Once a valued member of this Chicago Cubs’ bullpen, veteran reliever Kyle Farnsworth played his last season as a Major League Baseball player with the Houston Astros in 2014.
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The 39-year-old was drafted by the Cubs in the 47th round back in 1994 but didn’t make his big league debut until 1999. Farnsworth spent six years on the North Side of Chicago up until he was traded to the Detroit Tigers in 2005 for Bo Flowers, Roberto Novoa, and Scott Moore after appearing in 72 games in 2004.
In his final year with the Cubs, Farnsworth worked 66 2/3 innings – allowing 35 earned runs on 67 hits with 18 holds, 1.50 WHIP, 78/33 K/BB ratio while posting a 4.73 ERA. There was a point during that season where he kicked an electric fan in the dugout after surrendering six earned runs against the Houston Astros.
Since being dealt by the team that drafted him, Kyle has spent some time with 10 teams in 16-years of service before he was outrighted by the Astros last June.
Now it’s obvious that any professional player needs something to fall back on once they retire from whatever sport they were apart of. They need to make a living somehow, right? Well, for Kyle, who isn’t a small guy, that fallback plan just so happened to be minor-league football down in the state of Florida.
According to the Chicago Sun-Times, the former reliever has made the transition from working out of the bullpen, to racking up tackles and sacks on the gridiron in what was a surprising and unexpected career move.
The man who wore No. 44 for the majority of his career now lines up as a defensive end for the Orlando Phantoms (Florida Football Alliance) with the No. 90 on his jersey. So far this season, Farnsworth not only leads the team in tackles with 41, but sacks as well with 11 in as many games.
The Phantoms currently call Lake Brantley High School their home and only charge adults $7.00 a ticket and $4.00 for students who attend the school while children the age of five are free.
If he continues to perform at this level, it could bring notice to Arena Football League teams, especially the Orlando Predators. That may appear to be a long-shot, but Farnsworth also noted that he’s still baseball ready as noted by the Sun-Times.