From OpenwaterpediaUSA Swimming, U.S. Masters Swimming and FINA swimming official.
Finch turned to swimming after an injury stalled his budding professional baseball career as a third baseman in the minor leagues. In a freakish accident, Finch tried to field a bunt as he can running towards the ball and crashed into his pitcher Phil Ireland. As the two teammates smashed into one another, Ireland flipped over and onto Finch. Ireland broke his throwing arm and thumb as Finch landed even more awkwardly and broke his femur. The teammates underwent rehabilitation, but their budding baseball careers were essentially over at the age of 20.
Finch and Ireland, dejected after their contracts were not renewed, moved to Southern California and studied at Pomona College. Finch discovered swimming when the teammates moved into an old home with a new Endless Pool in the backyard. Both naturally oriented to obsessive behavior, the friends took to using their Endless Pool between classes.
While they never regained their touch on the baseball diamond, they both found the water to be solution to their problems. In one of their required classes, they met Dr. Penny Dean, then the English Channel and Catalina Channel record holder. Impressed with her stories of training and swimming across channels and her life as a professional marathon swimmer, Finch became interested in the sport of swimming and found his talents as a starter, judge and official.
Personable and focused, Finch quickly moved up the ranks as an official and now is a highly sought after referee at major national and international swimming competitions.