Steve Finley hasn’t played in a Major League Baseball game since 2007. Although it’s been five long years, he doesn’t consider himself to be retired from the game he still loves.
“It was hard to bring myself to say I am retired because I don’t know that we (baseball players) ever retire. I think we just move on to other things, and that’s kind of where I’ve been. I moved onto other things,” Finley said.
In fact, he said, he has no idea how the retirement process works. He’s doesn’t know if he needs to sign paperwork or not.
The five-time Gold Glover has spent his unofficial retirement doing something he always wanted to do, which is to spend more time with his children.
“There are so many things I missed when they were small,” Finley said. “You can never get that back, but I want their memories right now to be of me being around for them in whatever they need now until they get out to go to college.”
During the summer months, Finley takes his children to his hometown of Paducah, Ky, to show them where he grew up. They also spend the summers camping and fishing.
Finley has five children, Austin, who is a competitive surfer; Reed, Blake, Franchesa and Sophia.
Finley, 47, was just one of a very few Major Leaguers who played for all five National League West Teams – Padres (1996-1998), Diamondbacks (1999-2004), Dodgers (2004), Giants (2006) and Rockies (2007). He has also played for the Baltimore Orioles, the Houston Astros and the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.
As a member of the Arizona Diamondbacks’ 2001 team, Finley became a World Series champion.
The former Padre credits a strong, creative workout regimen for getting him through 19 Major League seasons and playing up until he was 42, an age at which many baseball players are playing. Although he is no longer in baseball, Finley said he is still in great physical shape.
Finley resides in the Del Mar – Carmel Valley area, and can often be spotted on a surf board catching a few waves near his home.
The former outfielder is now making money as an active member of the work force. He works in business development for Apheta and GS Levine Insurance Services, Inc.
“It’s definitely not the pay check from baseball, but any paycheck is good; I like the fact that I’m not doing it for a paycheck,” Finley said. “I’m doing it because it’s an enjoyment to meet new people, meet new contacts. I’m seeing a different side of me I haven’t seen before. I just enjoy being in the workforce.”
“If anybody needs insurance, I’m a one-stop-shop for them,” he said.
One of the highlights of Finley’s post-retirement life was being named Grand Marshall at the Southern Illinois University 2011 home coming game. The Saluki alum has a degree in physiology. Currently, he and other Saluki baseball alums are trying to raise money to build a new baseball facility for the team.
Finley does not keep his eyes on baseball or the Padres too much. He keeps up with the game enough to know what is going on but his schedule and his time with his children keep him busy and away from the sport. Although he would like to get involved with the game again once his schedule allows.
“I’m hoping to be involved with whatever group (the O’Malley’s) ends up getting the Padres this time around. It’s a natural fit for me to be involved here in San Diego, and I feel like I have a lot to offer the game of baseball,” he said.
But Finley right now is enjoying the life of a newlywed after marrying his girlfriend, Meaghan.
Right now for Mr. Finley, life is good.
“You know sitting around doing nothing is not a big enjoyment. A lot of guys are like, ‘I’m living the good life. I’m doing nothing just playing golf.’ But that gets boring after awhile. You have to develop relationships, stimulate your brain, stimulate your mind, stimulate your body. So in that respect I feel like hey, I’m living the good life right now. I’m enjoying everything that I’m doing.”