Screen Shot 2017-01-14 at 4.02.21 PMFrankie Ballard will kick off the baseball season at his alma mater, Western Michigan University, where he will be the keynote speaker at the team’s annual Leadoff Dinner January 25th. Before becoming a musician, Ballard played baseball for four years at WMU and achieving a .296 batting average.

“I probably would have never made it through college without baseball, so I’m thankful for that,” Frankie told But eventually, he caught the songwriting bug and baseball had to take a backseat. As he remembered in an interview with Taste of Country, “my coach wouldn’t let me bring my guitar on the bus… I asked, but he wouldn’t let me.”

Watch Frankie discuss baseball and music on MLB Live: