Former Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Dave Stieb has admitted that the team’s thrilling World Series victory in 1992 left him feeling extremely mixed emotions.
In a recent interview with Betway Insider, Stieb provided an in-depth insight into his storied career with a franchise that enjoyed huge success in the early 1990s.
He initially started his career in the outfield, but was converted into a pitcher during his time at Southern Illinois University.
Scouts from Toronto spotted his potential and he was soon drafted, despite his initial doubts about playing the position long term.
Thankfully he persevered and established himself as the Blue Jays’ main man, although things did not go to plan during his early years with Toronto.
After joining MLB in 1977 the Blue Jays struggled to make their mark, but Stieb quickly came to realise that there was a long-term plan in place.
“We just had to be patient, roll with the punches and rise above it,” Stieb said. “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.”
The Blue Jays progressed over the next few years, reaching the play-offs in 1985 where they were narrowly defeated by the Kansas City Royals.
Stieb remained confident that the Blue Jays were heading in the right direction, despite the team only qualifying for the post-season in two of the next six seasons.
He threw a no-hitter in September 1990 and remains the only pitcher to achieve the feat in the Blue Jays’ history.
His efforts on the mound undoubtedly created a platform for Toronto to finally break the glass ceiling two years later, but injuries forced him to spend much of the campaign on the sidelines.
However, he was still a hugely influential figure around the locker room and was deservedly awarded a ring for being part of a World Series-winning team.
He was released at the end of the season and spent a year with the Chicago White Sox, before retiring due to long-standing back problems.
Stieb returned to the Blue Jays in 1998, featuring in 19 games. He hung up his pitcher’s mitt for the last time at the end of the season.
He admits that while his final years left him feeling frustrated, no one can ever take away his contribution in helping the Blue Jays conquer MLB.
“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.”Back to the Toronto Blue Jays Newsfeed