Top-5 Blue Jays that deserved a longer Hall of Fame look

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#3 Dave Stieb
Best Ballot Year 1.4 %
Years on Ballot – 1

Dave Stieb is the pitcher many Blue Jays fans see as one of our best arms of all time. He was the workhorse that the team needed in the early runs at the playoffs. From 1980 to 1990 he pitched over 200 innings in 8 of those 10 years.

Stieb was the face of Toronto’s pitching staff during the early rise of the Jays, and was named the opening day starter 4 times during his tenure.  He is also known for being the only Toronto Blue Jays pitcher to ever throw a No-Hitter.  He accomplished the feat on September 6, 1990, where he held the Cleveland Indians to a zero in the hit column.  What some people often forget is that he had come close to no-hitters and perfect games several times before.

Stieb had 3 no hitters broken up in the 9th inning over his career which also included 1 perfect game.  The near-perfect game was in front of a record crowd at the time in the newly-opened SkyDome. Stieb started the 9th inning out with 2 strikeouts and was only one Yankee batter away from history. Roberto Kelly would rob the perfect game from Stieb on a good pitch that he lined into left field.

He would go onto lead the Jays in Wins, ERA, Games Started, Innings Pitched, and strike outs. He rode a great fastball that was complimented by a devastating slider and a curve ball that would all of a sudden drop from the heavens on hitters. Stieb was also considered very highly among the other pitchers of his generation as earned 7 All Star game appearances. In 1982 through 1983 he ranked top 5 among players each year in WAR and was the top in WAR among pitchers those years. He also lead the league in ERA in 1985.

Stieb’s career resume includes a 176 – 137 record with a 3.44 ERA over 2895.1 innings while collecting 1669 strike outs.

Comparable Players that got more consideration for the Hall of Fame would be Jack Morris. Jack Morris is the only pitcher that collected more wins during the 1980’s then Stieb.  Morris has a career WAR of 43.8 were Stieb had a 57.  The one thing that seems to be a big differentiation between the two is the postseason experience. This writer will not mention that the one reason the Jays did not get into the playoffs more in the 1980’s was Jack Morris’s Tigers. Sorry! Anyways, Morris made four postseason appearances and was the MVP in 1991 for the Twins.

We also enjoyed Morris’ services in 1992 in which he won 21 games for the Jays. Now, for Stieb, he made it to the playoffs with the Jays twice and it was a mixed batch of performances. Morris has been on the ballot for 14 years and is on his last ballot in which he will hope to finally break out of the 60% range that he has been in the past 3 years.

Next: Coming in at number 2, it's Crime Dog Time