Barry Zito, who spent his entire career pitching for MLB teams in California, is only 42 years old but has led an interesting life on and off the diamond.
Here’s a look at what he’s been up to starting with his baseball career that took him from the Oakland Athletics to the San Francisco Giants and back to the Athletics before retirement.
The Baseball Years
Zito had two separate stints with the Oakland Athletics.
The first was from 2000-2006, and he returned in 2015.
Zito’s best year with the A’s was 2002.
— Oakland A's (@Athletics) November 7, 2020
He also finished with the most wins among American League pitchers and was named AL Pitcher of the Year (by Sporting News).
In his first year of eligibility, Zito is on the ballot for the 2021 Hall of Fame.
The 2021 class will be announced on January 26.
It's Barry Zito's first year on the @baseballhall ballot.
— MLB Stats (@MLBStats) November 28, 2020
World Series Championship
Zito left the A’s to join the San Francisco Giants from 2007-2013.
He was an integral part of the Giants 2012 World Series Championship team.
Zito pitched outstanding fall ball, winning all 14 of his starts from August 2 through the World Series.
At 34 years of age, he finally got to pitch in the World Series, in Game 1 no less.
It was a classic pitching duel between Zito and Detroit’s Justin Verlander, and Zito prevailed by only giving up one run.
Strikeouts for Troops
While playing for the A’s, Zito found a nonprofit organization called Strikeouts for Troops.
According to its website, the purpose of the organization is:
“Strikeouts for Troops is a national program which provides some ‘comforts of home’ and also assists with family travel and housing expenses for service members who are being treated at military hospitals.”
Zito admired and praised the men and women of the military.
“Many of our war-wounded are recovering in hospitals far from home and family – I saw this first hand when I recently had the honor of visiting Walter Reed Army Medical Center and spent time with the injured service members. These are the true heroes in uniform.”
Zito’s blood line is loaded with accomplished musicians so it’s not surprising that he would venture into music also.
His father, Joe Zito, worked with music icon Nat King Cole as a composer in the early 1960s.
Zito’s mother, Roberta, sang in Nat King Cole’s band.
His sister Sally Zito asked him to play guitar in her band during the offseason which he did from 2000-2007.
During that time, he began writing his own songs.
He released his first EP in January 2017 aptly called No Secrets.
In 2020, he competed on the FOX celebrity game show, The Masked Singer.
Dressed as a rhino, he finished in 4th place.
— NBCSAuthentic (@NBCSAuthentic) May 20, 2020
Zito married former Miss Missouri Amber Seyer in 2011.
The couple have three sons named Mars, Mercer, and Rome.
Mars is 6, Mercer is 3, and Rome is a newborn.
Mars and Rome are biological, and Mercer is adopted.
A colorful character on and off the field, no one knows what Barry Zito’s next endeavor might be.