When you are believed to be the only active Major League Baseball player who still works with BALCO founder Victor Conte, you probably don't really care what people think about your body art.
Outfielder Marlon Byrd showed up at Chicago Cubs spring training in better shape and with a very inspiring tattoo. The journeyman centerfielder completely covered his right forearm with excerpts from President Theodore Roosevelt's iconic "Man in the Arena" speech from 1910.
Here's an excerpt (via Theodore-Roosevelt.com) from that speech delivered by America's 26th President in Paris, France on April 23, 1910.
"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."
Roosevelt was a huge sports fan who legend has it lost sight in one eye while boxing in the White House. Furthermore, worried about the health of student athletes, Roosevelt helped form the NCAA in 1906.
Byrd told the Northwest Herald's Meghan Montemurro that it took two sessions totaling a lengthy nine hours to finish up his new Roosevelt tattoo.
Doctors diagnosed Byrd with Celiac disease after the 2011 season. The disorder blocks his body from digesting some gluten-filled foods. Thanks to a change in diet, he's dropped 20 pounds.
In addition to two seasons with the Cubs, Byrd has also played for the Phillies, Rangers and Nationals during his 10 big league seasons. The outfielder's contract is up after the 2012 season, and he says he doesn't want to leave Wrigley Field.
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