Musicians + Sports: Chase Bryant On Nolan Ryan And Texas Baseball

By Scott T. Sterling

Emerging 21-year-old country star Chase Bryant is so fresh that he's still riding high on the back of his debut single, "Take It on Back," which was released back in the heat of July. The nostalgic tale of a long-lost summer romance epitomizes the top-down, anthemic appeal of modern country laced with more than a little rock & roll attitude.

Raised in the tiny town of Orange Grove, TX, Bryant grew up as a huge fan of Texas baseball, splitting his allegiances between the Houston Astros and Texas Rangers.

"I was a big Astros fan back when it was like the 'Killer B's' with Craig Biggio and Jeff Bagwell and Lance Berkman and those guys," Bryant remembered of the legendary Houston MLB squad of the mid-to-late '90s. "Sad to say, the Astros aren't as great as they used to be, but yeah, I was a huge Nolan Ryan fan and all those guys back when Nolan was playing for the Rangers and Astros and all that fun stuff. I was a big, big Texas baseball fan for sure."

"I mean, he's a legend," the singer-songwriter added in regards to the Baseball Hall of Fame pitcher Nolan Ryan. "Growing up being a pitcher, I think there was some kind of integrity with him every time you'd see him play. I don't remember how old he was when he stopped playing, but you'd watch that...when you love what you do, you can do it as long as he want to," he surmised. "It was always fun to see him fight, too. You got the best of both worlds."

Despite his time spent on the mound, Bryant's lifelong love of music precluded any dreams of hurling in the major leagues, although he still imagines other ways of satisfying his sporting fantasies.

"I was so set on the music stuff, but I had the dream of going and hitting batting practice with somebody if I was on the road, or throwing a first pitch at a game or doing something like that," he revealed, opening the door for either of Texas' MLB franchises to extend Bryant a first-pitch opportunity sometime next summer.

Watch the full video interview above to see Bryant pick his all-star athlete band, the sports venues he dreams of playing someday and which state fair food staple is his hands-down favorite when it comes to snacking at a game.

While he's still working on his debut full-length, Bryant has just released a self-titled 6-song EP to coincide with his opening slot on the latest leg of Brantley Gilbert's "Let it Ride" tour which rolls across America through mid-December. See the complete tour itinerary here.