Steve Olin in uniform
|Born: October 4, 1965
|Died: March 22, 1993
Little Lake Nellie, Clermont, Florida
|July 29, 1989 for the Cleveland Indians|
Last MLB appearance
|October 4, 1992 for the Cleveland Indians|
|Earned run average||3.10|
Steven Robert Olin (October 4, 1965 – March 22, 1993) was an American right-handed pitcher in Major League Baseball who played for four seasons in the American League with the Cleveland Indians. Olin was a right-handed submarining relief pitcher for the Cleveland Indians from 1988 to 1992. Olin died in a 1993 boating accident while still an active MLB player.
Steve Olin was born on October 4, 1965 in Portland, Oregon, and grew up in nearby Beaverton. He graduated from Beaverton High School in 1984, and was recruited by baseball coach Jack Dunn to attend Portland State University.
In 195 career games, Olin pitched 273 innings and posted a win–loss record of 16–19, with 48 saves, 118 games finished, and a 3.10 earned run average (ERA). He earned his final win on September 9, 1992 against the Milwaukee Brewers. Noteworthy, as that was the game in which Robin Yount recorded his 3,000th career hit, though fellow pitcher José Mesa actually gave up the hit earlier in the game. Olin won the game in relief when Cleveland scored two runs in the top of the ninth.
Olin was killed in a boating accident during spring training of 1993 on Little Lake Nellie in Clermont, Florida. The boat he was in struck a pier, killing him and fellow reliever Tim Crews and seriously injuring Bob Ojeda. Crews, who was piloting the boat, was legally drunk at the time; Olin and Ojeda only had negligible traces of alcohol in their bodies. It was the first death of active major league players since Thurman Munson in 1979. In response to the accident that took Olin and Crews in 1993, the Indians wore a patch on the sleeves of their jerseys. It consisted of a baseball with their numbers on it. Olin's #31 is on the left, with an arrow above. Crews' #52 is on the right, with a star above it.
Another song remembered by Cleveland locals is "The Dance" by Garth Brooks. The song, a favorite of Olin, was played when the Indians clinched the 1995 American League Central Division. Before the game, then manager Mike Hargrove phoned the Indians scoreboard room requesting that it be played when the Indians clinched.
"I thought it would mean a lot to anyone who was there (with the Indians at the time of the accident)", said Hargrove. "For those who weren't there it had no significance, but it was still a good song. It was a tribute to those guys, to their families. It was part of our promise to never forget them. We didn't tell anyone that we were going to do it. For those who knew, there wasn't a dry eye to be seen. I saw Charlie Nagy; tears were rolling down his face."
- List of baseball players who died during their careers
- List of Major League Baseball all-time saves leaders
- Chass, Murray (March 23, 1993). "Boat Accident Kills Indians' Top Reliever". The New York Times. Retrieved March 2, 2012.
- "Portland Coach Watched Olin From Little League Pitcher's Death a Deep Loss to Friend Who Guided Him Through College Career". Akron Beacon Journal. March 24, 1993. p. A10.
- "BASEBALL; Ojeda Discusses The Crash". The New York Times. June 26, 1993. Retrieved June 10, 2013.
- Kurkjian, Tim (March 21, 2003). "In times of despair, Hargrove stands tall". ESPN. Retrieved March 2, 2012.