When it came time to shoot the music video for his latest single “Wanna Be That Song,” Brett Eldredge decided there was no place like home.
“I grew up three hours south of Chicago — it was always a journey to come up and we’d plan trips around it. Then I went to college in the suburbs for my first year so I spent a lot of time in the city and man, it’s like my second home. I’ve been a lifelong Cubs fan,” the singer-songwriter tells PEOPLE of filming at Wrigley Field. “It’s the first music video ever shot at one of the most historical sporting facilities in the world! It was one of the most amazing experiences of my career so far.”
Eldredge, 30, had a specific vision for the song, the third single from his sophomore album, Illinois.
“It’s my favorite song I’ve written up to this point, so it was important to me that the video portray what I wanted to say, and it really did,” he explains of the clip, which features a clean-shaven Eldredge playing a ’40s baseball star rounding the bases as he hits major life milestones. “I wanted to do a storyline that captures those big moments in your life that you never forget — that shape you into who you are. I remember as a kid saying, ‘One day I’m going to go onstage and sing in front of thousands of people’ — back when I was singing in front of 10. This video is another version of what I envisioned — and home plate brings it full circle.”
The thrill of having the run of an empty ballpark for the day wasn’t lost on the musician, either.
“I felt like I won the lottery because I was just running around there like it was my home – and that’s what it’s always felt like anyway — but we were playing like a bunch of kids out on the field. I actually did go up to the plate and I really did hit that ball in the video! It was a really cold day, but the energy and magic was there,” Eldredge tells PEOPLE. “It was just special. I remember being in the dugout thinking, ‘Wow, all my heroes sat here and played the game.’ I feel like the same kid I always was in those stands and I think I always will. Looking out on that field dreaming like I used to dream, but now the dreams are coming true.”
Eldredge was in Chicago Tuesday night, throwing out the first pitch, singing the stadium into the seventh inning stretch and debuting the “Wanna Be That Song” clip for fans at the game. So how was he preparing himself for his time on the mound?
“A couple cold ones and some peanuts,” he says with a laugh. “The first time I threw the first pitch I threw it pretty hard — it wasn’t quite a strike, but it was very respectable. As long as I don’t throw it into the stands this time…” (Spoiler alert: He did just fine.)