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Barry Zito

  • Sport: Baseball
  • Decade Inducted: 2010s

3x All-Star and 2002 Cy Young Award winner who played 15 seasons for the Oakland Athletics and San Francisco Giants.

Born in Las Vegas, Nevada Barry Zito spent 15 seasons in the Major Leagues, pitching for the Oakland Athletics and the San Francisco Giants. Although drafted three times while in college, Zito ultimately signed with the Oakland Athletics as a first round draft pick in 1999.

Zito made his major league debut in July 2000 and proved successful his rookie season, finishing 5th in American League Rookie of the Year voting and making his post season debut against the NY Yankees, outpitching Roger Clemens.   Zito would spend the next six year with Oakland. During that time, he was a 3x All Star (2002, 2003 & 2006). In 2002, Zito was arguably the best pitcher in baseball winning the Cy Young Award with a 23-5 record.   He led the league with 23 wins, was second in winning percentage (.821) and third in both ERA (2.75) and strikeouts (182).

Following his seventh season with the Oakland Athletics, Zito signed with the San Francisco Giants in 2007. He posted double-digit wins in his first three seasons and in 2010 he helped San Francisco win their first World Series championship since the team moved West in 1958. After sitting out part of the 2011 season with a foot and ankle injury, he came back in 2012 and flourished, finishing with an illustrious 15-8 record, his best season in a Giants uniform. In October, Zito helped lead the Giants to their second World Series title in San Francisco history by going 2-0 with a 1.69 ERA in three postseason starts. In his first career World Series start, he outdueled Tigers’ ace Justin Verlander in Game 1, setting the stage for San Francisco’s sweep to their seventh World Series title in franchise history.

Since his retirement in 2015, Zito is throwing the heat towards his music career. Growing up surrounded by music, his father Joe composed and arranged music for Nat King Cole in the early 1960’s and arranged for the Buffalo Symphony Orchestra. His mother, Roberta was also a musician who sang in a choral group and with Nat King Cole and his band.   Although he always had a passion for music, it wasn’t until he played guitar in his sister Sally’s band during the off seasons that he began to think about music professionally. Zito released his first EP, titled “No Secrets” this past January. The collection contains 6 songs all written or co-written by Zito.

A philanthropist, Barry Zito founded the charity Strikeouts for Troops in 2005, whose mission is dedicated to giving back to military heroes while providing the ‘comforts of home’ and lifting the spirits and morale of injured troops and their families.

Zito was inducted into the National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame in 2017.