Born in Canton, Ohio in 1981, Dirk grew up in the small town of Canton South where he attended Canton South high school, home of the Wildcats. Dirk holds a degree in communication studies from Kent State University, where he is also a member of the athletic hall of fame.
Dirk was drafted by the San Diego Padres in the 8th round of the 2003 amateur player draft. He signed as a senior in college at Kent State University, put his communication degree on hold, and set off to the fabled Northwest League to become a Eugene Emerald.
After 6 years of toiling in the minors, playing for the Eugene Emeralds, Fort Wayne Wizards, Lake Elsinore Storm, Mobile BayBears, San Antonio Missions, and Portland Beavers, Dirk emerged in the big leagues with San Diego to start against the San Fransico Giants on August, 23, 2008. His performance in that start was unremarkable, but the story between the two aforementioned dates is not.
Dirk’s literary work was first featured at baseballamerica.com, where he wrote The Non-Prospect Diaries (now The Bullpen Gospels, in connection with his book), a blog about the other side of the baseball dream. At the time Dirk had no idea he would someday become a big leaguer, and the column was Dirk’s way of keeping perspective in the midst of all the crazy things he encountered on the minor league trail. As it would happen, The Non-Prospect Diaries became so popular he was approached by several newspapers, including that of his home town, The CantonRepository, where he began a column called The Bullpen Gospels. Only one year (and several thousand readers) later, Dirk was not only knocking on the door of the big leagues but in discussions to write a book as well.
Dirk’s first book, The Bullpen Gospels, came out on March 30, 2010 and was met with a surge of acclaim from all manner of key figures, such as Keith Olbermann, Bob Costas, Jayson Stark, Tim McCarver, Tom Verducci, and several esteemed print sources like, The New York Times, Sports Illustrated, The Boston Globe, and the list goes on. Out Of My League, the sequel to The Bullpen Gospels, about Dirk's 40 days and nights as a rookie in the Big leagues, was also a best seller and has earned Dirk the title of "best author to wear baseball uniform" according the New York Times. Dirk wrote a follow up to Out Of My League via an Ebook companion titled Wild Pitches. Bigger Than The Game is the 3rd book in what is now known as the Bullpen Gospels trilogy and considered by many to be his most important contribution to baseball writing.
In 2012, Dirk started his third professional career as a professional broadcaster and baseball analyst. Dirk has became a contributor for ESPN, SportsNet, TSN, the Olbermann Show on ESPN 2, and a panelist on TBS's coverage of the MLB post season. Dirk is also a regular guest of various MLB related shows around the country.
****Praise for Dirk Hayhurst's Writing****
"Sharp insights and searing honesty about depression, addiction, and baseball"
—Tyler Kepner, The New York Times.
“By writing courageously about mental health and insightfully about the rise of social media, Hayhurst has done more than take us inside our national pastime. He’s provided us with a window to our national consciousness. BIGGER THAN THE GAME represents Hayhurst’s thought-provoking legacy to the sport.”
—John Paul Morosi, Fox Sports.
"Hayhurst’s book delves deeper into what happens when a player is broken physically, but it goes a step further, detailing what can happen when a player is also broken mentally. This is a rare treat, and would be essential reading for this fact alone, even if the tale was not well conveyed. However, the book is an incredibly entertaining rollercoaster ride."
—The Hardball Times
"Dirk Hayhurst has a keen eye for finding the human side in the business-oriented world of professional baseball, something he's demonstrated in his excellent books. Largely based on his own experiences, but fuelled by the power of his observations, Bigger Than the Game gives readers a more insightful look at the game."
—Shi Davidi, Toronto Blue Jays beat writer for Sportsnet.ca
"Bigger Than The Game not only adds to Dirk Hayhurst's pedigree as a writer; it explores uncharted baseball waters with the unique, observant, entertaining eye Hayhurst is famous for. A must read."
—Jeff Blair, columnist for The Globe And Mail, author of Full Count: Four Decades of Blue Jays Baseball
"Dirk Hayhurst Cements His Baseball Legacy with Bigger Than the Game"
—Tyler Duma, Bleacher Report.
"Even more than he did in The Bullpen Gospels, Dirk Hayhurst teaches us here what happens when a 'dream career' collides with reality. There is such universality in his struggles, that if by the book's end you don't become him in your mind, there's probably something wrong with your heart."
"We all know the story of the wide-eyed rookie just happy to reach the major leagues. Problem is, there's so much more to it. Dirk Hayhurst takes us along on his journey from fringe prospect to major leaguer, with its exhilarating highs but also its punishing lows. The ride is gripping, revealing--and not at all what you'd expect. The author peels back his evolution as a person and a player, ranging far from the field yet showing compelling sides of the game that fans rarely see."
--Tyler Kepner, The New York Times
"Once again, Dirk Hayhurst brings readers into a world they rarely see: the hardscrabble world of minor-league baseball. It is a world full of political drama, financial stress and daily heartache. These are players you rarely hear about, players who rarely become rich or famous. Most, in fact, face the same kinds of struggles as the rest of us."
--Ken Rosenthal, Fox Sports
"Dirk Hayhurst has done it again. His second book is as good if not better than his first. Turns out he's a starter and a closer."
--Tim Kurkjian, ESPN
"Baseball is a game governed by countless rules, none bigger than this one: Don't over think it. Dirk Hayhurst takes us down the rabbit hole that is his mind, to a place where that rule is constantly violated, every decision, every move, every breath over thought. In the process, he provides a brutally honest take on life in the majors--the oversized ballparks, hotel rooms, and personalities, but also the self-doubt, loneliness, and despair. I laughed, I cried, I even learned how to doctor a baseball."
--Jonah Keri, author of The Extra 2%
"Out of My League is no mere sequel to The Bullpen Gospels. Yes, Hayhurst continues to chronicle his journey through the good, bad, absurd, mundane and often harrowing world of professional baseball, and yes his excellent writing continues to be hilarious, touching, illuminating and poignant. But this is more than a baseball book. It's the second -- and hopefully not the last -- chapter of a larger story of a man learning that it's possible to grip a baseball without it gripping him."
--Craig Calcaterra, NBC Sports.com
"Dirk Hayhurst manages to bring an outsider's point of view to the baseball world, even while reaching the major leagues for the first time. It's never too inside baseball, even though it is literally from inside baseball."
--John Manuel, Editor, Baseball America
"Hayhurst has done it again. I was blown away by every page, every chapter, every twist, every turn. I kept thinking that if I could only pitch as well as Dirk can write, I might have more Cy Youngs than Greg Maddux."
--Jayson Stark, ESPN.com
"Once again, Hayhurst delivers an entertaining story for more than just sports fans. Baseball provides the backdrop, but this is about life, relationships and the sacrifices made to pursue a dream. Hayhurst's unique storytelling style makes for another memorable read."
--Jordan Bastian, MLB.com
"In Dirk Hayhurst's funny, earthy, touching new book, he finally makes it to a big-league mound. As a writer, he's been throwing strikes in the Show for a while now, and "Out of My League" is another quality start."
--King Kaufman, Bleacher Report
"The most candid portrayal of life as a professional athlete I've ever seen. Out of My League is a must for anyone who has dreamed of making the Major Leagues and has wondered what they missed."
--Michael Dolan, Editor-in-Chief, Athletes Quarterly
"Hayhurst isn't afraid to tell it like it is. He has a genuine gift for telling the stories of his life in such a way that they reveal profound truths. I find his writing both entertaining and thought provoking... unlike his fastball."
--Ben Zobrist, Tampa Bay Rays All-Star
"By the time you finish OUT OF MY LEAGUE -- which is so compulsively readable and enjoyable that it could be the same day you start - you'll feel like you've just sat with an old pal who clawed his way into the bigs and couldn't wait to tell you everything about the experience. Apparently it's not enough for him to be a major league pitcher; Dirk has to be a fantastic writer, too. This is because God is cruel and unfair. You, however, are lucky: you get to read OUT OF MY LEAGUE."
--Matt Fraction, Marvel Comics
"After many minutes, hours, days, weeks, months and years spent in the bullpen, I can verify that this is a true picture of baseball.”
“One of the funniest baseball books since Jim Bouton reinvented the player diary by being honest in Ball Four…Hayhurst does a wonderful job of capturing the contradictory essence of life in the minors, of apprentice heroes struggling on a burrito budget, thrown together and whirled apart by an impersonal business that eats its young..”
—Jeff Nueman, Clear Channel Sports
“Bull Durham meets Ball Four in Dirk Hayhurst’s hilarious and moving account of life in baseball’s glamor-free bush leagues.”
—Rob Neyer, SB Nation
“Everyone he describes you can say I played with someone just like that.Any pro baseball player can relate to his stories, but for anyone who enjoys baseball, it’s a good read too.”
—Daniel Bard, Pitcher for the Boston Red Sox
“This is the long-awaited, much-needed minor-league equivalent of Ball Four. It’s eloquent. It’s insightful. It’s poignant. It’s hilarious. Sometimes all in the same paragraph. I loved it. All of it.”
—Jayson Stark, ESPN.com
“After THE BULLPEN GOSPELS, people will know exactly who Hayhurst is and they should see ballplayers as more than just numbers on the backs of jerseys. Much like Hayhurst and others who spend careers fighting labels, it is too simple to call this a baseball book. It is so much more. It is a book about life, with baseball as the backdrop….Hayhurst has written a big-time book. That much is clear.”
—Jordan Bastian, MLB.com
“A highly compelling and great read…Hayhurst takes you on bus rides, in the clubhouse, and, of course, in the bullpen with in-depth descriptions and terrifically written passages.”
—Ian Browne, MLB.com.
“Dirk Hayhurst has written a fascinating, funny and honest account on life in the minor leagues. I loved it. Writers can’t play baseball, but in this case, a player sure can write.”
—Tim Kurkjian, Senior Writer, ESPN The Magazine, analyst/reporter ESPN television
Bullpen Gospels is a rollicking good bus ride of a book.Hayhurst illuminates a baseball life not only with wit and humor, but also with thought-provoking introspection.
—Tom Verducci, Sports Illustrated.
“Baseball is a game governed by countless rules, none bigger than this one: Don’t over think it. Dirk Hayhurst takes us down the rabbit hole that is his mind, to a place where that rule is constantly violated, every decision, every move, every breath over thought. In the process, he provides a brutally honest take on life in the majors–the oversized ballparks, hotel rooms, and personalities, but also the self-doubt, loneliness, and despair. I laughed, I cried, I even learned how to doctor a baseball.”
—Jonah Keri, Author of The Extra 2%
“One is torn about wanting Hayhurst’s baseball career to continue versus his writing career. It would be great to have both.”
—Joe Gross, Austin American Statesman
"…The Bullpen Gospels is a damn good book, and in it Hayhurst acts as a unique prism (a literate ballplayer!?!?) through which the inglorious life of minor league ball is reflected. It’s a thoughtful, funny, touching memoir … The Bullpen Gospels is an enjoyable, interesting read that will give you a new kind of appreciation for the many, many under-appreciated who make the game we love what it is. Yet at the same time, it will have you questioning the deification of the uniform—which, after all, is worn by men just like you and I (uh… unless you’re a woman)—and consistently laughing along the way .
—Drunk Jays Fans.com