More than a decade after hanging up his cleats, Oak Bay’s Steve Sinclair will again be suiting up for the Seattle Mariners.
Sinclair will be among those taking part in the Seattle Mariners Winter Caravan Wednesday at the Fairmont Empress Hotel.
The Victoria HarbourCats are teaming with the Greater Victoria Baseball Association and the Fairmont to bring the Caravan to Victoria. The free event runs Wednesday from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at the Ivy Room in the Fairmont Empress Hotel.
Mariners pitchers James Paxton and Charlie Furbush will be on hand to sign autographs and will be joined by mascot Mariner Moose, Mariners broadcaster Dave Sims and Sinclair, a former reliever with the Mariners and Toronto Blue Jays.
“I went on [the Caravan] several years ago when I was with the Mariners,” said Sinclair, who now works as the general manager of Oak Bay Marina.
He said when the Mariners asked him to be a part of the event, he jumped at the chance.
“For me, it’s fun to get back and still have that connection. It’s great to be part of something that was a big part of my life from the early ‘90s to 2003.”
After spending two seasons in the majors with Seattle and Toronto, Sinclair finished out his career with the Chicago Cubs’ AAA affiliate in Iowa.
“I was working to get back up [to the majors] until an arm injury forced me out,” he recalled. “I had to make that tough decision that every ball player has to make at one point in his career.”
While Sinclair sometimes still gets the itch to climb back onto the mound, he satisfies it by helping coach his son’s clubs with Carnarvon.
Sinclair made a few starts while in the minors but made his mark in the big leagues coming out of the bullpen in relief.
He said there’s a different mindset that goes along with being a relief pitcher.
“You have to be ready every day, mentally and physically,” said the left-hander. “You had to ensure you could get ready in a hurry too. As a reliever, sometimes you’re up and you’ve only thrown five or six balls and you’re trotting out there.”
He said the fastball and cutter were his go-to pitches.
“For me, I pitched a lot off my fastball. A little later in my career I developed a cutter that was a good pitch for me, not only against right-handers, as it would cut in on their hands, but it was a good pitch on left-handers because I could make it more of a hard slider.”