ja­son Aldean be­comes an At­lanta Brave for a day

The Washington Times Daily - - Life -

Ja­son Aldean cir­cled the bases, touched home plate and col­lapsed next to the bat­ting cage, pulling his cap over his face.

“Af­ter lunch, let’s come back and do it again,” At­lanta Braves man­ager Fredi Gon­za­lez joked.

Sprawled on the ground and strug­gling to catch his breath, Mr. Aldean replied, “No, I’m good.”

The coun­try mu­sic star got a chance to live his other dream Thurs­day, work­ing out for more than two hours with his fa­vorite base­ball team while trailed by a crew film­ing it all for a TV re­al­ity show.

Mr. Aldean didn’t make the team — with cam­eras rolling, Gon­za­lez and gen­eral man­ager Frank Wren told the singer he had been “cut” af­ter the work­out — but by all ac­counts the for­mer high school player held up well along­side such stars as Chip­per Jones, Dan Ug­gla and Brian Mccann.

“Not bad,” Jones said. “He’s a lit­tle more ath­letic than we’re used to see­ing from our nor­mal celebs.” Gon­za­lez agreed. “He’s the best celebrity I’ve seen, by far. Not even close,” the man­ager said. “You can tell he’s got a lit­tle back­ground in base­ball.”

Wear­ing uni­form No. 9, Mr. Aldean started out tak­ing grounders at first base, scoop­ing up a few low throws. Then he got some solid wood on the ball dur­ing his turn in the bat­ting cage, his long­est drive land­ing on the warn­ing track and short-hop­ping off the fence. Fi­nally, he joined the team for baserun­ning drills, tail­ing along at the end of the pack.

Mr. Aldean was tap­ing a seg­ment for the re­al­ity show “Day Jobs,” which airs on the coun­try mu­sic cable net­work GAC.

Nor­mally, the show fol­lows artists as they re­turn to jobs they held be­fore be­com­ing fa­mous, but he had no de­sire to go back to his old line of work.

“I was a de­liv­ery guy for Pepsi,” he said. “That was not cool. I was not go­ing back and do­ing my old job. I worked too hard to not have to do that any­more. So they said, ‘What about we do kind of a dream job deal with you, where you get to do some­thing with the Braves?’ I was like, ‘Now that I would be into.’ ”

Mr. Aldean, 35, was born and raised in Ma­con, Ga., about 75 miles south of At­lanta.

“I’ve been a fan of this team for a long time,” he said. “I grew up watch­ing ’em. To get to come out and do this to­day is a big honor for me.”

Mr. Aldean’s most re­cent al­bum, “My Kinda Party,” re­ceived Al­bum of the Year from the Coun­try Mu­sic As­so­ci­a­tion and was nom­i­nated for a Grammy. He plans to re­lease a new al­bum in Oc­to­ber.

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