September 19, 2023
By Kevin Glew
Cooperstowners in Canada
Toronto Blue Jays legendary right-hander Dave Stieb has been elected to the San Jose Sports Hall of Fame.
The announcement was made on September 13 by the San Jose Sports Authority.
Stieb will be inducted into the sports shrine in a ceremony on November 8. The other 2023 inductees include former San Jose Sharks star Patrick Marleau and soccer stars Lorrie Fair and Chris Wondolowski.
Born in Santa Ana, Calif., in 1957, Stieb grew up in San Jose and was a baseball star at Oak Grove High School and San Jose City College.
“You’re never thinking what you’re achieving at that time is going to become something like this,” Stieb told Fox 2 News of the honour. “So, like I said, it’s flattering and quite an honour and a surprise.”
The honour comes nearly 25 years after Stieb threw his final major league pitch with the Blue Jays.
Not a pitcher in high school
When he was growing up in San Jose, however, he was not a pitcher. He played outfield in high school and at San Jose City College. Stieb didn’t throw his first competitive pitch until he went to Southern Illinois University.
He was an All-American outfielder when the Blue Jays selected him in the fifth round of the 1978 amateur draft. He was converted into a full-time pitcher to begin the 1979 season. With his focus on the mound, Stieb rocketed through the Blue Jays system to make his MLB debut on June 29, 1979.
He quickly evolved into the Blue Jays’ most dependable starter. After winning 17 games in 1982 and setting club records by tossing 288 1/3 innings and 19 complete games, Stieb was named The Sporting News Pitcher of the Year.
The intense righty topped the American League in innings (267) again in 1984 en route to a 16-8 season. In 1985, Stieb topped the American League with a 2.48 ERA and started three games in the American League Championship Series. He followed that up with three more seasons of 15 or more wins.
Seven-time MLB All-Star
In all, Stieb was selected to seven All-Star games and was named the Blue Jays Pitcher of the Year five times. After several near misses, he tossed the only no-hitter in Blue Jays history on September 2, 1990.
Stieb remains the Blue Jays’ all-time leader in numerous pitching categories, including wins (175), innings pitched (2,873), strikeouts (1,658), complete games (103) and shutouts (30). For his efforts, he was elected to the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame in 2005 and was the first pitcher honoured on the Blue Jays Level of Excellence.
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