Former Washington Nationals pitcher Mike Hinckley couldn't be happier in first year as Capitol Hill coach

by Ryan Aber Published: April 18, 2013
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Mike Hinckley has been humbled.

Four years ago, the former Moore baseball standout was in the majors, pitching for the Washington Nationals on perfectly manicured mounds.

Tuesday, he spent his afternoon raking the mound and laying down chalk lines at Capitol Hill, preparing for the Redskins' second set of home games of the year.

Two years ago, Hinckley was bouncing between Triple-A and Double-A in the Toronto Blue Jays' system, hoping to earn another shot at big league glory.

Before Tuesday's game against Guthrie, the 30-year-old Hinckley had to track down umpires to make sure they were on their way and convince his starting pitcher that he was in fact going to pitch the first game of a doubleheader instead of the second.

“I did have a big head when I played a lot of the times but God humbled me,” Hinckley said. “I allowed myself to be top dog and got caught up in that.”

Hinckley now spends his mornings milking cows and shoveling manure at the Braum's Family Farm in Tuttle. He spends his afternoons on the south side of Oklahoma City as Capitol Hill's first-year baseball coach.

It's not exactly a posh retirement from his playing days, but Hinckley couldn't be happier.

The Redskins haven't won many games — most came in the All-City Tournament where Capitol Hill finished second — but Hinckley sees improvement in his 13-player squad.

“You watch the fruits of your labor,” Hinckley said. “Just watching them, they've really learned how to do some fundamental things that have really helped us be in some ballgames. The boys have fought and they've tried hard and that's really rewarding.”

The players have noticed the difference as well.

“I knew he was going to teach us a bunch of stuff that we didn't know,” junior Ulises Villalobos said. “We're getting better. We're actually playing these country schools and for the first couple of innings, we've got them 0-0 or we're down 3-0 and we're actually competing with them. We're actually making them sweat.”

Hinckley's dad, David, was a longtime coach at Moore and coached Mike there.


by Ryan Aber
Reporter
Ryan Aber has worked for The Oklahoman since 2006, covering high schools, the Oklahoma City RedHawks, the Oklahoma City Barons and OU football recruiting. An Oklahoma City native, Aber graduated from Northeastern State. Before joining The...
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