You know, I have never been much of a person that longs back to the music of his youth. Sometimes I see these music festivals being announced around Europe about “back to the 90s” or “back to the 00s”. I love to put on my college rock songs from Blink-182 and Sum-41 or take a dose of Limp Bizkit, but other than that, I hardly look back.
I do listen to some “classic fm” stations every now and then. It’s funny, because when I was young these stations would play the tune of many rock songs my dad would listen to in his 20s and 30s. He has a fine taste: Led Zeppelin, Rolling Stones, The Who. Of those I have never liked the Stones much, but the other two were great. I had a particular fondness of AC/DC of the 70s (High Voltage, TNT).
But personally I have always loved music from the 60s. Yes, my music appreciation hardly has any boundaries, but I do have stuff I don’t like to listen too. I think the 80s has quite the amount of poor music, with an exception here and there, such as the energy of the music and the girls in that “Walk like an Egyptian”-song of the Bangles.
The 90s is when I grew up and I don’t think we have anything special to look back to either. But there are two songs that will always stick to my mind no matter what. The first one is Felix - “Don’t you want me” and the second one is Haddaway - “Don’t hurt me”. Not saying these are good songs, don’t get me wrong, but they are catchy, very 90s and somehow just...work?
Haddaway was born in Trinidad and lived for a while with his father in Europe and with his mother in the States, before settling in Germany (if we have to believe Wikipedia). He became world famous with that “Don’t hurt me” song in 1992, probably setting himself up for retirement at the same very moment.
Nowadays he plays and sponsors a baseball team in Switzerland, the Kufstein Wolfins, so that is our first bridge to today’s Random D-Back. When I came up with this intro I thought Haddaway was written differently and coincided with the last name of today’s Steve Hathaway. That ain’t so, but so be it.
Steve Hathaway was born in Acton, Massachusetts, in 1990, where he attended a local high school before starting a study at Dean College, in his home state. After a year he was, I assume, offered a scholarship and transferred to Franklin Pierce University, a private college in New Hampshire, to play baseball at NCAA-2 level. There, for the Ravens, he pitches a total of just 78.0 innings in 3 years, not pitching at all in 2012, which might hint at a certain injury he suffered.
The Diamondbacks drafted Hathaway in the 14th round of the 2013 MLB amateur draft. If Hathaway had been expected to be drafted we don’t know but he sure didn’t want to be drafted.
“I really didn’t want to be drafted...I’m a homeboy and I’m an only child so I didn’t want to be drafted by the Diamondbacks and go all the way across the country...I was like having a lot of anxiety and I honestly didn’t want to go.” - Steve Hathaway on getting drafted by the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2013, in an interview on YouTube in 2020.
The Diamondbacks ask him to come to Phoenix within 3 days, but Hathaway asks and is given more time before he reports to the club. The Diamondbacks send him to the Rookie team in Missoula.
“I ended up going to Missoula...and my arm was really bugging me from the start of my college season...I went to Missoula and threw like 7 innings and got hurt and then rehabbed through the rest of the year.” - Steve Hathaway on the start of his pro career, in an interview on YouTube in 2020.
When he returns for Spring 2014 he is assigned to South Bend at Class A and the same thing happens. He pitches 14.2 innings and once again hits the injury list of the rest of the season.
The 2015 season Hathaway feels fine and pitches an, according to his own retelling, full season, although the stats show that he appeared in just 43.2 innings between A and A+. The Diamondbacks shut him down early in the season after a first healthy season in two years, before the 2016 season starts. He has added velocity and is at full strength. Hathaway starts the 2016 season in AA and pitches to a miniscule 1.76 ERA before being promoted to Reno. In AAA he continues to pitch well and before being called up to the big leagues, he has a 3.34 ERA in the PCL with high walk rates, but really keeping the hits limited and the homeruns even more. With such success and the Diamondbacks deeply in a losing season, it seems logical they give Hathaway a chance.
I had a night game in AAA and Phil Nevin was my manager. I think I had a missed call and didn’t have his number, so I called him back...Phil Nevin was a funny guy and had a real deep loud voice, I remember. I call him back and am like: “who is this” and he goes “what the f*** do you mean who is this, I am your f***ing manager!” and he’s like “you should probably have my number” and “dude, you’re going to the big leagues. You’re going to the f***ing big leagues, congratulations!”. - Steve Hathaway on his big league call-up, in an interview on YouTube in 2020.
Hathaway gets his major league call-up in a series at Dodger stadium. He doesn’t pitch in the first game, but has jitters before entering the second one.
“I got f***ing ripped. I got Howie Kendrick and Corey Seager hit a three run absolute bone yarder off of me.” - Steve Hathaway on his big league debut, in an interview on YouTube in 2020.
Hathaway tells that he probably threw too softly in his debut, just wanting to throw strikes, but after that shakes off the doubt and returns to throwing hard again. Except for another bad outing against the Mets, in which he gives up 3 runs, he has just two other non-scoreless appearances. He finishes the season with 2 holds and 20 scoreless appearances and looks like another lefty option for the Diamondbacks’ 2017 bullpen, but his arm decides something else.
“The last two weeks of 2016 I remember having the worst arm pain I have ever had. I remember going into the off-season like “I’m set. I f***ing did it, man, here we go”. We had like 3 months of rest and on day 1 while playing catch I was like “oh man, what is wrong with my arm, there is something seriously wrong with my arm””. - Steve Hathaway on his injury after the 2016 season, in an interview on YouTube in 2020.
Hathaway is flown into Arizona and gets MRIs and they try to rehab the injury without success. The pitcher remembers convulsing during bullpens, with his entire left side shaking. He eventually undergoes shoulder surgery but 8-9 months later his shoulder still hasn’t improved. The Diamondbacks decide to DFA Hathaway.
“Mike Hazen called me and he’s like “we’re gonna take you off the roster”. I was like dumbfounded, I was chewing on my words, I didn’t know what to do or what to say. He’s like “we need to make room” and that was pretty much it, it was like a 35 second phone call.” - Steve Hathaway on getting DFAd, in an interview on YouTube in 2020.
Hathaway is outrighted to AAA and goes to see a doctor in Texas and undergoes “f***ing thoracic outlet” surgery the next day after they detect zero pulse on a pulse check in a throwers’ position. He returns after that, feeling great and starts throwing bullpens again. Hathaway thinks he is pitching well, but he apparently has lost all power in his pitches.
“I remember throwing a live bullpen and I thought I was f***ing throwing 95, like I really did, and I cried afterwards and hugged a bunch of people like this was my first real step of like I’m really close to being back here. I think I might have touched 86 or 87 maybe, so they’re like “this guy f***ing sucks now” [laughs] … So I’m like “I’m blowing doors off”, right, “I’m blowing f***ing doors off over here”…I am super excited and I remember asking what the gun was, expecting, you know, we are going to see some good numbers here and it’s like “dude, you’re throwing f***ing 79 to 83, you might have touched like 87” and I was like “oh, f***””. - Steve Hathaway on his return from surgeries, in an interview on YouTube in 2020.
After that Hathaway doesn’t pitch for a week and when he returns he asks the pitching coordinator why he isn’t throwing. The man doesn’t know why. In a conversation with his rehab coordinator he tells Hathaway that they are probably going to release him.
“What they do is…your bag is packed, your locker is not there, so if I don’t get the call from this guy, I walk into the locker room and either my s*** would be on the floor packed in bags or my locker would have no name and that’s how it works...I built some really good relationships because I was always in the training room and that was a sad day, a really f***ing sad day.” - Steve Hathaway on getting released, in an interview on YouTube in 2020.
Hathaway is devastated after getting released, although not blaming the organisation for doing so. He talks highly of Mike Bell, the then farm director, who feels truly sorry for Steve Hathaway and with whom he had built a good relationship. The pitcher decides to take some time to get together. He gets phone calls from Independent ball teams, but is not ready, and starts to work out. He does months of rehabbing but isn’t able to build up any more strength to his arm and doesn’t hit harder than 81-83 mph. When COVID hits, reality sets in, and Hathaway decides to call it quits.
Although he was a homeboy and only son, Steve Hathaway still lives near Phoenix. After wrapping up his college career in 2019, he started a job as a Project Manager in 2021 for a signage construction company.
I am sure you remember Steve Hathaway, but were you familiar with his story?
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