Legends in Canadian Sports ….. Dave Stieb
Dave Stieb is seen by many as the best pitcher in baseball throughout much of the 1980’s. Jays fans certainly know Stieb as the first real star and the cornerstone of a new franchise around whom the 1992 World Championship team was built.
Despite his many successes, the Jays’ starting pitcher with the killer slider is underrated and overlooked by many, including Cooperstown … is it because he played for one of those Canadian Clubs … maybe? Born in Santa Ana California in 1957, Stieb spent most of his junior playing career in the outfield. When the expansion Jays picked him in the 5th round of the 1978 draft they thought his strong right arm could make him useful on the mound … he tossed only 128 minor league innings before making his Major League debut for the Jays on June 29, 1979. Stieb spent 15 seasons setting franchise records with the Jays, sadly a shoulder injury sidelined Stieb during the 1992 season and he was forced to watch his team’s championship run from the bench.
Dave’s career highlights and achievements include:
• Pitched the Jays’ first (and to this date only) no-hitter on September 2, 1990 (Stieb had carried no-hitters to the ninth on four previous attempts) Watch Stieb finally make history ….
• Appeared in seven All-Star Games.
• Four Cy Young nominations.
• AL pitching Champion (lowest ERA) in 1985.
• 175 wins and 1,669 strikeouts over 15 seasons with the Jays.
• Inducted to the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame in 2005 – will Cooperstown ever take another look at him… I hope so!
What’s Dave doing now?
After retiring from baseball in 1993, Stieb made a surprise comeback with the Jays in 1998. Hanging up his glove after the 1998 season, Stieb continued to serve the Blue Jays as a coach for a few years, but gradually found his way back home to Nevada, where he ran a construction company and spent much of his time with his family. He continues to be in the conversation as one of the greatest Jays of all times.
Headline Photo Credit: Sports.Vice.Com