The Strange Connection Garth Brooks Once Had With Minnesota
Garth Brooks was back in the spotlight this week, co-hosting the 58th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards in Texas. But do you remember the somewhat odd connection he once had to Minnesota?
You have to go back four years to find the last time Garth Brooks was here in the Land of 10,000 Lakes. It was May of 2019, and Garth was set to perform two shows on his Stadium Tour at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis.
Before his shows on Friday, May 3rd, and Saturday, May 4th, Garth held a press conference which I was lucky enough to attend. During the event, Garth spoke with great reverence on how much he admires Minnesota, and how good all of us here in the North Star State have been to him over the years. (BTW, you can see a snippet of a quick one-on-one I got to do with Garth HERE.)
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And, Garth said, while he's extremely appreciative of all the support we've given him (he noted that his Minnesota concert dates are the highest-selling of any he's done anywhere), he IS a little puzzled by it-- because he's not from here, and doesn't have any personal connections to our fine state.
Except for this one: Several years ago, the Minnesota Twins signed a pitcher by the name of Brandon Kintzler to take over for Glen Perkins as their closer. Kintzler would go on to play for the Twins for the rest of 2016 and for part of the 2017 season before he was traded to the Chicago Cubs. He also played for Florida Marlins and Philadelphia Phillies before retiring in 2021.
But it was when he was here in Minnesota that we discovered that Kintlzer once worked for the Wynn Hotel and Casino out in Las Vegas as a driver. That was the same casino where Garth did a series of shows from 2009 to 2014. And, the former Twins pitcher used to be the driver who shuttled Garth (and wife, Tricia Yearwood, of course) from the airport to the casino and back.
It was a job Kintzler said he continued to do right up until the time Garth came out of semi-retirement in back 2014 and scheduled those 11 World Tour dates here at Target Center. Strange, right?
Now, seeing as it's estimated that Kintler made over $21 million over his major league career, I'm guessing HE'S the one who might be hiring a driver these days. But at the time, it was just another layer to the somewhat mysterious connection that still ties Garth to the Bold North!
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