Groundhog Day: Byrnes fondly recalls heroics in 2007 NLDS

Groundhog Day: Byrnes fondly recalls heroics in 2007 NLDS

If Eric Byrnes had to relive the same day over and over -- a la the movie "Groundhog Day" -- the former big leaguer knows exactly which one he would choose.

Byrnes would travel back to 2007, when he was a member of the Arizona Diamondbacks. More specifically, Byrnes would select Oct. 6, 2007, the date of the D-backs' Game 3 clash with the Cubs in the National League Division Series, as the day he would want to be stuck in.

It was on that night that the former outfielder hit the biggest home run of his career, a sixth-inning solo shot off of Carlos Marmol at historic Wrigley Field.

"I was rounding the bases and, all of the sudden, I just flashed back to when I was a kid and I thought about Will Clark," Byrnes said, referencing the six-time All-Star who had starred for the Giants in Game 1 of the 1989 NL Championship Series against the Cubs at Wrigley Field. "He was my favorite player growing up, and I could almost remember hearing ... Clark's feet hitting the ground as he was rounding the bases when he hit that grand slam for the San Francisco Giants back in the 1989 National League Championship Series."

Clark went on to finish the night 4-for-4 with two home runs, a double, six RBIs and a walk in that historic performance. He ultimately won NLCS MVP honors, as the Giants went on to beat the Cubs in five games before losing to the A's in the World Series.

That game certainly served as one of the highlights of Clark's playing days, so it's no surprise that it was on Byrnes' mind in the midst of the greatest moment of his own career.

"I had all sorts of visions and memories [rounding the bases]," Byrnes said. "Just crazy, crazy stuff."

Making the night all the more memorable for Byrnes was the fact the D-backs went on to win that game, sealing a series sweep in the process. Between contributing to the win with two hits and two RBIs overall -- including his home run -- and notching the only postseason series victory of his career, Byrnes' choice for his "Groundhog Day" moment seemed to be an easy one.

"To be able to win that game and celebrate with my teammates at the end of that," Byrnes said, "[it] was just an awesome individual moment and an even better team moment."

Paul Casella is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.