Eric Byrnes Talks Fatherhood, Playing In The MLB & Why He Did A Triathlon Across America

Former MLB player, Eric Byrnes sits down with me to talk about fatherhood, his first day playing in the MLB and why he did a triathlon across the United States. Eric has an all in mentality. He lives by that code everyday. During my conversation with Eric I could see the passion he has to empower and inspire everyday play for kids through his The Let Them Play Foundation. 

I learned the lessons he received from his parents and the values he looks to instill into his kids. We also talk about his book, The F*It List: Life Lessons from a Human Crash Test Dummy. We finish the interview with the Fatherhood Quick Five. 

About Eric Byrnes 

Eric James Byrnes is a San Francisco Bay Area native who grew up in Woodside, CA and attended St. Francis High School (Mountain View) where he excelled playing both football and baseball in the prestigious West Catholic Athletic League. Byrnes regularly competed against fellow major leaguer Pat Burrell (Bellermine Prep) and future NFL Hall of Fame’r Tom Brady (Serra) in both sports. After his senior year Byrnes was selected by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 1994 Major League Baseball draft but elected to attend UCLA on an athletic scholarship.

At UCLA, Byrnes was an All American outfielder and multiple time recipient of the Bruin Academic Award, given to the player with the highest GPA. After a trip to the College World Series in 1997, Byrnes was drafted by the Houston Astros but again chose to put professional baseball on hold in favor of education. In 1998, after his Senior year, Byrnes was drafted for the 3rd time and eventually signed with the Oakland Athletics. Byrnes was elected into the UCLA Athletic Hall of Fame in 2013.

Byrnes made his Major League debut with the Oakland A’s against the Cleveland Indians on August 22, 2000. He singled sharply up the middle in his first at bat against All Star Chuck Finley and finished the day 2-4 with a stolen base and 2 runs scored. He also nearly incited a bench clearing brawl with his aggressive style of play. Byrnes was part of the 2002 Oakland A’s “Moneyball” team that broke a modern day record with 20 consecutive wins. In 2003, Byrnes hit in 22 consecutive games and while playing against his favorite childhood team, the 

In 2011, Byrnes completed his first full distance Ironman triathlon and as of November of 2017 he has completed 11 full distance Ironman’s. In June of 2016 Byrnes completed the grueling Western States 100 Mile Endurance Run where he was the subject and executive producer of the award winning documentary “Diamond To The Rough.”

On April 21st, 2018, as part of a fundraiser for non-toxic lymphoma treatment research, Byrnes competed in the Napa Valley 12 Hour Ultra Speed Golf Competition and set a new WORLD RECORD by completing 245 holes.

Byrnes is an avid supporter of the Pat Tillman Foundation, Challenged Athletes Foundation and Fit Kids. He resides in Half Moon Bay, Truckee and New York City with his wife Tarah, a former Miss California USA 2002, and their 3 children, Chloe, Cali and Colton.

Follow Eric on Twitter at @Byrnes22 and go to his foundation’s website at

About The Let Them Play Foundation

The Let Them Play Foundation was established in May 2018 by Eric Byrnes and his wife Tarah to empower and inspire everyday play for kids. The foundation is focused on funding specific needs for organizations that provide the means and opportunity for children to play and raise awareness of the plight of inactivity facing our children around the country. They are committed to being the bridge between small gifts and a big difference by giving 100% of the donations in the form of Grants.

About The Art of Fatherhood Podcast 

The Art of Fatherhood Podcast follows the journey of fatherhood. Your host, Art Eddy talks with dads from all around the world where they share their thoughts on fatherhood. Please leave a review wherever you listen to podcasts. 

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