Montgomery Gentry lead guitarist Bo Garrett of Lawrenceburg is good friends with UK pitcher Zack Thomas and says it was a “cool experience” to sing the national anthem before a UK baseball game.

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Montgomery Gentry lead guitarist Bo Garrett of Lawrenceburg is good friends with UK pitcher Zack Thomas and says it was a “cool experience” to sing the national anthem before a UK baseball game.

Since 1999 Bo Garrett has been the lead guitarist for Montgomery Gentry and has got to be part of many special things thanks to the country music group’s success. However, getting to sing the national anthem at Kentucky Proud Park before the UK baseball team hosted Arkansas was an “honor and privilege” he won’t soon forget. “Unbelievably cool experience. I’m a huge UK baseball fan, so getting to do it for them, the first year in the new park! Wow!” Garrett said. “It was more nerve-wracking (than other performances). It was just me, out there alone, with my guitar. None of the guys were around. And you know how much I love this country. I was terrified of messing it up.” Baseball was Garrett’s love even before music. He dreamed of playing pro baseball. That’s part of why singing before a UK game was special. “Between being slower than I looked and not being able to hit a curve ball, pro baseball wasn’t gonna happen,” he laughed and said. “But more than that, the way the UK baseball organization kinda just accepted me made it even more special. I think a whole lot of (pitcher) Zack Thompson and can’t wait to watch his (professional) career. “Coach Mingione, what a great man! And Greg Herbert took amazing steps to make it all so easy! You just honestly couldn’t pair up anything better than music and baseball for me. My two favorite things.” The opportunity came because of 2016 Chicago Cubs game that Garrett and the late Troy Gentry were attending and Garrett was wearing a UK baseball T-shirt. He posted the picture on twitter and Herbert, UK’s assistant director of marketing, saw it and reached out to him. After that Garrett became good friends with Thompson, UK’s best pitcher this year. “Zack invited me over to tour the new stadium. We stopped by coach (Nick) Mingione’s office and it (singing the national anthem) came back up. I wanted to make sure I did it while Zack was still at UK,” Garrett said. He got to keep the jersey UK had personalized with the number four for him to wear during the performance. “Greg Herbert told me he chose that number in commemoration of Montgomery Gentry’s 4 platinum albums,” Garrett said. “I’ll probably wear it again. We have a couple of Kentucky shows this year so I think it just might look good from the stage.” What about singing the national anthem before a men’s basketball game? “I haven’t heard anything from Rupp Arena. But who knows? I love all my Cats!” Garrett said. * * *

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