|A GRITTY COMPETITOR, |
I'LL GIVE HIM THAT.
|BETTER THAN A BLANK BACK, I GUESS.|
THE FRONT PAGE
- These were inserted for the first time in '84 rack packs. I pretty much ignored them until recently. As inserts go, they hardly knock your socks off.
THE BACK PAGE
- Especially the backs. That's about as spartan as it gets. Some stats or a few sentences about the player would've been nice.
- Hey, I haven't written anything about hard-ass Dave Stieb, whom as an Oriole fan in the '80s pretty much hated this creep. He always looked like he had a problem, just like in this pose.
- This card marks a historic occasion for Stieb, the Blue Jays and the American League: He became the franchise's first pitcher to start an All-Star Game; he got the win, too, going three scoreless and striking out four as the AL ended an 11-game losing streak.
- Stieb was a seven-time All-Star who won 176 games in 16 years. He won 140 games in the '80s, second to Jack Morris, another hard-ass.
- Stieb is probably most known for flirting with three no-hitters during the '88 and '89 seasons.
- In '88, he pitched no-hit ball for 8 2/3 innings and was down to the last strike in consecutive starts. I particularly enjoyed Oriole Jim Traber breaking up that second one.
- In '89, he had a potential perfect game broken up with two outs in the ninth. "If I haven't gotten a no-hitter after three times, I doubt I ever will,'' he said.
- He finally got that elusive career highlight next season, no-hitting the Indians.
- Dude pitched inside a lot and wasn't afraid to plunk batters. His slider was devastating when he was spotting it.
- When he wasn't arguing with himself on the mound, he was sweating profusely.
- After going 18-6 in '90, his career fell off a cliff. He would win only nine more games in the next three seasons. He joined the White Sox in '93, going 1-3 with a 6.04 ERA. He retired, but like a boxer, he wasn't finished.
- In '98, at age 40, he came back to the Jays and went 1-2 with a 4.83 ERA and made three starts. And with that, he retired for good with five career one-hitters.