Gone But Not Forgotten: Dirk Hayhurst

Monday, January 03 2011 @ 11:28 PM EST

Contributed by: Thomas

Dirk Hayhurst has announced he wonít be returning to the Blue Jays organization for 2011. However, he left an undeniable mark on the Toronto sports scene during his two years in the organization and I am sure most Blue Jays fans wonít forget Dirk Hayhurst for a long time.

He made 15 appearances for the team in 2009 and didnít record a decision, while posting a 2.78 ERA out of the bullpen. While those contributions should not be overlooked, many fans will remember Hayhurst as well, if not more, for his thought-provoking and honest writing and eloquent radio appearances.

Many baseball players, understandably, are reluctant to speak out about many issues and with the current social media, players are and likely will become more guarded. However, Dirk was more than just an uncommon baseball player willing to speak his mind.

He was perceptive about his place in the sport and baseballís place in society. He was aware of his own limitations, but also determined to succeed as a professional baseball player. He gave fans details of his struggles and successes, but also also opened up a whole new world of Garfooses to previously unknowledgeable fans, myself among them. Furthermore, Dirk isnít a good writer for a baseball player. Heís a good writer. Period.

If you havenít yet, please check out his book, The Bullpen Gospels. I own a copy and it sits proudly next to Jim Boutonís Ball Four and Pat Jordanís A False Spring as the baseball autobiographies I own.

Finally, please read his blog post where he announces that he wonít be returning to the Jays. It demonstrates his class, humility and fantastic writing talent and his genuine love of the organization and city shine through.

Dirk, we enjoyed every radio guest spot, every Garfoose reference and every inning you were on the mound. Best of luck going forward and youíll be missed.