Three years ago former Phillies pitcher Brett Myers retired from Major League Baseball. His career started in Philadelphia when he was drafted by the Phillies as the 12th pick in first round of the 1999 amateur draft. He made his major league debut on July 24th, 2002 as a 21-year-old and quickly became a household name.
Myers was never a 20-game winner or potential Hall of Famer, but he was a gritty pitcher who had a competitive fire burning in that furnace deep inside his soul.
Has the furnace become extinguished since his retirement?
Actually, it’s the opposite. It burns brighter than ever in his newest endeavor.
Saddle up partner, Myers has turned his attention to country music. Music has always been a second love for Myers. A passion that he could not pursue because of his professional baseball career, more a hobby to tinker with in the off season. Since retirement he has created a new album with 21 songs.
The style he uses veers away from the pop-dominated country phenomenon. Myers is on a mission to bring back a classic feel with his music.
“I love music in general!” Myers exclaimed. “If you’re happy you listen to the music, if you’re sad you listen to the lyrics. I grew up listening to Lynyrd Skynyrd and that influenced me to want to start playing the guitar. I never really wanted to be a singer I just wanted to play guitar and write good lyrics. I got hooked up with one of my longtime friends who played in ‘Puddle of Mudd’ and is now a producer (Damien Starkey). He said that I needed to sing the music we were writing, so here I am. Our music is a blend of southern rock and country, (so) being the huge Skynyrd fan that I am I think that shows in the music”.
What started out as an off-season hobby, has turned into a new challenge. It is much like staring down a dangerous hitter when you are ahead in the count.
“I don’t think a lot of people take my music very seriously because I’m sure they are thinking to themselves that a baseball player can’t make good music,” Myers said. “But everyone is entitled to their own opinion and I’m having a blast writing and singing the songs we have done so far and I don’t plan on stopping so hopefully people will start taking my music career seriously.”
The 35-year-old was caught off guard by his initial following, describing a level of shock when music sales actually started picking up. The support was something that pushed Myers to continue and improve at his new craft.
His following is growing by the day as his Twitter account has accumulated almost 30,000 followers, while his debut album ‘Backwoods Rebel’ is available on iTunes.
“I’m proud of all of (the songs on the album). I never would have thought from the first song we did that it would turn into 20 more songs,” Myers said. “If I had to pick the one that I like singing the most I would have to say Beercation because it’s a fun song and I think it’s very relatable for people.”
For the former pitcher, it is about being himself with composing his music. Despite his admiration for Skynyrd’s style, he wants to havr his own unique sound.
“I don’t want to be like anyone else,” Myers said. “But people have compared me to certain artists and that makes me feel good about what I’m doing. I like being different.”
It certainly is a different post-baseball career path. Many former major leaguers who take a job behind a microphone are usually on ESPN or MLB Network.
Myers was pretty successful in his baseball career in Philadelphia. We cannot forget that. He ended his Phillies career with a record of 73-63 with a 4.38 ERA over eight seasons.
“I enjoyed my time in Philly and wish I could have finished my career there”, he said. “I basically grew up in that town. I don’t really have a proudest moment because being a part of an organization/family that took me in at 18 years old and developed me as a man is enough for me.”
Most will fondly remember his 10-pitch at-bat against CC Sabathia in the 2008 NLDS against the Brewers. With every foul ball the crowd roared louder until they erupted when Myers drew a walk that would later set up Shane Victorino’s grand slam.
A moment that gets forgotten is the triumphant game he closed out against the Nationals a year prior that sent the Phillies to the postseason for the first time since 1993.
“Well, the fans were watching the Mets score and when that game was over it was up to me to finish the game and I can tell you it was an unbelievable feeling. We all knew (had been 14 years) since the Phillies had been to the playoffs and we wanted it just as bad as the fans did. I’m glad we could give them what they deserved.”
These days he is giving country fans what they deserve, a new and unique voice. Myers will continue to compose new songs that are fueled by that internal furnace.
Note: if you have not already done so, check out Brett’s website for all of his latest music: http://www.brettmyersmusic.com/