Ryan Anthony Klesko (born June 12, 1971 in Westminster, California), is a former first baseman and corner outfielder, who last played for the San Francisco Giants of Major League Baseball. He attended Westminster High School in Westminster, California. Ryan previously played with the San Diego Padres and Atlanta Braves. He bats and throws left-handed.
Klesko hit at least 21 home runs in eight of his 13 major league seasons, with a high of 34 homers in 1996. His most productive season came in 2001, when he hit .286 with 30 home runs and posted career-highs in RBI (113), runs (105), stolen bases (23) and slugging percentage (.539), and made the National League All-Star team. In 2002, he hit .300 with 29 HR and 95 RBI, and collected career-highs in hits (162) and doubles (39). Defensively he has shuttled around the outfield and first base.
In his career he has a .370 on base percentage with a .500 slugging average, for a .870 OPS. His .525 slugging percentage as a Brave ranks 4th all-time among the team's career leaders, ahead of Eddie Mathews. His .886 OPS as a Brave ranks him 5th among Braves' all-time leaders.
Klesko missed nearly the entire 2006 season due to major shoulder surgery. He returned on September 21, drawing a walk as a pinch-hitter in his first plate appearance. On December 19, 2006, Klesko signed a one-year contract with the San Francisco Giants.
Off the fieldEdit
- Klesko has been actively involved with the Padres Community Relations efforts. In 2001, he received the Chairman's Award, presented annually by the Padres Community Relations Department to the player who best exemplifies the community spirit of John Moores and his family. During his five Padres seasons, Klesko has given his time and money to support numerous philanthropic endeavors in the San Diego community. He has served as the club's spokesperson for the Make-A-Wish Foundation, hosting Make-A-Wish children for batting practice, a pregame ceremony and a ballgame each home stand. While it was previously reported that he was a skilled hypnotist, Klesko denied this on 4/21/09 on WFNZ's Mac Attack, claiming he had no idea where the rumor started. Through his Klesko's Korner program, he has regularly provided Padres tickets to children and families facing cancer for the last four years, and he has also been a leading supporter of the Padres Scholars program.
- Klesko hosts Ryan Klesko's Adventures, a show on the Outdoor Channel following Ryan on a variety of outdoor activities including hunting, fishing, and surfing.
- ESPN reporter Pedro Gomez reported on November 16, 2007, Klesko and teammate Barry Bonds were hunting together in Colorado at the time Bonds was notified he was indicted by a federal grand jury in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California.
- Ryan was the spokesman for a local boot store in San Diego, appearing in an oft-shown advertisement, in which he invites viewers to browse the store's selection of boots, urging them to "come down to Bootworld and tell them I sent ya." The ads still continue to appear sporadically during Padres games even though he is no longer with the team.
Klekso is married to Marissa and has two sons Corey and Williard.
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