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Thursday, April 16, 2020

Steve Decker made the bigs, then made it his goal to stay; Saw time in bigs over seven seasons

Originally published April 20, 2016
Coming off a season in 1990 where he made his major league debut, Steve Decker spoke to The Spokane Spokesman-Review and looked ahead to 1991.

The catcher's main goal, he told The Spokesman-Review: Stay in the bigs.

"I don't want to go to AAA," Decker told The Spokesman-Review that October. "I mean, that's just natural. When you get to the major leagues, you don't want to go back to the minor leagues."

Decker did return to the majors in 1991 - and in five more seasons after that. He didn't stay exclusively in the majors, but he did see time in 263 total major league games through 1999.

He's since gone on to a long career as a coach. In 2015, he returned to the majors as assistant hitting coach for the San Francisco Giants.

Decker's career began in 1988, taken by the Giants in the 21st round of the draft out of Lewis-Clark State College in Idaho. He made his way there after graduating Rock Island High School in Illinois.

Decker played his first year between short-season Everett and single-A San Jose. He then played 1989 between San Jose and AA Shreveport. He played all of 1990 at Shreveport, then got his first call up that September.

Decker got into 15 games for the Giants to close out 1990. He hit .296, with three home runs. He returned in 1991 for 79 games. He hit .206.

He then saw dwindling time. He got into 15 games in 1992 for the Giants, then eight games for the Marlins in 1993. He didn't play at all in the majors in 1994.

Decker returned to the majors for 51 games with the Marlins in 1995, hitting .226. He split 67 games between the Giants and the Rockies in 1996.

His final major league time came in 1999 with the Angels. That August, he picked up three hits in a game and then was shipped back to AAA. "I did my best," Decker told reporters after his demotion.

Decker finished with 28 games that year. He hit .238, ending his major league playing career.

Decker soon began his coaching career. He served as hitting coach at short-season Salem-Keizer. He then got his first managerial job there in 2005. He continued as a minor league manager through 2011 at AAA Fresno.

Then, in 2015, he returned to the majors as a coach with the Giants. He continues in that role in 2016.

"I'm excited. You know the old cliché, it's a new challenge for me," Decker told The Salem Statesman Journal after his promotion. "I look to get up there and work hard and do everything I can to help that team win."

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