Topic: Tim Byrdak

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Timothy Christopher Byrdak (born October 31, 1973 in Oak Forest, Illinois) is a Major League Baseball relief pitcher for the New York Mets. His previous major league experience came from 1998 to 2000, when Byrdak played for the Kansas City Royals, an injury-plagued stint with the Baltimore Orioles, and one year with the Detroit Tigers.

After playing for the Orioles from 2005-2006, Byrdak was designated for assignment on August 30, 2006. On November 17, 2006, the Tigers signed him to a minor league deal. On March 26, 2008, Byrdak was released after posting a 13.50 ERA during spring training and later signed with the Houston Astros.

Prior to the 2007 season, Byrdak developed a forkball, a type of pitch that he had previously not thrown. This enabled him to throw 3 pitches (along with a fastball and curveball), and as a result he began to post the best numbers of his career. In his Detroit debut, Byrdak struck out 5 of 6 batters in the heart of the powerful Boston Red Sox lineup, including an inning-ending curve to which David Ortiz struck out looking. Aside from major league baseball Tim works at the Diamond Sports Academy and gives pitching lessons alongside many former major leaguers including former Rockies ace, Marvin Freeman. Tim is married to Heather and has two children, daughter Briana and son Christopher. He and his family reside in Lockport, IL during the off-season. He played for the Gary SouthShore RailCats in 2003. While playing for the Rail Cats,he faced 77-year-old Minnie Minoso leading off the game at St. Paul on July 16, 2003 and got a walk. The plate appearance marks Minoso’s seventh decade of professional baseball, and Byrdak is quoted in the “Scorecard” section of Sports Illustrated on his impressions on facing the former White Sox star.

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