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Courtesy: WMU

Former Bronco Frankie Ballard Releases New Album, Enjoys Top 10 Single

Courtesy: Kristin Keirns, associate director of athletic media relations
Release: 02/14/2014
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KALAMAZOO, Mich.- Former Western Michigan baseball player and rising country music sensation Frankie Ballard released his second album on February 11, which features hit single “Helluva Life”. The song has broken through the top 10 on the country music billboard chart and was ranked 11th on February 14.

Ballard has earned constant praise throughout Nashville and has opened for the likes of Taylor Swift and Bob Seger. For more information on Frankie’s new album and to listen to “Helluva Life” visit his official website at: www.frankieballard.com.

Although music is in his heart now, only picking up his first guitar at the age of 18, baseball was Frankie’s first love. After lettering one season at Mott Community College, Ballard joined former Bronco head coach Fred Decker’s squad in 2003. He played three seasons for the Broncos, batting .296 as a senior while playing alongside current major-leaguer Adam Rosales and NFL free agent Tony Scheffler.

Frankie's passion for baseball was inspired by his father, Frank Ballard Sr. The elder Ballard also suited up for the Broncos (1971-74), earning Second Team All-Mid-American Conference honors as junior after leading the team with a .385 batting average.

Ballard credits his father as his biggest musical influence as well. According to his website, Ballard states, “He was the gatekeeper. He got me started. He’d sing Johnny Horton songs, Merle Haggard and things like that. He turned me on to Elvis Presley, and I am still a huge, huge Elvis fan. My mom – Meg Sullivan Ballard – sang around the house, too. They were both country fans.”

On the fast track to stardom, the Battle Creek, Mich., native doesn’t forget his roots, frequently making trips back to Kalamazoo and popping into former venues. Ballard and Scheffler both came back and put on a Western Michigan uniform in 2012, as the two took in a game, threw out ceremonial first pitches and even gave their best swings during batting practice. Ballard’s songs are a fan favorite at WMU baseball games.

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