by Mike Magers
In recognition of the upcoming start of the New Mexico high school baseball season, we profile MLB pitcher Steve Ontiveros. Steve was born and raised in Tularosa (Otero County), New Mexico. He graduated from University of Michigan, receiving a Bachelor of Science degree in Physical Education. Steve was drafted by the Oakland Athletics in the second round of the 1982 Major League Baseball June Amateur Draft. For the next three seasons, he played for minor league teams in the Oakland organization, working his way up from A- to Oakland’s AAA affiliate in Tacoma Washington in the Pacific Coast League, notching a record of 25-12. Along the way, he was part of a very strong A’s farm system, playing along side many players who eventually enjoyed long careers in major league baseball.
He began his major league career with the Oakland Athletics, making his major league debut on June 14, 1985. He was initially used as a reliever on a squad that included Don Sutton and Tommy John as pitchers and other notable players like Dave Kingman and Dusty Baker. Steve played a total of 10 seasons in the league, appearing with Oakland from 1985 to 1988 and the Philadelphia Phillies in 1989 and 1990. He was sidelined in 1991 and 1992 with an injury. Ontiveros was signed in early 1993 with the Minnesota Twins but before the season began, he was traded to the Seattle Mariners where he played the 1993 season. He rejoined the Oakland club in 1994 and 1995, signing as a free agent. Steve returned to the minors before signing with the Boston Red Sox for one final season in 2000, playing his final game on October 1, 2000.
Ontiveros was a right handed starting and relief pitcher. His lifetime career record was 34-31 with an ERA of 3.67. He appeared in 207 games, starting 73 of them.
Steve also appeared in one feature film, Talent of the Game in 1991. Steve currently trains and mentors gifted pitching prospects in Scottsdale, AZ in his own business, Spin Doctor.