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Eric Byrnes

Arizona Diamondbacks — No. 22
Left fielder
Born: February 16, 1976 (1976-02-16) (age 33)
Redwood City, California
Bats: Right Throws: Right 
MLB debut
August 22, 2000 for the Oakland Athletics
Career statistics
(through 2009 season)
Batting average     .260
Home runs     109
Runs batted in     396
Stolen bases     128
Teams

Eric James Byrnes (born February 16, 1976, in Redwood City, California), also known as "Crash Test Dummy", "Byrnesie", "Flipper" "Side (Byrnes)" "Always swing at first pitch" and "'Pigpen" was an outfielder in the Arizona Diamondbacks organization. Byrnes is known for making athletic catches on fly balls in the outfield and for his energetic personality, both on and off the field.

Contents

Biography

Amateur career

Byrnes' high school career was spent in the Western Catholic Athletic League, where he played for St. Francis High School in Mountain View, California. After graduating in 1994, he was selected in the Major League Baseball Draft by the Los Angeles Dodgers but elected to go to college at the University of California at Los Angeles.

At UCLA (1995–98), Byrnes hit 2nd in the batting order and played right field in a lineup that featured future major-league stars Troy Glaus (1995–97) and Garrett Atkins (1998). He was again selected in the Major League Baseball Draft, this time by the Houston Astros after his junior season, but again elected to stay in school. He finished his career at UCLA as one of the most successful hitters in Pac-10 history with a .331 career average and 75 doubles, a conference record.

Professional career

Byrnes was selected in the 8th round of the 1998 Major League Baseball Draft by the Oakland Athletics, and this time was ready for his professional career. He has played for the Oakland Athletics, Colorado Rockies, Baltimore Orioles and Arizona Diamondbacks.

Byrnes was also involved in a 2003 baseball game that included two significant base running gaffes in a single inning. With a chance to close out the Boston Red Sox, the Athletics had a potential rally stifled by two controversial plays. Byrnes was tagged out after failing to touch home plate after a collision with catcher Jason Varitek, who had blocked the plate before attempting to catch the ball. After the collision, a hobbling Byrnes shoved Varitek and began walking back to the dugout. Varitek picked up the ball and tagged Byrnes out. This play was then followed up by Red Sox third baseman Bill Mueller running into Miguel Tejada as he was rounding third (later in the same inning). Tejada then stopped running home and was eventually tagged out. The umpires called Tejada out because he was tagged as a result of not attempting to advance home, not because of the obstruction by the third baseman.

Byrnes is one of a few players to have 50 stolen bases and hit 20 home runs in one season, having accomplished the feat in 2007.

Byrnes on May 27, 2008, was placed on the 15-day DL for the 1st time in his career with sore hamstrings. Byrnes underwent an MRI that showed he had tears in both of his hamstrings. Byrnes returned to the team on June 23, 2008, batting leadoff against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park. Byrnes tore his left hamstring on June 30 while trying to steal third base against the Milwaukee Brewers at Chase Field. Byrnes was placed on the 15-day DL once again, but later placed on the 60-day DL If surgery is required to fix the hamstring, Byrnes is looking to come back strong for 2009.

On January 15, 2010, Byrnes was designated for assignment by the Arizona Diamondbacks to make room on the 40 man roster for Adam LaRoche.

Byrnes recently started doing somersaults when throwing the baseball in from left field. He is also known for sliding headfirst into bases when there is no play.

Off the field activities

During the 2006 post-season, Byrnes was an analyst for ESPN's Baseball Tonight show. He has also appeared on Fox's baseball pre-game show and The Best Damn Sports Show Period talk show. He was a guest analyst for the first two games of the 2006 World Series pre-game show on FOX Sports. During the off-season, Byrnes often fills in on KNBR, a San Francisco radio station. He currently resides with his bulldog, Bruin. During the 2007 MLB All Star Game at AT&T Park, he was in a kayak in McCovey Cove with Bruin during the pre-game and game itself for the FOX Sports broadcast.

Byrnes also has his own TV show, called "The Eric Byrnes Show," which airs on FSN Arizona during the Diamondbacks' regular season. The fans behind-the-scenes looks at the Arizona Diamondbacks, as well as Byrnes' personal life. During the 2007 off-season, Byrnes began a weekly radio show on XM Satellite Radio, called "Hustle with Eric Byrnes."[1]

See also

References

External links








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