Barry Zito, ever the professional. The Giants pitcher took out a full-page ad in Monday's San Francisco Chronicle to thank fans for "the fire in your hearts for Giants baseball."
Despite some a few bumps along the way and a much-hyped about 7-year contract worth $126 million, the lefty pitcher fought hard to earn fans' respect.
In the ad, Zito notes he "rode the wave to not one but two World Series Championships" and describes his time with Giants as one that will shape "the lens that I see life through for the rest of my life."
The fans' appreciation of Zito was never more evident than in his farewell appearance at AT&T Park in late September.
“You know, just being through everything here in San Francisco and having that way to go out as a Giant, it was, `wow.’” Zito said. “It was a lot to take in. It’ll probably be a few months and a gradual absorption process. Nobody can take that in. It was just too intense. It was very special.”
During his time with the Giants, Zito went 63-80 with a 4.62 ERA and was a member of two World Series Championship teams. He's now a free agent.