After spending seven seasons in the minor leagues, pitcher Mike MacDonald is still chasing his goal of reaching the major leagues.

“It’s still my boyhood dream to get the opportunity to play baseball, and being 29, I know that window of opportunity is coming to a close,” said MacDonald, who grew up in Camden and pitched for the University of Maine. “I still have the opportunity to get that big-league time. Right now, I’m enjoying it, and I’m having a great time doing it.”

MacDonald spent last season pitching for the Richmond Flying Squirrels, the San Francisco Giants’ affiliate in the Double-A Eastern League.

“I’m working on a contract, right now, to sign with the Giants for this year,” said MacDonald, who hopes to move up to the Fresno Grizzlies in the Triple-A Pacific Coast League. “I won’t give it up until it’s time. I don’t want to live the rest of my life, you know, saying, ‘what if?’ “

For the past three years, MacDonald has lived in Saco during the offseason. Before that, he spent his winters in Camden.

“My dad would help me,” said MacDonald, who graduated from Camden-Rockport High School in 2000. “I would go over to the (high school) gym and play long toss with him. I still had friends who were up in Orono, and whenever I got the chance I’d go up with them.”

Since moving to Saco, MacDonald has trained under the tutelage of Chris Harris, a personal trainer who works out of Bare Essentials in Saco.

“Last year, I had a strong season, I think, because of that training,” he said. “He pushes me to places I wouldn’t want to push myself.”

MacDonald was 5-8 with a 3.90 ERA in 23 starts for the Flying Squirrels.

MacDonald spent his first five seasons of professional baseball in the Toronto organization, including two lengthy stints with the Syracuse Chiefs in the Triple-A International League.

“It wasn’t the right situation for me,” MacDonald said. “(Toronto) gave me my release (in 2009), and I signed with the Angels that spring.”

MacDonald pitched one season with the Salt Lake City Bees, the Los Angeles Angels’ club in the PCL.

MacDonald has been a starting pitcher for most of his minor league career, but also has been used for stretches in long relief.

“Whatever they want me to do, I’ll do,” he said. “My main thing is I’m able to start and relieve and kind of go back and forth. That’s my niche.”

MacDonald set a school record with 284 strikeouts while at Maine, but his forte now is inducing groundballs.

“Mostly, I make my living off the sinking fastball, (throwing) three pitches or less (to each batter), and make them put it in play,” he said.

MacDonald will try to pass on some of what he has learned as a pitcher when he conducts his annual clinic on Saturday at Maine Hits, an indoor baseball and softball training facility in Scarborough. The clinic is for baseball pitchers ages 8 through 12.

“Every year since I’ve been drafted I’ve put on a clinic,” he said. “I’m just trying to give back to the younger generation.”

The cost for the hour-long session is $20.

“He wanted to keep the costs low, so nobody would be shut out,” said Shawn Manfredo, director of operations at the Lincoln Avenue facility. “Maybe, we can get a bunch of kids to come in where it’s warm and get them out of the cold or off the couch.”

Later that day, a former Portland High catcher Ryan Baker, who played for the Trenton Thunder in the Eastern League last season, will put on separate clinics for baseball and softball catchers.

Staff Writer Paul Betit can be contacted at 791-6424 or at:

[email protected]