Wilmington, DE - The Blue Rocks continue to announce the Top 25 Players to play in a Blue Rocks' uniform. Earlier this afternoon, Clint Robinson was named to the list. We now turn the clocks back for the next member of the Blue Crew to earn the honor of joining the group of Top 25 Players in team history.
Tim Byrdak played collegiately at Rice University before being drafted by the Kansas City Royals in the 5th round of the 1994 draft. He spent two seasons as a member of the Blue Rocks in different capacities in 1995 and 1997. In his initial season, Byrdak joined another Top 25 Blue Rock in Glendon Rusch to provide a formidable one-two punch for Wilmington. Byrdak finished the season with an 11-5 record and a 2.16 ERA in 26 starts.
Along with Rusch, Byrdak still remains in the top-five in Blue Rocks' single-season history with his impressive ERA mark. He led the team in innings pitched and had a solid 127 to 45 strikeout to walk ratio. That season, Byrdak sent the Blue Rocks to the Championship Series when he earned the win against Prince William in Game 2 of the Northern Division Series. Wilmington ultimately fell short against Kinston in the Championship Series. After a tough 1996 season in Double-A Wichita, Byrdak returned to the blue and gold in 1997. However this time, he was used primarily as a reliever. In 22 games, the lefty went 4-3 with a 3.51 ERA.
The following season, The Oak Lawn, Illinois native heard his name called to join the Royals. He made his debut against the New York Yankees on August 7, 1998. He appeared in just two more games that year. He would spend the 1999-2000 season with the Royals and make a total of 48 appearances. Unfortunately for Byrdak, it would take him five years to return to the majors. After stints with the Cleveland Indians and San Diego Padres farm systems and even a year in Independent Baseball, the southpaw found his way back atop a MLB mound in 2005 with the Baltimore Orioles. In 41 games, he went 0-1 with a 4.05 ERA and struck out 31 men in 26 plus innings of work. He earned his first career win on April 14, 2006 against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and made 16 appearances for the O's that season.
After spending the 2007 season with the Detroit Tigers and going 3-0 with a solid 3.20 ERA in 30 games, Byrdak became one of the most called upon bullpen arms for the Houston Astros. From 2008-10, the left-handed hurler made 199 appearances and posted a 5-5 record with a respectable 3.53 ERA. In 2009, he appeared in a career-high 76 games which was also 10th most in the NL that year. After his three years of service in Houston, Byrdak headed to the Big Apple and joined the New York Mets. He might be best known for bringing a chicken into the clubhouse in 2012 to serve as his personal mascot which he named "Little Seinfeld". Byrdak finished his career with 479 relief appearances under his belt with a 4.35 ERA.
Wilmington opens its 2017 campaign at Frawley Stadium on Thursday, April 6 against the Potomac Nationals. Season seats, mini plans and group packages for the Blue Rocks' 25th season are on sale now. To purchase tickets, visit the team's website at www.BlueRocks.com. To learn more about what is on tap for the Rocks' 25th season celebration, check out www.BlueRocks/25thseason.com.
25 Years of Blue Rocks Baseball