Has Barry Zito Earned His $126 Million Contract?

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# 3 – Exceptional human being on and off the Field

When drafted, brought up, traded, or signed, teams try their best to bring in players who can work well within a team dynamic.  Most players get along well, even becoming very close off the field.  There are those who may be more hot-headed and harder to work with, and then there’s the small, rare group of  players who step up and lead by example.

Oct 22, 2012; San Francisco, CA, USA; San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Barry Zito (75) celebrates after defeating the St. Louis Cardinals 9-0 in game seven of the 2012 NLCS to advance to the world series at AT&T Park. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L. Cox.

Whether it’s on or off the field, there’s something that must be said for the players who take the initiative to go the extra mile in the effort to inspire themselves, but more importantly, others.  And that is exactly the type of player Barry William Zito is; a leader.  Always thinking of other people, he is more than just an exceptional clubhouse personality and pitcher, he is a giver.

He’s always been involved in charities, but since 2005, Barry Zito has been heavily involved with his non-profit organization, Strikeout For Troops, which is dedicated to giving back in every way possible to America’s injured military personnel.  Not only is he involved, but he actually created it, along with fellow pitcher for the White Sox, Jake Peavy.  Coming from a military family, Zito has always striven to give back to his country’s servicemen, regularly donating money, and playing live concerts in efforts to raise money and awareness for wounded and injured veterans.

So for those infuriated fans all up in arms about the amount of money he has cost this franchise and its fans; at least he’s giving back to a more than deserving cause.

In addition, he was a class act when he was left off of the 2010 postseason roster, accepting it as graciously as possible.  He became one of their biggest cheerleaders in the dugout.