By Kevin Glew
Cooperstowners in Canada
Question: Who was the first Toronto Blue Jays pitcher to record 100 wins with the team?
Answer: It’s not who you think it is.
It’s not Dave Stieb.
Thirty-four years ago today, right-hander Jim Clancy tossed a four-hit shutout over the Kansas City Royals at Royals Stadium to notch his 100th win as a Blue Jay. With this, he became the first Blue Jays pitcher to reach this milestone.
Clancy was a workhorse starter for the Blue Jays for 12 seasons from 1977 to 1988. Despite pitching for bottom-dwelling teams in his first six seasons with club, he still managed to reach the 100-win mark first.
The 6-foot-4 Illinois native won 10 or more games in eight of his seasons with the Blue Jays, including a career high 16 in 1982 when he topped the American League with 40 starts and tossed 266 2/3 innings. He was also selected to the American League All-Star team for the only team that season.
In all, in 352 career games – including 345 starts – for the Blue Jays, Clancy recorded 128 wins, which currently rank him third among Blue Jays pitchers behind Dave Stieb (175) and Roy Halladay (148).
For the record, Dave Stieb reached the 100-win mark a little over a month after Clancy when he limited the Cleveland Indians to one run in 7 2/3 innings in the Blue Jays’ 3-1 win at Exhibition Stadium on September 3, 1986.
Jim Clancy was an original Blue Jay obtained in the Toronto Blue Jay original expansion draft in 1976. I wonder, in all the Expansion drafts held since the originals (2nd coming of Washington Senators and Los Angeles Angels for the1961 season) has any original expansion draft pitcher won more games for his Expansion draft team than Jim Clancy did for Toronto.
That is an excellent question, David. I’m not sure how to find the answer out to that one. Thanks again for all your support.
See above comment.—I guess it would be relatively easy to find the expansion roster draft picks of the new teams. I would imagine that when you look at the pitching rosters of all the expansion teams that there would probably be no more than about five to ten pitchers in total that would be possibilities (if that). At that point just look up their record with their original expansion team. When i get some time i think I will do it. Let you know the answer in a few weeks. What else does a 77yr. old semi-retired MD have to do with his time during this Covid epidemic?
Thanks for your support, David. That will certainly be an interesting research project. Thank you also for your work as an MD. Sincerely, Kevin.
Jim Clancy eh!. Well that’s kinda a surprise, but when you think long and hard about it not really as he was their first longtime good pitcher. Thanks Kevin
It was kind of a trick question with the photo and everything. I had several people say Stieb on Facebook and Twitter. I would have guessed Stieb too if I wasn’t researching it. Thanks for your support, Scott.
My research was quicker than I thought. Jim Clancy indeed holds the record for the most wins for the expansion team that chose him in the expansion draft at 128 wins for the Blue Jays. Second place is not even close. It was Dean Chance chosen in the 1960 expansion draft by the L.A. Angels. He won 74 games with the L.A Angels with the caveat that he won a Cy Young Award in 1964- when the award was only given to one pitcher in the “Majors” not as now two winners, one each for the American & National Leagues. P.S An interesting trivia when only the one award was given, through 1992 to 1996 seasons, for those five years all the winners played for Los Angeles i.e the Dodgers with ex Montreal Royal Don Drysdale once, and of course Sandy Koufax three times.
This is spectacular research, David. Thank you very much for sharing this. I didn’t know that Clancy held that record.