Loubier, Steve (2000)
In 1988. when Steve Loubier was pitching for the Riverside Red Wave, San Diego’s Class A team in the California League, he predicted that one of his opponents looked like a good bet to make the big time.
The outfielder who caught Loubier’s eye was Ken Griffey, Jr.
Yeah.” says Loubier, laughing at the reminder. “Everybody else thought he had a good chance too.”
Loubier spent four and one-half years in the San Diego organization, compiling a 17-11 record at the Class A level, helping the Red Wave to the league championship in 1988 and earning selection to the all star team the following season (7-3, 1.55 ERA).
Promoted to Double-A Wichita in 1990, Loubier was 4-6 with the Wranglers before a trade with the Angels sent him to Palm Springs. He was /3 in 1991, his final season.
He was neither bitter nor surprised at his release.
“T had some nagging arm injuries,” he said. “It seemed inevitable | and I was kind of relieved that it was over. I knew I couldn’t get much higher and it was time to start a new phase of my life.”
Loubier’s mother, Shirlee Smith, who attended most of her son's games from the time he started in South Portland in farm league behind the former Lincoln Grammar School, said it took her longer to get over the change than Steve.
I was even worried about having the game on television,” she said.
“But Steve’s attitude was that the game would be on every day. It wasn't a problem.”
She said today’s induction has special significance for the family because Steve’s grandfather, Harold Loubier was inducted on June 27, 1902.
baseball roots are in South Portland where he was an All Telegram League selection twice under Red Riots Coach Rod Choroszy.
Professionally, he played with and against many athletes who eventually reached Major League prominence including his roommates at Palm Springs, Jim Edmonds and Tim Salmon.
While Loubier was making the climb up the always slippery slope of organized competition, he made one stop most players don’t. In the summer of 1983. he was selected to play for a United States all-star team that visited Taiwan.
Richard Doyle, retired sportswriter for the former Portland Newspapers and Maine’s preeminent athletic hagiographer, wrote, “It’s a feather a community’s cap when a baseball player is chosen from a player pool of 390 ball players spanning the entire East Coast to a 16-member all-star baseball team to play ball for the USA in Taiwan.
Four years at the University of Maine (20-9) followed under coach John Winkin. While at UMO, Loubier was voted the outstanding pitcher at the ECAC tournament at Pawtucket
Loubier helped pitch the Black Bears to the NCAA Division I World Series at Omaha in 1984 and 1986.
It’s one of his best memories. ‘We didn’t win but we were one of only eight teams in the country,” he said. ‘’ And we helped each other out.” After returning from Omaha in 1986, Loubier was selected to play in the Cape Cod League. One of his teammates on the Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox was Mike Bordick who signed that summer with Oakland.
Loubier, who graduated from Maine with a degree in marketing, AS employed by KOS Pharmaceuticals in Manchester, NH where he lives with his wife, Rachel and daughter, Jenny.
From Portland Press Herald Posted June 26, 2011
Steve Solloway: A trip to Omaha, 25 years ago
It was the last of its kind, a Maine team playing in the College World Series
“Wink always told us, the best thing in baseball was winning,” said Loubier. “The second-best thing was losing, because it was still baseball.”
Loubier has never obsessed over the losses, especially the heartbreaker to Arizona.
“We caught a few breaks ourselves that season,” he said. “We won a few games we probably shouldn’t have.”
“We didn’t have great stars,” said Loubier. “We had a great team. Wink was the puppet master, pulling all the strings, and we had great camaraderie.
“We went up against a lot of powerhouse teams and we evened the playing fields.”
Dube, Loubier and Eztweiler in separate conversations described the sights and sounds of the College World Series. Not surprisingly, they used the same phrases.
“Maine was always kind of like the Cinderella team to the people in Omaha,” said Loubier. “They got behind us.”
Twenty-five years is a long time. Mark Rogers, the pitcher from Mt. Ararat now in the Milwaukee Brewers’ farm system, was 5 months old when Loubier took the mound against LSU.
From UMaine Alumni Baseball
1986 — A SPECTACULAR SEASON
The 1986 Black Bears, led by Capts. David Gonyar and Bill Reynolds, became the first team in UM baseball history to win more than 40 games with a
record of 41-23. The Bears won the ECAC championship, blazed through the NCAA regionals and advanced to the College World Series where they lost
close games to Arizona and LSU. Bill Reynolds created a moment for the ages when he became the only player in UM history to hit four home runs in a
single game. The occasion was a 21-8 win over St. John’s that propelled Maine into the College World Series. He was named MVP at the regionals and made the all-CWS team. Steve Loubier, Jeff Plympton and Scott Morse each won eight games.