In 2007, pitcher Barry Zito signed a seven-year, $126 million contract with the San Francisco Giants. At that time, it was the largest contract ever given to a pitcher. He was at the top of his game, in peak physical condition, and had the kind of financial security most people can only dream of.
He was also miserable. And it began to show. Zito’s career declined over the next few years until he hit rock bottom—watching from the bench as his team won the World Series in 2010.
In the months that followed, Zito came face-to-face with the destructiveness of his own ego—his need to be viewed as the best. He also came face-to-face with God and with the truth that he was loved no matter what he achieved.
In Curveball, Zito shares his story with honesty and transparency. The ups and the downs. The wins and losses. By sharing his experiences as a man who had everything except happiness, Zito offers readers a path through adversity and toward a life defined by true success.
In his revealing debut memoir, former Major League Baseball pitcher Zito explores the work-hard play-hard lifestyle he lived before turning to God. The son of a music talent manager and pastor, Zito struggled with the strictures of home life and became addicted to drugsas a teenager, but he managed to keep himself clean for long stretches and became a star college ball player before being picked in the first round of the 1999 MLB draft. His whirlwind journey through the minor leagues was wrought with late-night partying and drug relapses. Once called to the majors, the partying only increased. After signing a $126-million contract with the San Fransisco Giants, Zito, overwhelmed by the fear of not living up to expectations, fell into a pitching slump. He began reading self-help books and tried various spiritual and mental practices, including hiring a spiritual healer; his fragile state hit a fever pitch when he was removed from his team's 2010 playoff roster. Relying on the team chaplain and his devout girlfriend for support, Zito decided to convert to Christianity. Quickly, his career improved and he pitched in his first World Series game. Christian readers and baseball fans alike will enjoy this redemptive, detailed account.