Toronto Blue Jays legend Dave Stieb says that perseverance was crucial to the success he enjoyed in Major League Baseball. In a recent interview with Betway, the seven-time All-Star pitcher discussed how he helped the Blue Jays climb to the top of the ladder. After joining MLB in 1977, the Blue Jays understandably struggled to make their mark against the more established teams. Stieb was drafted a couple of years later, and subsequently became one of the standout pitchers of his generation. While Stieb was the star of the show, many of his teammates failed to match his level. However, he says it was important for him to stay focused on the job at hand.
“The bottom line is I had no choice in the matter,” he said. “That’s where I was, and I had to make the best of it. The whole idea was that, in time, we will get better. And we did. We just had to be patient, roll with the punches, and rise above it. It was almost a better thing to go through than being put on a first-place team where everything’s already there. I don’t think I would change that experience for anything because it was a growing process. Just like me learning how to pitch in the major leagues was a growing process. When you go through that, and you finally get to where you want to be, it makes it all worth it. All the hard work paid off.”
Blue Jays Postseason Success With Stieb
Stieb played a key role in helping the Blue Jays qualify for their first post-season campaign in 1985, and he demonstrated his undoubted talent throughout the series. He rates his performance in their opening game against the Kansas City Royals as the greatest moment in a career packed with highlights. Stieb pitched eight shutout innings as Toronto won 6-1. Unfortunately, he was ultimately unable to prevent the Blue Jays from losing the series 4-3.
He subsequently threw a no-hitter against the Cleveland Indians in September of 1990, but he believes that luck played a major part in him achieving the feat. His efforts on the mound helped to transform the Blue Jays from “also-rans” into playoff contenders. But injuries forced him to miss out when the team made their biggest breakthrough. Stieb was on the sidelines throughout the 1992 World Series as the Blue Jays beat the Atlanta Braves 4-2, but he still cherishes the ring he was awarded for that success.
“That whole thing was bittersweet, as you can well understand–it was very bitter,” he said. “The fact that I played all those years, and we finally had a great team that was going to the World Series, and I had to watch – it was hard. It was great to get that ring and have a trophy for all those years I played there. But it really stings that I wasn’t able to contribute that year. But I’ll never give my ring back. Nope, I’ll take that, thank you.”
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