3 for 3
For 10 years in CBL baseball there has been only one Steinke. Little over 10 years ago the Continental Baseball League was formed, Greinke at a young age of 31 was looking for a shot to make a team, any team. Every kids dream is to play professional ball, to smell freshly cut grass, and to hit that game winning home run. Greinke always had that “it” factor, scouts whispering in coaches ears, that this kid was going to be special. In the now dead MLB, Greinke was feared for years, but as the MLB died and CBL form, only a few teams made up the new league. Greinke up in age and down on velocity thought his time might be over, but he had something….. a nickname, given to him by a scout name Walter Johnson who watched him play at a pro day 20 years ago. That nickname is what carried Greinke through the good and bad. Steinke Greinke, an odd play on words but meaningful cause it describes the man in more ways than one. Walter said it because Greinke had nasty stuff, Greinke used it as a motivation. He believed if he made a roster spot he would be consider trash, wavier material. Little did he know 10 years later what people of Calgary and CBL will remember him for his nasty stuff.
Greinke’s teammates will tell you: The guy’s kind of a baseball savant. He is known for calling just how hard he will throw his curveball the next inning (“I’m going to try for 50 mph”). He sees things nobody else seems to see. Not too long ago, I was talking with Brandon McCarthy, who is one of the smartest guys in baseball himself, and he said that the coolest thing he can imagine doing is sitting next to Greinke during a game and just picking his mind, view the game through Zack’s eyes. Others have said the same. He will probably stay in baseball after he’s done.
9 years is a long time, most marriages and careers in professional baseball don’t last that long , but for Greinke, he played for Calgary for 9 years. On June 5th 2023 he was traded away to Tucson Express at 39 years old. His 5.14 era in 4 starts, worried the upper management who was spending over 17 million for his services traded him away. Greinke was upset and shocked by the move, it happened so quick. 4 starts, that thought hung in his mind for the whole trip to Tucson. Once he entered the clubhouse of the Express he felt wanted again and was refueled with a purpose, a purpose to belong again. 1 month later on July 5th Greinke had his pay back, a complete game 3 hitter against Calgary. As the 108 pitch was thrown and the 27 out was record he turned to the Calgary dugout and nodded his head and mouthed, “Steinke Greinke isn’t dead”.
Greinke will be back for 2025, as a Steinke baseball savant looking for pay back.