Legendary Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Dave Stieb will be inducted into the San Jose Sports Hall of Fame in a ceremony that will take place on November 8th. Stieb will be part of a strong class featuring longtime former San Jose Sharks forward Patrick Marleau and ex-San Jose Earthquakes striker Chris Wondolowski.
He established himself as one of the early stars of the Blue Jays after being drafted out of Southern Illinois in 1978. Despite not being a pitcher until his collegiate career was underway, Stieb rocketed through the Jays minor-league system before making his MLB debut in June 1979.
The now 66-yeard-old made the first of seven All-Star Games the following season and may have fared better in Cy Young Award voting had the BBWAA not valued pitcher wins so heavily in their evaluations. His best finish was fourth in 1982, a year he threw a mind-boggling 19 complete games and logged 288.1 innings!
Stieb’s quest for the ultimate capture of a dream of every pitcher, a no-hitter, is one of the most compelling stories in team history. In the last two starts of the 1988 season, the fiery righthander took no-nos into the ninth, only to see bad bounces spoil his chance for glory. Then, in August 1989, he had another no-hit bid, with two outs in the ninth, go bust with a Roberto Kelly line-drive double.
On September 2, 1990, it finally all broke right and Stieb pitched the first, and only no-hitter in Blue Jays history. He remains the franchise leader in wins (175), and innings pitched, with 2873.
In a shocking display of disrespect, Stieb received fewer than two percent of the votes in his first year of Baseball Hall of Fame eligibility. Many longtime fans would love to see his name be re-circulated by the Veteran’s Committee.
In the meantime, Stieb’s induction to the San Jose Sports Hall of Fame is a real accomplishment and well-deserved. He was a heart-and-soul player who truly helped legitimize a young franchise in its early days and is among the most beloved in team lore.