Madison Bumgarner Remembers Sister Who Overdosed

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Madison Bumgarner’s sister, Dena Byrd, passed away in 2010 after overdosing on medication. Dena might’ve been his half-sister biologically, but for the baseballer, she was always just his true sister. 

The 34-year-old pitcher Madison Bumgarner had no athletes in the family to look up to. He comes from a German lineage from his dad’s side and had expected to work in a furniture factory.

Madison Bumgarner Pictured In The Arizona Diamondbacks Gear
Madison Bumgarner Pictured In The Arizona Diamondbacks Gear (Source: Instagram)

Fate had other plans for him. The 10th overall pick in the 2007 MLB Draft, Madison made his MLB debut with San Francisco Giants. 

He went on to win three World Series titles with the Giants, and in his last world series title in 2014, he even won the World Series MVP. But things weren’t good for the veteran pitcher during his time with the Arizona Diamondbacks.

The once record-breaking pitcher currently sits without a team as Diamondbacks released him earlier this year, in April. Despite, the poor ending with the Diamondbacks, sources said the veteran was respectful about his exit and wished the organization well on his way out. 

Madison Bumgarner Remembers Sister, Dena Byrd

Madison Bumgarner’s sister, Dena Byrd, passed away in 2010 after accidentally overdosing on pain medication. She was his half-sister from his mom’s side.

Dena Byrd, 36, overdosed on pain medication following hospitalization from cancer. At the time, the MLB pitcher was 20 and attended his sister’s funeral in North Carolina.

Madison Bumgarner Pictured During His Time With San Francisco Giants
Madison Bumgarner Pictured During His Time With San Francisco Giants (Source: Pinterest)

In his speech, Bumgarner said, “She was my half-sister, but she felt like a sister to me. We grew up in the same house. She was a good girl. I loved her.” 

At the time, Madison didn’t take a break from his pitching duties and returned to work soon after his plane landed in Arizona. Talking to the media, Madison said he wanted to be with his family but was anxious to return to work. 

The young Bumgarner said when on the mound, he thinks of nothing else other than his game. 

Madison Bumgarner Parents, Kevin, And Debbie Bumgarner 

Madison Bumgarner’s parents, Kevin and Debbie Bumgarner divorced when he was ten. The pitcher didn’t grow up in a perfect household, and his parents fought for his custody for a year before his mother was handed full custody. 

Kevin and Debbie didn’t come from an athletic background. Kevin maintained generators for a wholesale food distributor. Kevin’s father worked as a furniture factory worker, and Madison expected to work in the same industry growing up. 

The couple has two different stories when it comes to naming the MLB pitcher. Kevin said he saw a headline in the Charlotte Observer that talked about Madison County. His mother said she saw the name in a book of baby names. 

Madison Bumgarner Pictured In His Giants Gear And On Right His Father Kevin Bumgarner
Madison Bumgarner Pictured In His Giants Gear And On Right His Father Kevin Bumgarner (Source: Pinterest)

There was a time when Kevin had business cards that said MADISON BUMGARNER’S DAD. Proud moment for a father, but Madison wasn’t always a big fan of his father and his behavior. 

His mother, Debbie, had three kids from her first marriage, Lou, Will, and Dena. She worked in the accounting offices of Broyhill and Pepsi-Cola.

She had always been a soft-spoken woman and a Christ follower. Debbie knew her son was good at baseball but never thought he would make it as a professional baseball player.

If Kevin watched his son become World Series Champion through the TV, then Debbie was present in the stadium to watch her son’s dream come true. 

Sriyukta Pradhananga
Sriyukta Pradhananga

Sriyukta Pradhananga

Sriyukta Pradhananga is a versatile writer with a keen interest in exploring the multifaceted dimensions of sports. Her articles offer readers a dynamic blend of insightful analysis, engaging storytelling, and thought-provoking commentary that sheds light on the diverse experiences within the athletic realm.


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  • Sriyukta keeps abreast of the latest advancements in sports technology.
  • She examines issues related to sports ethics, fair play, and integrity.


With a background in journalism and a passion for sports, Sriyukta approaches each article with a blend of curiosity, rigor, and creativity. She strives to illuminate the complexities and nuances of the sports world, sparking meaningful conversations and inspiring readers to engage more deeply with the athletic endeavors that unite us all.

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