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Kenny Chesney Talks All-Star Baseball, Dishes on Game’s Worst Singer

Tim Boyles, Getty Images

One way or another, Kenny Chesney was going to spend his summers in ballparks. The lifelong baseball fan played second base throughout high school, and while his stats weren’t good enough to land him on a college team, his summer tours now hit stadiums around the country. In an interview for the official program accompanying tonight’s Major League Baseball All-Star Game, the country star discusses his deep love for America’s pastime, explaining why athletes aren’t so different from musicians.

“These are guys who are also in the public eye and share the limelight, who worked really hard to get where they are and sacrificed a lot do what they love,” Kenny says.

While he doesn’t have to stare down 95-mph fastballs, the superstar says rocking a packed stadium can be as nerve-wracking as playing in a big game.

“I try not to think about that too much because like a ballplayer, I get more anxious than nervous,” he said. “I’ve made plenty of mistakes onstage, whether it’s falling or forgetting the words, and it will happen again. But like a baseball player, if I can connect for a high rate of success, like a .330 hitter, then it’s a great show.”

Kenny roots for the Boston Red Sox — growing up without cable in Tennessee, they were one of the few teams he was able to follow on TV — and as such, he was thrilled to become friends with onetime BoSox first baseman Kevin Millar, even if he’s a horrible singer.

“Kevin is a big kid at heart and a great guy who I’m still close with today, but he came up on stage when we were playing in Toronto and sang his favorite, ‘Old Blue Chair,’ and it was just a terrible version!” Kenny says, calling Millar the worst ballplayer he’s ever performed with.

Like many Americans — and indeed, many people around the world — Kenny has always bonded with his father over baseball, and as he explains in the interview, he had the chance a few years ago to take his father to one of the last-ever Yankees-Red Sox games in the original Yankee Stadium.

“It was a dream,” says the singer. “There I was with my father in the Yankees dugout, this very historic place where a lot of my dad’s heroes sat and played. It was a great father-son moment for us.”

The All-Star game airs tonight (Tuesday, July 10) from Kansas City on FOX, beginning at 7:30 PM ET.

Watch Kenny Chesney’s ‘Come Over’ Video

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