In April of 2010, we had just finished a game at Safeco Field in Seattle when I got called into the principal’s office…
Waiting for me inside was Seattle Mariners manager Don Wakamatsu and General Manager Jack Zduriencik.
As a team, we were coming off a tough first month of the season and I definitely did not help the cause… Although I was healthy for the first time 2 years after dealing with a torn hamstring and a broken hand, I struggled to find my timing at the plate and was off to a 3-33 start.
As soon as I walked into the room, I told them there was no need to say anything, I knew exactly why I had been summoned… This would be the easiest release (firing) they ever had to execute.
I then apologized for not playing up to my potential and proceeded to thank them for the opportunity to revitalize my career.
With a somewhat stunned look on their faces, Jack Z chimed in and said he still thought I had a lot of good baseball left in me and offered to make calls to other teams on my behalf. Before I could answer, Wak interjected and said…
“Byrnsie, in all my years in this game I’ve never seen anybody play the game as hard as you…”
At that moment, I began to get choked up, gave Wak a head nod, turned to Jack Z and said, “Thank you for your belief in me and thank you for the offer but I’m good… I’m done.”
Before I walked into that office, even knowing I was about to get released, I had no intentions to move on from playing baseball at that moment… After Wak said that, I realized that my work was complete.
Much like Ted Williams saying all he ever wanted was for somebody to say, “There goes Ted Williams, the greatest hitter that ever lived.” All I ever wanted was for somebody to say, “There goes Eric Byrnes, that dude played his f*cking balls balls off…”
In more words than less, I felt like that was exactly what Wak had just said.
Tarah was waiting for me with Peanut in the parking lot outside, took one look into my eyes and said, “Half Moon Bay?”
We immediately went back to our apartment on Olive & 8th Street, packed all our shit up and drove 18 straight hours and arrived just in time to tee off with a group of buddies on the Ocean Course in HMB.
2 days later, I was playing beer league slow pitch softball for the Dutch Goose with all the dudes I used to play little league with.
Amazing how life had come full circle.
After playing Major League Baseball from 2000-2010, I knew that chapter was over in my life…
What the next chapter and what the next decade was going to bring, I had no f*cking clue…
Yet, life isn’t lived in chapters or even decades; life is lived in moments and our ability to entrench ourselves in each moment is what eventually brings us this moment when we are able to reflect.
Almost 10 years later since that day in Seattle, I humbly look back at this past decade with an extreme gratitude for the accumulated education and experiences…
I had an incredible opportunity to delve into the broadcasting world and have had a chance to work for ESPN, Fox Sports, MLB Network, Pac 12 and KNBR 680, THE sports leader… 🗣
Right after I got released from Seattle, our 2nd daughter Cali was born, then a year later we completed the Irish Triplett trifecta with the birth of Colton… Never in my life could I have imagined the positive life changing impact 3 little gromlett’s could have on my life.
Despite never running over 4 miles and only ever riding a BMX or a beach cruiser, I somehow found my way into ultra endurance sports… 12 full distance Ironman’s and countless marathons and ultra marathons later, what started because of a simple dare has become an entire lifestyle. The idea and concept of running The Western States 100 was non existent and the thought of breaking the 12 and 24 hour speed golf world records would have been, and still is laughable. 🤣
The creation of The F*IT List, The Daily Hustle, Diamond To The Rough and the yet to be released Let Them Play documentary and coffee table book has shown me what’s possible when we surround ourselves with the right team and work TOGETHER toward accomplishing a common goal…
The launch of the Let Them Play Foundation and the Triathlon Across America undoubtedly has forever changed my view on the world, and most importantly, brought to light WHAT REALLY MATTERS going FORWARD…
10 years ago, I walked out of a major league clubhouse for the last time as a player with no idea what the next 10 years would bring…
Now, 10 years later, I am sitting on my exercise bike peck typing this final Daily Hustle of 2019 into my iPhone thinking one thing…
It’s been a helluva f*cking ride.
Let’s keep CHARGING. 👊