(CBS Local)– Barry Zito experienced many ups and downs during his baseball career.
He helped the San Francisco Giants win a World Series in 2012 and won a Cy Young with the Oakland Athletics in 2002. He also once started a season 0-8 while he was in San Francisco and was left off the postseason roster when the Giants won it all in 2010. Zito opens up about his baseball career and life in a new book called “Curveball.” Zito’s time with the Giants was one of the most difficult chapters in his life.
“When I went to San Francisco and had this big contract, the general manager Brian Sabean said you might as well tattoo that number to your forehead,” said Zito in an interview with CBS Local’s DJ Sixsmith. “I put so much pressure on myself to be different and more professional and be more appealing to a mass fan base, but really I lost myself for many years.”
Zito said that he was really happy at the beginning and end of his baseball career. The southpaw spent seven seasons with the Giants and some of the toughest came early in his tenure.
“My second season with the Giants was really tough,” said Zito. “I wanted to validate that first rough season where I had a losing record. I was 0-8 in my first eight decisions in 2008. 0-8 with a 7.50 ERA and making more money than every guy on the team. That was surreal for me and I actually got taken out of the rotation because I couldn’t pitch.”
During the lowest moments of his life and career, Zito found God and that changed everything for him on and off the diamond and in 2012 when the Giants won the World Series.
“I actually got a tattoo of a golden calf after I became a Christian because baseball was my God,” said Zito. “2012 was my redemption year. I got to help the team win a World Series and it was just incredible because I was going into these games saying I just want to do my best. That was such a foreign thing to be willing to give up what I wanted the most. It sounds detached, but that’s where the power is.”
“Curveball” is in bookstores now.