World Series

Barry Zito Reflects on the Curveballs Life Has Thrown in New Book

The pitcher shares the crisis he felt while watching his team go to the World Series.

Barry Zito has garnered fame for his baseball and music careers. But recently, he has entered another industry — memoir writing — with his autobiography "Curveball."

The book, Zito explains, is a painfully honest description of his life. That was intentional, even necessary.

"Things tend to happen in our lives that we’re ashamed of, and we don’t want to talk about them, but there’s only good healing to be found when you do," he said.

One of the "dark spots" Zito highlights happened after his seventh season for the Oakland Athletics. Despite signing in 2007 the biggest contract ever given to a baseball pitcher — a seven-year deal with the San Francisco Giants – he considered quitting.

"I felt the weight of all the pressure and I had to live up to it," Zito said. "I tried so hard to be good for the fans, but I kept failing, and finally after four years of that, I got left off the roster and had to watch my team win a World Series when I wasn’t good enough to be on the team. And that just sent me into a tailspin."

Even when his team went to the World Series, Zito says part of him watched with envy from the sidelines, wishing that they would lose so he could feel needed. Because of his autobiography’s honest descriptions of situations like this one, as well as because of his discussion of his drug use, Zito also says he’s a bit nervous to see how readers will react to the book.

But he does hope readers, especially parents, take away at least one thing from the memoir. Children, he believes, need to be told that their hobbies and activities are not the most important things in their lives.

"Our identities cannot be found in what we do and try to succeed at. Otherwise, it’s going to be a plane crash at the end for us," he said.

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