By Rich Walsh

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BRADENTON (KDKA) — Country music star Garth Brooks’ love of baseball has led him to multiple MLB Spring Trainings over the years, but this time with the Pirates was extra special.

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Brooks joined the team last week to help support his foundation, Teammates For Kids, which is celebrating it’s 20th year.

It’s fabulous, I mean it’s every guy’s dream,” Brooks said. “The fact that you can use the excuse of helping kids to get down here, that a fun thing to do.”

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Brooks has raised over $100 million since the start of the foundation.

“We’re proud, other than being a husband and the father of my three girls this is the proudest thing I got to be a part of.”

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Brooks has attended Spring Training with the San Diego Padres, New York Mets and Kansas City Royals in the past, but he says this year is extra special because he grew up rooting for the Pirates, citing Roberto Clemente as one of his childhood idols. He is playing left field with Corey Dickerson this Spring in honor of the former Pirates great.

Brooks is enjoying his time with both the Pirates organization and the fans in Bradenton.

“You come out here, you represent the Bucs, you represent Major League Baseball and you just don’t want to embarrass anybody, you want to represent and respect and everything so you treat everyone with respect. These guys hit homers, I’m kinda good at signing stuff, so I stick with what I am good at.”

According to Brooks, Pittsburgh is a city that he admires, and it is a big reason why his tour is coming to the city on May 18th this year.

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“I think it has always been a brotherhood, I think it’s the only city I know with the same colors all the way across the league. I love that. I think Roethlisberger said it best…he said Pittsburgh expects you to get up…those are the kind of people I want to be with right there because I expect them to get up too.”