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Dave Stieb
An image of Dave Stieb, in a Toronto Blue Jays uniform and viewed from the side/rear, pitching in 1985
Dave Stieb pitching in 1985
Pitcher
Born: July 22, 1957 (1957-07-22) (age 52)
Santa Ana, California
Batted: Right Threw: Right 
MLB debut
June 29, 1979 for the Toronto Blue Jays
Last MLB appearance
September 25, 1998 for the Toronto Blue Jays
Career statistics
Win-Loss record     176-137
Earned run average     3.44
Strikeouts     1,669
Teams
Career highlights and awards

David Andrew Stieb [STEEB] (born July 22, 1957) is a former Major League Baseball pitcher for the Toronto Blue Jays.[1]

Contents

Playing career

Dave Stieb is a member of the Toronto Blue Jays' Level of Excellence.

Born in Santa Ana, California,[1] he played for the Blue Jays from 1979 to 1992 and again in 1998. On September 2, 1990, he pitched the first (and, to date, only) no-hitter in Blue Jays history, defeating the Cleveland Indians 3-0.[2] Previously, Stieb had no-hitters broken up with two outs and two strikes in the bottom of the ninth inning in two consecutive 1988 starts.[3] In 1989 he had yet another no-hit bid broken up with two outs in the ninth; this was a potential perfect game.[4] After an excellent 1990 season, a string of shoulder and back injuries early in the 1991 season ended his effective pitching years, culminating in a 4-6 season in 1992 that resulted in his release.[5] In 1993 he played four games with the Chicago White Sox, before finally retiring due to lingering back problems.[5] In 1998, after a five-year hiatus from baseball, Stieb returned to the Blue Jays and pitched in 19 games.[1] He recorded one win and two saves, and started three games.

Dave Stieb's name is honoured by the Toronto Blue Jays in the Rogers Centre.

In 1985, Stieb signed with the Blue Jays what was then one of the richest contracts in baseball.[6] The contract, including options exercisable by the team, was for a term of ten years and specified a salary that increased to $1.9 million in 1993, $2 million in 1994, and $2.1 million in 1995.[7] While this was seen to be generous at the time the contract was signed, by the time the later years of the contract came around this was a bargain, considering that several players were receiving several times the amount per year. The Blue Jays voluntarily renegotiated the last three years of his contract to pay him a higher amount in recognition of his years of service.

During his career Stieb won 176 games while losing 137. Only Jack Morris won more games in the 1980s.[8] Stieb holds career records for Toronto pitchers in wins, games started, shutouts, strikeouts, and a variety of other categories. Stieb appeared in seven All-Star games, also a Blue Jays team record.

Strengths and weaknesses

Stieb entered the league primarily as a power pitcher,[9] relying on a high, inside fastball to strike batters out. The brushback pitch was an integral part of his repertoire to back batters off the plate,[10] and was especially tough on right-handed hitters in this respect. As a result, he led the league in hit batsmen a few years.[11] But arguably his best pitch was his slider that had a late and very sharp break - especially difficult for right-handed batters to handle.

Later on in his career he developed his breaking ball repertoire, and he became very effective with a "dead fish" curveball[12] that would break into the dirt as the batter swung.

Stieb had a high-strung personality and was known as a fierce competitor on the mound; he was regularly seen having animated conversations with himself during pitches when in difficult situations. Whereas with other pitchers this would be seen as a sign of weakness, with Stieb it was rather the best way to motivate himself to get out of a jam.

Stieb still is involved with the Blue Jays spring training camps, and currently resides in Reno, Nevada.

Books

Stieb's autobiography was entitled Tomorrow I'll Be Perfect, and was released in 1986.

See also

References

  1. ^ a b c Porter, David L. (2002). Biographical Dictionary of American Sports. 3. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 1479. ISBN 9780313298844. http://books.google.ca/books?id=HXAxPvFtwqIC&pg=PA1479. Retrieved 2009-09-05. 
  2. ^ Most recent no-hitters by team
  3. ^ "The Fans Speak Out". Baseball Digest (Lakeside Publishing) 65 (5): 7. July 2006. ISSN 0005-609X. http://books.google.ca/books?id=rS0DAAAAMBAJ&pg=PA7. Retrieved 209-06-09. 
  4. ^ Porter, David L. (2002). Biographical Dictionary of American Sports. 3. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 1480. ISBN 9780313298844. http://books.google.ca/books?id=HXAxPvFtwqIC&pg=PA1480. Retrieved 2009-09-05. 
  5. ^ a b Freese, Mel R. (1997). Charmed Circle: Twenty-Game-Winning Pitchers in Baseball's 20th Century. McFarland. p. 264. ISBN 9780786402977. http://books.google.ca/books?id=RP6pvrO2aPEC&pg=PA264. 
  6. ^ "Struggle Ends for Dave Stieb". Ocala Star-Banner: p. 5C. 1985-10-09. http://news.google.ca/newspapers?id=g5oTAAAAIBAJ&sjid=UAYEAAAAIBAJ&pg=6683,6399533. Retrieved 16 March 2010. 
  7. ^ "Jays sign Stieb to 11-year deal fro $25 million". Montreal Gazette: p. D-13. 1985-03-09. http://news.google.ca/newspapers?id=nhgiAAAAIBAJ&sjid=3KUFAAAAIBAJ&pg=786,3304378. Retrieved 16 March 2010. 
  8. ^ "1980s Top Ten Pitchers". Baseball Digest (Lakeside Publishing) 49 (5): 40. May 1990. ISSN 0005-609X. http://books.google.ca/books?id=jC4DAAAAMBAJ&pg=PA40. Retrieved 2009-06-09. 
  9. ^ Goodman, Michael E. (2002). The History of the Toronto Blue Jays. The Creative Company. p. PT12. ISBN 9781583412275. http://books.google.ca/books?id=68YMz5j31eAC&pg=PT12. Retrieved 2010-03-17. 
  10. ^ Shofner, Shawndra (2007). The Story of the Toronto Blue Jays. The Creative Company. p. 10. ISBN 9781583415030. http://books.google.ca/books?id=JR7wkxO3xU8C&pg=PA10. Retrieved 2010-03-17. 
  11. ^ "The Fans Speak Out". Baseball Digest (Lakeside Publishing) 46 (6): 14. June 1987. ISSN 0005-609X. http://books.google.ca/books?id=qjQDAAAAMBAJ&pg=PA14. Retrieved 2010-03-17. 
  12. ^ Shofner, Shawndra (2007). The Story of the Toronto Blue Jays. The Creative Company. p. 12. ISBN 9781583415030. http://books.google.ca/books?id=JR7wkxO3xU8C&pg=PA12. Retrieved 2010-03-17. 

External links

Preceded by
Jim Clancy
Toronto Blue Jays Opening Day
Starting pitcher

1980
Succeeded by
Jim Clancy
Preceded by
Mike Boddicker
American League ERA Champion
1985
Succeeded by
Roger Clemens
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