At UNRIVALED, we introduce sports fans to the pro athletes they haven’t heard enough about. You’ll hear from rising and overshadowed athletes who share their journey to becoming pros and their unique passions outside of their sport.
This Inside the Jersey features Brad Keller, a starting pitcher for the Kansas City Royals. Brad is the Ace for the Royals, but behind the scenes, he is a kid from Georgia who grew up with a family full of athletes, played two sports in high school and is passionate about his community work with Strike Out Slavery to combat human trafficking. Have you heard his story?
Check out the Q&A with Brad and don’t forget to listen to the podcast:
UNRIVALED: What’s one movie that you’ll never get tired of watching?
Brad Keller: The Sandlot
UNRIVALED: What’s the movie role that you wish you could be cast as?
Brad Keller: I think any movie role with Will Ferrell would be quite an experience.
UNRIVALED: What is the vacation spot you cannot wait to revisit?
Brad Keller: Cabo. That was a place that I went with my family. We always go for Christmas vacation. We went down there one year and it was an just incredible experience.
UNRIVALED What’s the home cooked meal that you request most often?
Brad Keller: My dad’s baked spaghetti. Some kind of recipe he found in my grandma’s cookbook and it’s unbelievable.
UNRIVALED: What’s in this recipe?
Brad Keller: I think he just makes regular spaghetti with meat sauce and puts it in this pan and he layers it with cheese and then you bake it and it’s unbelievable.
UNRIVALED: If you are in charge of cooking dinner, what’s your go-to meal?
Brad Keller: I don’t really cook dinner. I don’t really cook in general, but I cook breakfast. That’s probably my go-to. I’ve always been able to whip up some good eggs and bacon.
UNRIVALED: What’s your favorite thing to do when you get some downtime?
Brad Keller: I love golf; that’s one of my favorite activities. I’m not very good at it, but I just love getting out there and trying to be competitive at something besides baseball.
UNRIVALED: What is your most recent splurge?
Brad Keller: I just took my brother on a bachelor party. We had a blast; We went down to Hilton Head Island and we golfed on some pretty sweet golf courses and chilled on the beach for a weekend. That was a pretty well-worth splurge.
UNRIVALED: What ritual or routine has to take place before every game?
Brad Keller: I have to do a crossword puzzle. I don’t know why. It’s something that I got into my first year and it’s just stuck. I’m starting to get good at them but there’s still questions on there that are way above my head.
UNRIVALED: What is your go-to song or artist to help you get ready for a game?
Brad Keller: I would say my walkout song: Whatever It Takes by Imagine Dragons, but in pregame, I don’t really listen to music. I’m kind of the opposite of any other starting pitcher. I’m a social guy on my start days. I don’t want to be too tense. I already get butterflies all day, so I try to make it as loose as I can.
UNRIVALED: What team did you cheer for when you were growing up?
Brad Keller: Growing up in Atlanta, obviously a huge Braves fan. They went on the incredible stretch through the 90’s to 2000’s. I grew up idolizing John Smoltz.
UNRIVALED: Which coach or teacher do you still stay in contact with on a regular basis?
Brad Keller: I’m from a really small town, so I still have a lot of people from my high school, coaches and teachers, who reach out all the time. But the one that’s probably stuck with me the whole time is my high school coach, Jimmy Lawler. My freshman year, he started me against the best team in the state and I got rocked and it was funny. I lean on him. We talk a lot after starts. So, he’s a guy who’s been through it all with me.
UNRIVALED: If you were not a professional athlete, what career field would we find you in?
Brad Keller: I wanted to be a sports athletic trainer type of thing. I definitely had to stick in sports. I don’t see my life anywhere outside of sports. So me and a few of my buddies, we had this little idea to start a company for physical therapy/athletic training. We all ended up going our separate ways, but still stay in touch, but that was definitely the career outside of baseball.
UNRIVALED: What is a product you would never forget to pack on a road trip?
Brad Keller: I’m like a lululemon feign. I got introduced to it and now it’s the only thing I wear. Everything they make is so comfortable.
UNRIVALED: What’s the service or product that has changed your life at home?
Brad Keller: I’d say this may sound really lazy, but Uber Eats has definitely changed my life. Since this whole quarantine thing has happened, it’s been a game changer. Uber Eats, DoorDash, all that type of food delivery stuff.