2/25 This is a part of me

NOTE: This offseason, Marlon Byrd added a new tattoo on his right arm. It’s an excerpt from Theodore Roosevelt’s “Citizenship in a Republic” speech, delivered at the Sorbonne in Paris on April 23, 1910. Here’s the excerpt and below that, Marlon’s first post for 2012:

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

The quote is not talking about going out and trying to succeed, it’s talking about giving it your all regardless, win, lose or draw, whatever happens, and knowing that whenever you get up and then you go home, that you have no questions, none whatsoever. You can’t question yourself, you can’t doubt yourself. I feel I do that every single year. This last year was not a good year for me but at the same time, I left it all out on the field. It wasn’t like, oh, I could’ve done more, I could’ve done better. I didn’t have a good year. I put it all out there and didn’t have a good year. I came into the offseason and trained harder. I’ve done that every single year, good or bad. I feel that’s my character. Every time I read that, I feel that’s me he’s talking about. That’s why I put it on my arm. It’s not even a reminder because I feel that’s me. I put it on there because it is me, it’s a part of me. Just the history behind the speech, it’s from 1910, and me putting the Coliseum around it, and that old school feel of those guys battling. To take that mindset — I know we play baseball — but to have that mindset going onto the field, I think we need that.

My wife sends it to me every year on Opening Day. She found it, and she’d send it to me every single year to remind me that all the work I put in, I’m able to do that every single day, and not just in April and May but until Sept. 28, Oct. 3, whatever that last day of the season is.

— Marlon


  1. Jason

    I think the last game of the season is going to be sometime at the end of October or beginning of November this year. Give em hell Marlon!!

  2. Jeff Barrett

    You are the ultimate professional Marlon. I’m sure you are inspiring to the younger players coming up as well. I love your dedication and you are always entertaining to the fans out in the bleachers which makes the games more enjoyable. Great success in 2012!

  3. Roger Hutchinson

    Giving it all you can is the only way to play the game. I hope all of your teamates adapt the same idea and we will have a longer fall season than normal.

  4. Robin Stetze

    My husband and I love watching you play, Marlon, because it is obvious that you do give it your all everytime you’re out there. Thanks for the great example that you set and for making it look like you really are having fun. Have a great season!!

  5. mlblogscrazycub

    You are the kind of player we all root for. Win or lose, you play the game all out until the last out! I’m looking forward to the 2012 Cubs. I feel like the team’s energy will be great and the team will battle.

  6. Dave (ronforever)

    I, for one, am happy the Cubs organization decided to stay with Mr. Byrd. Besides being a professional, he is a genuine human. Many teams and players could learn a lot from his work ethic. I thought he had a very decent season in ’11. If he stands true to form, he will have an excellent season. A terrific player on the field and an even better mentor in the dugout. Look for Mr. Byrd to have a great season. He will be a big part of a great season this year. Lets go Cubs.

    • Dave (ronforever)

      David, I am Dave. It is good to see a young person like yourself take an interest not only in the Cubs, but an interest to widen your skills at something other than vandalism or destruction. Keep up the good work, and things will fall in place for you.

  7. Annie

    This is why you are my favorite Cub. Favorite player! You give your all every play. I am looking forward to this season!

  8. karen

    well said marlon, you are a true leader and inspiration to up coming players. you always give your best and that is very hard to find now a days. keep it up and and continue on with your career, much appreciated you are a dedicated player in which we need more of! THANK YOU, MARL0N.

  9. Ron

    God bless you, Marlon. I – and all Cub fans have been praying for a World Series championship for 55 years. We would love to see you leads us there!

  10. julius c. graber

    marlon you are a stud, now don’t get in over your head with me saying that (i know you won’t) you are my fav. player out there.i didn’t even need to hear those words to know how dedicated of a player you are and how you always strive for more and of course how well you carry your self. that was very well writen and inspiring.i love to watch you play and i’m very exited about this season,do remember where all your sucsess comes from and whose bigger than all this and that baseball is only a game and that it is a privlidge to play it. keep up the good work.
    your #1 fan,
    julius graber ( i’m 11 years old by the way)

    • Brett

      Leadership isnt very important if you ultimately put up the same numbers as you would sticking random AAA players in CF. He knows he needs help in clutch situations and to bring runners in so i’m sure he will do everything he can to turn it around. I like the guy just like everyone else but a cub fan WAY more than i’m a Marlon Byrd fan. So if a month goes by and he’s not hitting the ball he should be sent down or even released. It’s not little league so if he does what he did last year we shouldnt put up with it anymore. He might have a big contract to let go of but so did Zambrano- cutting your loses and giving a shot to someone with bigger potential is the way to go if he doesnt do what is needed of him. However, I wish him the best and I hope that great offseason work he did pays off so we can have a nice season.

  11. Dave (ronforever)

    Maybe he doesn’t hit for power and is not a prolific run producer, but he adds a sense of professionalism to the clubhouse. He is the type of person that can take on a leadership role- the other players will draw off of that. I saw him make many, many plays that other players would have given up on. I got a feeling Campana will be a late innings special weapon, most likely not a starter. Although he could start.

  12. Boinit

    Ah Marlon, who knew you were a sensitive, philosophical human being? Your quote touched me, as I have been one of your worst detractors re the year 2011. I hope as you say that you had a bad year, and that all the hard work you’ve put in this off season will reward you, and all Cub fans with an improved performance this 2012. I’ve always loved your hustle, but feared you might haave lost half a step defensively last year. I truly hope you prove me wrong, and I wish you success in 2012. You sound like a good person.

  13. Justin Callahan

    The quote is awesome. You are always an inspiration to me and have been since we met. You have helped me believe in myself and know how to get at it the right way. I had an incredible spring/summer as a utility guy playing ss/of/p/c last season. I finished up hitting around .480 with a couple hr’s and also pitched well. I threw a game last fall where I had 19 K’s. I went from weighing 235lbs. last year to 195lbs.today. I’m living by your words…It never stops. I keep putting in work every day and trying to pass on some of what you have done for me. I will never be able to thank you enough. You are missed in NJ. I hope I get to see you sometime this season. Good luck this year and have fun.

    Your friend,

  14. underseadoc

    We had to memorize this speech over our plebe (freshman) summer at the Naval Academy. 15 years later, I can still recite it. Well done, Marlon. It takes tough skin to be in the public eye, just like it takes tough skin to be a public servant.

  15. Keithman

    Hi Marlon!

    That’s pretty amazing that your arm is big enough to fit all those words on. It reminds me of the movie “Memento” where Guy Pearce’s character cannot create long term memories so he tattoos notes to himself all over his body. I think the best part of the quote you have chosen is that it’s from Theodore Roosevelt. Now there’s a guy who had a great mustache! He used to kill giant animals in Africa and he even groomed his friend to be President then decided he would do a better job and ran against him, failed and then ran as an independent. Teddy Roosevelt also said “Speak softly and carry a big stick” which is also good advice and might be something you could tattoo somewhere else.

    So this winter has been pretty wild. I mean, we went to Disneyland with the whole family. I’m talking about my brother-in-law Andy, my sister-in-law Tara, their kids (names intentionally withheld), my wife Taela, my kids (names intentionally withheld), my father-in-law John, my mother-in-law Patti, my sister-in-law Brittany and my sister-in-law Tasia who left after a couple of days. I was even able to spend some time with my cousin Anna (or Midori), my cousin-by-marriage Greg and my first-cousin-once-removed (name intentionally withheld). Then, after the park closed on Saturday night I was in the gift shop outside Star Tours and I head a guy say “Hey A**Hole” and I look up and it’s my buddy Matt! Long story short: good.

    Marlon, I got a parking ticket. Marlon, I got another parking ticket while I was delivering meals on wheels. Marlon, I then wrote a vulgar name on my parking receipt on my next meals on wheels route and got another ticket. I quit meals on wheels, Marlon.

    I just got back from a place called Bandon Dunes. It’s now rated as the best golf resort in the country. It’s in Oregon of all places…go figure. So I went down there and I’m not going to bore you with the details, but here are the highlights of the trip:
    1) Three of us were playing with a stranger. Turns out the guy is the assistant dean of the University of Washington. On about the 6th hole I crack open a cold one (Coke Zero) and take a drink. The fizz hits the back of my throat and I cough. The whole mouthful of Coke Zero sprays out all over this guy. I mean, I didn’t know this guy from Adam and I’m already spitting soda all over him? You missed a great trip.
    2) The next day we played two rounds and we were exhausted (think double-header tired). We went into the pub but maybe I should ad an ‘e’ to that word because when they delivered my burger I picked it up, took a bite then looked down on my plate and saw a dark, curly hair laying there. It was a human body hair, Marlon. Which part of the body? I have my hunch, but I’m not going to name it here.

    Well, Marlon…I’m not planning on watching too much this year. It’s pretty obvious that Theo is dismantling the mess that Hendry created. I’m assuming your time with the Cubs is coming to a close. You’ll probably get your wish that you voiced when Kosuke was traded and be sent out of town too.

    It’s been cool being friends and I hope we stay in touch. You should keep up on my adventures at http:// keenkeith . blogspot . com.

    Say hi to the guys for me and let them know that if I didn’t have so many responsibilities as a dad and if the team were better I would watch more!


  16. Jackson Scofield

    How are Brett Jackson and Anthony Rizzo looking so far? Heard they put on a show in BP with Rizzo hitting one 500 feet over a 50 foot wall in Center?

  17. bjsw19

    does anyone know where i can get a helmet like Marlon wore after his injury? My son had surgery on his eye after getting hit by a ball, and I would like him to wear a protective helmet.

    Please advise, Bill

  18. Valerie H

    Hey Marlon,

    Always love watching you play! And great quote! But one question: you put that whole huge quote as a tat on your arm? Wow!

  19. Ashley Zielinski

    A little poem for your enjoyment…


    I travel through
    The windy frontier
    Along the winding shoreline
    to reach you

    Once Im Here
    The Feelings Clear
    and you hold the scent of spring

    Above the rumble and through the thick
    Below the man has a stick
    On your lush green grass

    Surrounded by sounds and the wall
    I can see you
    Like the man who spent to much time

    What I mean is your great
    What I mean is your a great
    pass time

    An enjoyable stop
    a few times a year
    Why Not?

    I cannot find a reason
    Whats in store for this season

    I am a fan, but you are The Field

    –I Feel your importance


  20. hgonza99

    You are a great example on how to play the game, Marlon. From day one, you have been a joy to watch on and off the field. Here’s hoping both you and the Cubbies have a succesful 2012!

  21. Mrs.Williams

    Marlon has been an awesome guy his whole life.He has always been a hard worker, even as a kid in high school.He is one of those guys that you just knew would be great.That poem fits him perfectly.He is doing what he loves and we are so proud of him=)

  22. Eileen Pankow

    Loved the Theodore Roosevelt post. Also, went to Spring Training this past March. I had the unusual “Angry Byrd” t-shirt which you showed off to your dugout and then kindly autographed. Thanks for taking time for the fans!

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  25. ОООВалок_Феликс

    RE:2/25 This is a part of me « The Byrd’s Nest НПП Валок Производство роликов МНЛЗ

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