Mandatory Credit: Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports
Matchup 4: Dave Stieb vs Roy Halladay
Here we go! This might be the toughest decision you’ve had to make in this entire process. And, you knew it was going to happen. You can’t get to the Greatest Blue Jay of All Time without having these two goliaths go head to head. Let’s get to it!
Stieb is the greatest Blue Jay to never win a Cy Young award. In fact, he never finished higher than 4th (1982). In the magical season of 1985, he led the league in ERA (2.48) and ERA+ and finished in 7th place in Cy Young voting. He has the franchise’s most wins with 175. He’s 4th all time with 439 games, 1st in innings pitched at 2873, 1st in strike outs with 1658 and 1st in opponents batting average at .239. He ranks first in WAR at 57.
Toronto Blue Jays
In his 14+ seasons with the Blue Jays, he helped them through the mid to late 80’s with an amazing amount of innings pitched. From 1980 to 1984, he never threw fewer than 11 complete games in a season, including 19 in 1982. Also in ’82, he led the league in innings pitched with 288.1. He also led the league in 1984 with 267 IP. In fact, from 1980 through 1990, he averaged 230 innings pitched. He is the only Blue Jay to throw a no hitter. He also had 3 other no hitters broken up with 2 outs in the 9th inning. The one in 1989 was a bid for a perfect game.
While Stieb was good and was part of a winning team, Roy Halladay was not. He was good, but he did not benefit from a supporting cast, even though he gave the organization time to address that when he re-signed with them. Instead, he was a shining talent on a middling team. His initial failure and rebirth have been well documented. He came back to be one of the best pitchers in Blue Jays history. Where Stieb never got much recognition for his efforts, Halladay did. As a Blue Jay, he was a 6 time All Star, he won the Cy Young Award in 2003 and finished in the top 5 in voting 5 times.
Like Stieb, Doc was a work horse leading the league in innings pitched 3 times and complete games 5 times. He spent 12 seasons in Toronto and ranks 2nd in WAR with a 48 WAR. He’s 2nd all time in wins (148), 3rd in ERA by 0.01 at 3.43, 3rd in innings pitched at 2046.2, tied for first in WHIP at 1.20 and 2nd in strike outs with 1495. He did all of this in 126 fewer games than Stieb.
So, who do you choose? This one is tough, no?