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Victoria HarbourCats | 17-year MLB vet Greg Swindell added to 2021 HarbourCats coaching staff

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Todd Haney completes HarbourCats plans, staff will have combined 31 years of MLB experience

For Immediate Release

Jan. 26, 2021

VICTORIA, B.C. — There are MLB team coaching staffs that don’t have this much big-league playing experience. Count ’em up, 31 years.

Greg Swindell, a 17-year MLB pitcher, has been added by Head Coach Todd Haney for the 2021 Victoria HarbourCats season, as Bench Coach. Add that to Haney’s five seasons and the nine seasons of Pitching Coach Mark Petkovsek, the West Coast League (WCL)) summer collegiate team’s coaching staff will have a combined 31 years of MLB playing time to its credit.

Greg Swindell pitches for the Indians against KC in 1988. File Photo: Cleveland Plain Dealer

A fourth member, Hitting Coach Curtis Pelletier, is a scout for the Miami Marlins. Troy Birtwistle and John Schnaderbeck round out the coaching staff planned for the upcoming WCL season.

“We’re overjoyed to see this coaching staff come together, and even more excited for our players and fans to see what this group can do in terms of development and results,” said Jim Swanson, Managing Partner and GM of the HarbourCats. “Our players are very fortunate this has all come together for us. Greg will have a lot to offer to all sides of the game, not just pitching, but clearly our pitchers have access to a wealth of knowledge and experience.”

Haney, Petkovsek and Swindell, a lefty pitcher who appeared in the 1989 MLB All-Star game and won a World Series ring as part of the 2001 Arizona Diamondbacks, played college baseball together for the Texas Longhorns. In fact, in Petkovsek’s recruiting visit to Texas, he was hosted by Swindell.

“I joked we may need a translator with all the Texas drawl we’ll hear in our dugout,” said Swanson.

Swindell won a World Series while pitching for Arizona in 2001.

The three have had a close friendship ever since. Haney guided the HarbourCats to within one game of the WCL title in 2019, and his 39 wins that season is the third-highest total in league history.

“I’ve talked to Greg about this for a few years, and he was in Victoria before (with wife Sarah) on a cruise ship stop, so he knows what a great city it is,” said Haney. “The timing is right for him now, and we’re glad to have him. We all know what it takes to prepare and be successful in this game, to the highest level.”

Haney, who played for the Cubs, Expos and Mets, and Swindell coached together in the summer of 2020 in an impromptu pro league that popped up during the pandemic, when the WCL was on hiatus.

Petkovsek pitched for the Rangers, Pirates, Cardinals and Angels between 1991 and 2001, going 46-28 with a 4.74 ERA.

“I know what kind of coaches and people Todd and Mark are, and what Todd says about the HarbourCats program,” said Swindell, who played for Cleveland (twice), Houston, Minnesota, Arizona, Cincinnati and Boston, going 123-122 with a 3.89 ERA, with a whopping 664 appearances. The 56-year-old won at least 10 games six times, and after retiring in 2002 he has been inducted in both the College Baseball Hall of Fame, and the Texas Sports Hall of Fame.

“I fell in love with Victoria very quickly, and a summer there in such great weather helping players strive for improvement, working with close friends who are accomplished professionals themselves, is something I really look forward to.”

Swindell (top left), his wife Sarah and his four children (front, L to R, Hayley, Dawson, Brenna, Sophia) are looking forward to travelling to Victoria and working with the HarbourCats.

Swindell has been a successful coach at the college level, including at Texas, along with media and charity work since his playing days. He was on the coaching staff for the 2005 College World Series championship team from Texas. He’s currently part of Longhorns baseball broadcasts.

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Summer Collegiate

Veteran outfielder returning for 2023 season

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For Brandon Hupe, it felt like unfinished business — and he has a chance to fix that.

 

The outfielder from Vancouver and the UBC Thunderbirds saw his 2022 summer season cut short following a collision during a game in Port Angeles. But the 6-2/200 pounder, a junior at UBC, will get one last shot to star for Head Coach Greg Frady as the Nanaimo NightOwls are excited to announce his return to the WCL.

 

The NightOwls are announcing the additions of four players today, the others being infielder Jimmy Legg of Pomona Pitzer, and pitchers Tyson Willis and Ethan Hubbell from Everett CC (NWAC) for Pitching Coach Gorm Heimueller to work with.

 

Hupe (pronounced who-PAY) was a veteran influence on a young NightOwls team, hitting .283 with two home runs and nine runs driven in over 17 games — coming off a UBC season that yielded 12 home runs and 48 RBIs in 49 games at the NAIA level.

 

“We missed Brandon when he got hurt, there was a change in our team,” said Frady. “Brandon was one of our key leaders, he knew the caliber and nuances of the league (previously played in the WCL with Kelowna), and he helped us as coaches, along with leading our younger players.”

 

In Legg, the NightOwls are getting a 5-11/185 scrappy, switch-hitting shortstop who can also move to second or third — known as a guy who always seems to be on base, comes through in the clutch and runs well. At Pomona Pitzer, he is a glue guy because of how much he loves to play the game.

 

The two Everett CC arms include Willis, a Snohomish, WA product who pitched in the WCL for Springfield in 2022. The right-hander is touching 90 with a true hard curveball and developing changeup from a 6-4/220 frame. Hubbell, from Camas, WA, is even bigger at 6-5, another righty with upper-80s velocity and command of four pitches and a workhorse mentality.

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Summer Collegiate

Victoria HarbourCats – ‘Cats sign four, bring back Seward and Luchies

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December 7, 2022

For Immediate Release

VICTORIA, B.C. — It’s the old baseball adage — you can never have enough arms.

The Victoria HarbourCats have added three arms, two of them returning and one a local product, as part of four more players who have signed on for the 2023 West Coast League season. The fourth player on the roster comes from a dependable source of quality players — Cal Baptist.

Pitchers Jack Seward and Owen Luchies, both parts of the 2022 HarbourCats team that reached the WCL post-season, and Victoria Golden Tide ace Brady Wilson lead the latest signings, with versatile outfielder/second baseman Nick Dumesnil, a right-handed hitter from Huntington Beach, CA, a bat the team will look to for key offensive production. Dumesnil is 6-2/205 freshman and is known for a mix of speed and power that will be welcomed by Head Coach Todd Haney.

“We’ve spent even more time on pitching this year, it’s always a premium but it’s never easy to get that right mix for the staff — it’s the one area we are constantly looking to get better,” said Haney. “We’ve been known as a strong offensive team since even before I got here, and we know the best arms make all the difference.”

Vancouver product Jack Seward, now at Central Arizona, was 1-0 with three saves and a 1.15 ERA in 14 outings last summer, giving up earned runs in only two outings. He surrendered just 10 hits in 23 innings. Luchies, from Victoria, is a 6-2/195 pound freshman at Lower Columbia (NWAC) who started five games and threw 36 innings for the HarbourCats in 2022. He had 25 strikeouts, notched one save, was 2-2 with a 6.44 ERA and earned road wins in Port Angeles and Nanaimo.

Wilson, 6-1/175 from Calgary, was the workhorse for the Victoria collegiate Golden Tide in the spring of 2022, going a combined 3-4 with a 4.06 ERA in nine starts. He then spent the summer in the Western Canada Baseball League with the Fort McMurray Giants, where he was 5-5/4.94.

The HarbourCats celebrate their 10th Anniversary in 2023 and the season kicks off with the home opener against the Kamloops NorthPaws on Friday June 2, 2023.  Single game tickets for that game and all 31 HarbourCats home games in 2023 are now on sale and can be purchased on-line through our one-and-only ticketing partner, Select Your Tickets, at harbourcats.com/tickets.  They can also be purchased at the HarbourCats office at 101-1814 Vancouver Street, or at the Select Your Tickets box office at Save-on-Foods Memorial Centre.  Fans can also call 778-265-0327 to order over the phone.

Season tickets and 10-game flex packs are also now on sale.  For details on all ticketing options, including our special $10.00 Tuesdays, Forces Fridays and Save-on-Food Vouchers, please visit harbourcats.com/ticketinfo

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Summer Collegiate

Victoria HarbourCats – You’re Invited!

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Please join us at the office on Thursday, December 1, 2022 from 12 Noon to 7:00 pm for our annual Christmas Open House!

Join us for some Christmas cheer and to grab Christmas gifts for all the HarbourCats fans on your Christmas list!  Renew or purchase 2023 season tickets, grab some 10-game flex packs, or purchase single-game tickets for 2023 which also go on sale that day too!  Plus ALL MERCHANDISE on sale for 40% off – ONE DAY ONLY!

2023 Single-Game Tickets Also on Sale!

 

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