Best Teammate Ever

In Blog, Hustle Podcast by Eric ByrnesLeave a Comment

In 2010, I was released by the Arizona Diamondbacks and signed with the Seattle Mariners…

I had dealt with 2 years of injuries including a torn hamstring and a shattered hand, so just to be back on the baseball field was an awesome experience. 

Despite what the previous 2 seasons had brought, I showed up to spring training with a clear mind, full heart & can’t lose attitude, grateful for whatever time I had left playing the game that I loved so much since I was 9 years old.

When I got to camp I immediately befriended Mike Sweeney, one of the best right handed hitters of my generation who just so happened to also be one of the nicest and most genuine people I have ever met in my life… As a matter of fact, it was Sweeney that coined the phrase “Oppo Taco” during the opposite field home run game we used to play in batting practice.

While my time with Seattle was just 6 weeks of spring training and a month of the season, my relationship with Sweeney helped put me on a path that has continued to positively influence my life in so many different arenas… 

After a heartbreaking series against the White Sox, I decided to walk 8 miles back to our hotel through the toughest neighborhoods on the South Side of Chicago. Mentally I was in a difficult place and it was Sweeney who hit the streets to come find me… Although I did not fear one bit for my safety and was more than prepared to take on any adversity that came my way, I will be forever indebted for the thoughtful gesture. 

Just recently, we were in San Diego and had an opportunity to spend some time with Mike and the entire Sweeney family… 

“Dude! I’ll never forget the Navy Seal creed you left in my locker… I held onto it for years!!!” 

When I got released after the first month of the season, my teammates had all left the yard so I didn’t get a chance to say goodbye… In a very short period of time, Mike Sweeney had a tremendous influence on my life so I wanted to do something to show him my appreciation for our relationship.

Earlier in my career, I came across a print of the navy seal creed that I had put up in my locker for as long as I could remember… I knew my time as a player was over but that creed needed to live on as it has through multiple generations of seals. In a lot of ways, it served as the guiding principles for my life and baseball career. I knew I would always hold it with me in my heart, but it was time to physically pass it on and I couldn’t think of a better guy to have it than Mike Sweeney…

For those unfamiliar with the Navy Seal creed, enjoy and don’t be afraid to pass it on to your favorite teammate… 

“In times of war or uncertainty there is a special breed of warrior ready to answer our Nation’s call. A common man with uncommon desire to succeed. Forged by adversity, he stands alongside America’s finest special operations forces to serve his country, the American people, and protect their way of life. I am that man.

My Trident is a symbol of honor and heritage. Bestowed upon me by the heroes that have gone before, it embodies the trust of those I have sworn to protect. By wearing the Trident I accept the responsibility of my chosen profession and way of life. It is a privilege that I must earn every day.

My loyalty to Country and Team is beyond reproach. I humbly serve as a guardian to my fellow Americans always ready to defend those who are unable to defend themselves. I do not advertise the nature of my work, nor seek recognition for my actions. I voluntarily accept the inherent hazards of my profession, placing the welfare and security of others before my own.

I serve with honor on and off the battlefield. The ability to control my emotions and my actions, regardless of circumstance, sets me apart from other men. Uncompromising integrity is my standard. My character and honor are steadfast. My word is my bond.

We expect to lead and be led. In the absence of orders I will take charge, lead my teammates and accomplish the mission. I lead by example in all situations.

I will never quit. I persevere and thrive on adversity. My Nation expects me to be physically harder and mentally stronger than my enemies. If knocked down, I will get back up, every time. I will draw on every remaining ounce of strength to protect my teammates and to accomplish our mission. I am never out of the fight.

We demand discipline. We expect innovation. The lives of my teammates and the success of our mission depend on me – my technical skill, tactical proficiency, and attention to detail. My training is never complete.

We train for war and fight to win. I stand ready to bring the full spectrum of combat power to bear in order to achieve my mission and the goals established by my country. The execution of my duties will be swift and violent when required yet guided by the very principles that I serve to defend.

Brave men have fought and died building the proud tradition and feared reputation that I am bound to uphold. In the worst of conditions, the legacy of my teammates steadies my resolve and silently guides my every deed. I will not fail.”

God bless America,
God bless the Seal Creed,
and God bless Mike Sweeney,
the best teammate I ever had. 👊



P.S. Have you hopped on a Team GoHard Foot Reflexology Board yet?