Steven Kent is placing apart retirement plans to get again on observe with Canberra Cavalry
In the locker room after the Canberra Cavalry went down in the Australian Baseball League (ABL) elimination final against the Adelaide Giants in February 2021, it was announced to the team that star pitcher Steven Kent had ended the day.
At the age of 31 and three young children, he was preparing for one last affair: the postponed Olympic Games in Tokyo in July this year.
He predicted this decision in an interview with Region Media in June 2020.
“I want to focus on the upcoming ABL season with the Canberra Cavalry and then the Olympics next year before I retire,” he said.
But after the dressing room announcement, it was evident that Steven had doubts.
I called him in March to write a story about his career. He politely declined, indicating that he was not yet interested in going public about his resignation, despite telling some people that he had played his last game for the cavalry.
Five months later, it is common knowledge that the now 32-year-old Steven has signed up for another ABL season in Canberra due to a combination of factors.
The seeds for a change of heart were sown months ago.
“I told people I was retiring last year and it was announced to the team,” he says. “But about a week after it was announced in the locker room that I was retiring, I had concerns.”
What followed was a series of cascading events that made it impossible to resist the decision to continue playing at the ABL.
“At the end of last season, I was mentally overwhelmed,” says Steven. “I now have the feeling that I am offering something.”
Also in the game was the appearance of new licensees for the cavalry, Brendon Major and Illya Mastoris.
“I’ve known Brendon and Illya for a long time,” says Steven. “You have the best interests of the team, the players, their families, and the Canberra baseball community at heart. It’s a new beginning. “
If Steven had not already decided to continue playing for the cavalry, it became insurmountable when Baseball Australia decided not to send a team to the Olympic qualifier in Mexico and therefore will not compete in Tokyo due to the logistical challenges posed by COVID-19 .
Steven’s Olympic dream was over.
“The last thing was not to go to the Olympics,” he says. “It was an additional motivation to continue to play with the cavalry in the ABL.”
Essentially, Steven didn’t want to go out that way, and the decision was made to sign with the cavalry again.
It’s a decision that is celebrated by the club’s ardent supporters, many of whom have followed his career from a four-year-old t-ball player to a seven-year contract with the Atlanta Braves in the United States as a teenager in two stints with the Brave and returned home to play for Canberra.
At the age of 17 he represented Australia for the first time.
At 32, the left-hand veteran still has a lot to offer as one of the ABL’s leading players.
How long he wants to play, he understandably does not speculate.
“The next time I decide to say goodbye, I’ll just go away and not make a big announcement.”
In sports and in life, you’ve long been retired, so it’s worth a second thought.