Barry William Zito (born May 13, 1978, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA) is a pitcher with the Oakland Athletics baseball club. In 2002, he won the Cy Young Award for outstanding pitcher in the American League. A left hander, Zito throws a 90 mph fastball, a changeup and an excellent curveball (whose nicknames include "Captain Hook", "Rip-Curl" and "Bert") that has drawn comparisons to Hall of Famer Sandy Koufax. In 2005, he added a strong slider, or "slurve," to his pitch arsenal.
Zito — whose hobbies include yoga, rock guitar and surfing — is known for his idiosyncrasies. Zito created the charity Strikeouts for Troops to which he donates $100 for every strikeout he throws to hospitals for soldiers wounded in military operations.
Zito's personality has made him a media favorite. He once made it a practice to buy his own autographed baseball cards on eBay; when asked why he bought them at auction for high prices rather than acquiring unsigned cards and signing them himself, Zito replied, "Because they're authenticated." In addition, Zito carries satin pillows on the road, collects stuffed animals, once dyed his hair blue, and burns incense to relax. He has since earned the nickname "Planet Zito."
- Entering the 2005 season, Zito had thrown 981 innings, with 774 strikeouts with only 372 walks and a 72-40 record.
- When he won the Cy Young in 2002, he went 23-5 with a 2.75 ERA, and 182 strikeouts.
|AL Cy Young Award Winner