Dave Stieb

David Andrew Stieb (/ˈstiːb/; born July 22, 1957) is a former Major League Baseball right-handed starting pitcher for the Toronto Blue Jays.[1] A seven-time All-Star, he also won The Sporting News' Pitcher of the Year Award in 1982. Stieb won 140 games in the 1980s, the second-highest total by a pitcher in that decade, behind only Jack Morris.[2] Dave Stieb was inducted into the Ontario Sports Hall of Fame in 1995.[3]

Dave Stieb
An image of Dave Stieb, in a Toronto Blue Jays uniform and viewed from the side/rear, pitching in 1985
Dave Stieb pitching in 1985
Pitcher
Born: July 22, 1957 (age 62)
Santa Ana, California
Batted: Right Threw: Right
MLB debut
June 29, 1979, for the Toronto Blue Jays
Last MLB appearance
September 25, 1998, for the Toronto Blue Jays
MLB statistics
Win–loss record176–137
Earned run average3.44
Strikeouts1,669
Teams
Career highlights and awards

Playing career

JaysRetired37
Dave Stieb is a member of the Toronto Blue Jays' Level of Excellence.

Born in Santa Ana, California, Stieb played varsity baseball at Southern Illinois University[1] as an outfielder.[4] Scouted by Bobby Mattick and Al LaMacchia of the Blue Jays as an outfield prospect in a varsity game, Stieb's performance failed to impress until he was pressed into service as a relief pitcher. His pitching surprised and convinced the Blue Jays to draft him.[4]

He played for the Blue Jays from 1979 to 1992 and again in 1998. On September 2, 1990, he pitched the first (and, to date, only) no-hitter in Blue Jays history, defeating the Cleveland Indians 3–0.[5] Previously, on September 24 and 30, 1988, Stieb had no-hitters broken up with two outs and two strikes in the top of the ninth inning in two consecutive starts.[6] He also took a no-hitter into the ninth inning in a 1985 game; this bid was broken up by back-to-back home runs and Stieb being replaced in the game before he recorded an out in the ninth.[7] On August 4, 1989, he had a perfect game broken up with two outs in the ninth. It was the third time in two seasons that Stieb had lost a no-hitter with two out in the ninth inning.[8] After an excellent 1990 season, a series of shoulder and back injuries early in the 1991 season ended his effective pitching years, culminating in a 4–6 season in 1992 that resulted in his release.[9] Despite this, he was awarded a World Series ring, after the Blue Jays won their first championship later that year. In 1993, he played four games with the Chicago White Sox, before finally retiring due to lingering back problems.[9] In 1998, after a five-year hiatus from baseball, Stieb returned to the Blue Jays and pitched in 19 games.[1] He recorded one win and two saves, and started three games.

GastononBlueJaysexcellence
Dave Stieb's name is honoured by the Toronto Blue Jays in the Rogers Centre.

In 1985, Stieb signed with the Blue Jays what was then one of the richest contracts in baseball.[10] The contract, including options exercisable by the team, was for a term of ten years and specified a salary that increased to $1.9 million in 1993, $2 million in 1994, and $2.1 million in 1995.[11] While this was seen to be generous at the time the contract was signed, by the time the later years of the contract came around this was a bargain, considering that several players were receiving several times the amount per year. The Blue Jays voluntarily renegotiated the last three years of his contract to pay him a higher amount in recognition of his years of service.

During his career, Stieb won 176 games while losing 137. Only Jack Morris won more games in the 1980s.[2] Stieb holds career records for Toronto pitchers in wins, games started, shutouts, strikeouts, complete games and a variety of other categories. Stieb appeared in seven All-Star games, also a Blue Jays team record.

On August 29, 2010, Stieb threw the ceremonial first pitch at the Rogers Centre, celebrating the 20th anniversary of his no-hitter game, with the anniversary coming four days after the celebration. Stieb's number 37 was engraved on the pitcher's mound for the game.

Strengths and weaknesses

Stieb entered the league primarily as a power pitcher,[12] relying on a high, inside fastball to strike batters out. The brushback pitch was an integral part of his repertoire to back batters off the plate,[13] and was especially tough on right-handed hitters in this respect. As a result, he led the league in hit batsmen a few years.[14] But arguably his best pitch was his slider that had a late and very sharp break, especially difficult for right-handed batters to handle.

Later on in his career he developed his breaking ball repertoire, and he became very effective with a "dead fish" curveball[15] that would break into the dirt as the batter swung.

Stieb had a high-strung personality and was known as a fierce competitor on the mound; he was regularly seen having animated conversations with himself during pitches when in difficult situations. Whereas with other pitchers this would be seen as a sign of weakness, with Stieb it was perceived as the best way to motivate himself to get out of a jam. Early in his career, Stieb would also frequently yell at his teammates after errors, for plays that he thought they should have made.[4] In later years, Stieb mellowed somewhat, although a fierce glare after a botched play was still not uncommon.

Personal

Stieb is still involved with the Blue Jays spring training camps and currently resides in Reno, Nevada.

Stieb's older brother Steve was a catcher and pitcher in the minor leagues from 1979 to 1981.

Books

Stieb's autobiography was titled Tomorrow I'll Be Perfect, and was released in 1986.

See also

References

  1. ^ a b c Porter, David L. (2002). Biographical Dictionary of American Sports. 3. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 1479. ISBN 978-0-313-29884-4. Retrieved 2009-09-05.
  2. ^ a b "1980s Top Ten Pitchers". Baseball Digest. Lakeside Publishing. 49 (5): 40. May 1990. ISSN 0005-609X. Retrieved 2009-06-09.
  3. ^ "Dave Stieb". oshof.ca/. Retrieved 23 September 2014.
  4. ^ a b c Fimrite, Ron (16 May 1983). "A Rare Bird: The Natural". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved 2 June 2010.
  5. ^ Most recent no-hitters by team Archived 2008-10-19 at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ "The Fans Speak Out". Baseball Digest. Lakeside Publishing. 65 (5): 7. July 2006. ISSN 0005-609X. Retrieved 2009-06-09.
  7. ^ Aug 24, 1985, Blue Jays at White Sox Play by Play and Box Score Baseball-Reference.com. Accessed on January 29, 2013.
  8. ^ Porter, David L. (2002). Biographical Dictionary of American Sports. 3. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 1480. ISBN 978-0-313-29884-4. Retrieved 2009-09-05.
  9. ^ a b Freese, Mel R. (1997). Charmed Circle: Twenty-Game-Winning Pitchers in Baseball's 20th Century. McFarland. p. 264. ISBN 978-0-7864-0297-7.
  10. ^ "Struggle Ends for Dave Stieb". Ocala Star-Banner. 1985-10-09. p. 5C. Retrieved 16 March 2010.
  11. ^ "Jays sign Stieb to 11-year deal for $25 million". Montreal Gazette. 1985-03-09. p. D-13. Retrieved 16 March 2010.
  12. ^ Goodman, Michael E. (2002). The History of the Toronto Blue Jays. The Creative Company. p. PT12. ISBN 978-1-58341-227-5. Retrieved 2010-03-17.
  13. ^ Shofner, Shawndra (2007). The Story of the Toronto Blue Jays. The Creative Company. p. 10. ISBN 978-1-58341-503-0. Retrieved 2010-03-17.
  14. ^ "The Fans Speak Out". Baseball Digest. Lakeside Publishing. 46 (6): 14. June 1987. ISSN 0005-609X. Retrieved 2010-03-17.
  15. ^ Shofner, Shawndra (2007). The Story of the Toronto Blue Jays. The Creative Company. p. 12. ISBN 978-1-58341-503-0. Retrieved 2010-03-17.

External links

Preceded by
Mark Bomback
Toronto Blue Jays Opening Day
Starting pitcher

1983
Succeeded by
Jim Clancy
Preceded by
Jim Clancy
Toronto Blue Jays Opening Day
Starting pitcher

1985 & 1986
Succeeded by
Jimmy Key
Preceded by
Todd Stottlemyre
Toronto Blue Jays Opening Day
Starting pitcher

1991
Succeeded by
Jack Morris
Preceded by
Terry Mulholland
No-hitter pitcher
September 2, 1990
Succeeded by
Nolan Ryan
1978 Major League Baseball draft

In 1978, four American baseball players were promoted from amateur baseball to the major leagues, including Arizona State University third baseman Bob Horner, who was selected number one overall by the Atlanta Braves. Oakland High School pitchers Tim Conroy and Mike Morgan, and Brian Milner of Toronto also went directly to the big leagues.

In addition to Horner, the Braves also selected future major leaguers Matt Sinatro (2nd round), Steve Bedrosian (3rd round), Rick Behenna (4th round), Jose Alvarez (8th round) and Gerald Perry (11th round).

Others drafted in June 1978 included Lloyd Moseby and Dave Stieb (Toronto), Mike Marshall and Steve Sax (Los Angeles), Cal Ripken, Jr. and Mike Boddicker (Baltimore), Kirk Gibson (Detroit), Kent Hrbek (Minnesota) and Hubie Brooks (New York Mets).

1982 Toronto Blue Jays season

The 1982 Toronto Blue Jays season was the franchise's sixth season of Major League Baseball. It resulted in the Blue Jays finishing sixth in the American League East with a record of 78 wins and 84 losses. Bobby Cox became the third field manager in team history.

Dave Stieb established himself as one of the top pitchers in the American League, as he led the AL with 19 complete games and 5 shutouts.

1983 Major League Baseball All-Star Game

The 1983 Major League Baseball All-Star Game was the 54th playing of the midsummer classic between the all-stars of the American League (AL) and National League (NL), the two leagues comprising Major League Baseball. The game was held on Wednesday, July 6, 1983, at Comiskey Park in Chicago, Illinois, the home of the Chicago White Sox of the American League. The game resulted in the American League defeating the National League 13-3. The game celebrated the fiftieth anniversary of the All-Star Game, and occurred exactly 50 years to the date of the first All-Star game. This was the 54th game as no game was held in 1945, and two were held each year from 1959 through 1962.

This was the fifth All-Star Game to be played in Chicago, and the third to be hosted by the White Sox at Comiskey Park (the other two being hosted by the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field). This would be the last time that the All-Star Game would be hosted in the stadium where the annual exhibition began. When the White Sox next hosted the All-Star Game in 2003, they had moved across the street to their new home at U.S. Cellular Field.

The game was the first American League win since 1971, and only their second win since 1963. The 13 runs scored by the American League set a new record for one team in All-Star Game history. The ten-run margin of victory was the largest since the 12-0 American League victory in 1946.

The game is perhaps best remembered for Fred Lynn's third inning grand slam. As of the 2018 All Star Game, it is still the only grand slam in the history of the Midsummer Classic.

Prior to the start of the game, Chuck Mangione played the Canadian National Anthem, while the Oak Ridge Boys sang the United States National Anthem. The colors presentation was by the Great Lakes Naval Training Center Color Guard, which previously presented the colors at the 1947, 1950 and 1963 All-Star Games and would do the honors again in 1990 and 2003.

In 1983, there was an "Old Timer's Game," played the day before the actual All-Star game.

1984 Major League Baseball All-Star Game

The 1984 Major League Baseball All-Star Game was the 55th midseason exhibition between the all-stars of the American League (AL) and the National League (NL), the two leagues comprising Major League Baseball. The game was played on July 10, 1984, at Candlestick Park in San Francisco, home of the San Francisco Giants of the National League. The game resulted in a 3-1 victory for the NL.

Of the three All-Star Games played in San Francisco to date, it is the only one to have been held in an even-numbered year. Candlestick Park's only other All-Star Game, played in 1961, and the next Midsummer Classic to be played in San Francisco, in 2007 at AT&T Park, the Giants' current home, took place in odd-numbered years.

1985 American League Championship Series

The 1985 American League Championship Series was played between the Kansas City Royals and the Toronto Blue Jays from October 8 to 16. Major League Baseball decided to extend the Championship Series in both leagues from its best-of-five (1969–1984) to the current best-of-seven format starting with this year, and it proved pivotal in the outcome of the ALCS. The Blue Jays seemingly put a stranglehold on the Series, earning a three games to one lead over the Royals after four games. However, Kansas City staged an improbable comeback, winning the next three games to win the American League Championship Series four games to three. The Royals would proceed to defeat their cross-state rivals, the St. Louis Cardinals, in the World Series four games to three.

1985 Toronto Blue Jays season

The 1985 Toronto Blue Jays season was the franchise's ninth season of Major League Baseball. It resulted in the Blue Jays finishing first in the American League East with a record of 99 wins and 62 losses. The win total of 99 is a franchise record, and the division title was the franchise's first.

Despite having the second-best record in Major League Baseball, the Blue Jays collapsed in the American League Championship Series against the Kansas City Royals, blowing a 3–1 series lead and losing in seven games.

1993 Chicago White Sox season

The 1993 Chicago White Sox season was the White Sox' 94th season. They finished with a record of 94-68, good enough for first place in the American League West, which they won on September 17th, eight games ahead of the second-place Texas Rangers. However, they lost the American League Championship Series in six games to the eventual World Series champion Toronto Blue Jays. It would be the last year the Sox would compete in the American League West, as they would join the newly formed American League Central in 1994.

1993 Kansas City Royals season

The 1993 Kansas City Royals season was a season in American baseball. It involved the Royals finishing 3rd in the American League West with a record of 84 wins and 78 losses. This was George Brett's final season in the major leagues, as well as the team's final season in the AL West.

Al Widmar

Albert Joseph Widmar (March 20, 1925 – October 15, 2005) was an American starting pitcher and a pitching coach in Major League Baseball.

Between 1945 and 1952, Widmar played for the Boston Red Sox (1947), St. Louis Browns (1948, 1950–51) and Chicago White Sox (1952). He batted and threw right-handed. As a coach, Widmar worked with the Philadelphia Phillies, Milwaukee Brewers and Toronto Blue Jays. He was born in Cleveland, Ohio.

In a five-season career, Widmar posted a 13–30 record with 143 strikeouts and a 5.21 ERA in 388.1 innings pitched.

Widmar played part of two Major League seasons as a reliever with the Boston Red Sox and St. Louis Browns. He debuted with the Red Sox in 1947, and was sent to St. Louis before the 1948 season in the same trade that brought Vern Stephens to Boston. After an unspectacular year with the Browns, he was demoted to Baltimore, St. Louis' Triple-A affiliate team.

In 1949, Widmar won 22 games in the International League. A year later, he returned to the Browns as a starter. After going 11–24 in two seasons, he was sent along with Sherm Lollar to the Chicago White Sox for Dick Littlefield, Joe DeMaestri, Gus Niarhos and Jim Rivera. He finished the 1952 season with the Seattle Rainiers in the Pacific Coast League, and remained with the team through half of the 1955 season. At that point, Widmar donned a Tulsa Oilers uniform, and remained with the team as player/manager through 1958.Following his playing career, Widmar became a successful minor league manager for more than a decade. He also was the pitching coach for the Philadelphia Phillies and Milwaukee Brewers, and later became a front office official for Milwaukee.

In 1979, Widmar became the pitching coach of the Toronto Blue Jays; he kept the job for the next ten seasons. In 1985, he guided a rotation that featured Dave Stieb, Doyle Alexander, Jim Clancy and Jimmy Key as the Blue Jays won their first AL East Division title. He was promoted to special assistant to the vice president and general manager in 1991.

Widmar died of colon cancer in Tulsa, Oklahoma, at age 80.

Bill Burns (baseball)

William Thomas "Bill" Burns (January 27, 1880 – June 6, 1953), nicknamed "Sleepy Bill," was an American baseball player who played as a pitcher in Major League Baseball for five different teams from 1908 to 1912. Burns earned his nickname for his noticeable lack of intensity on the mound.Burns is best known for his involvement in the alleged fixing of the 1919 Chicago White Sox World Series, dubbed the Black Sox Scandal.

In his five-year career, Burns played for the Washington Senators, Chicago White Sox, Cincinnati Reds, Philadelphia Phillies, and Detroit Tigers. In his rookie season, 1908, Burns had a 1.69 earned run average (ERA) which was sixth best in the American League. However, he had a career record of 30–52 as a pitcher and never won more than eight games in a season.

Pitching against the Tigers on May 21, 1908, Burns' bid for a no-hitter ended after 8 2/3 innings when Germany Schaefer singled to drive in the game's only run. On July 31, 1909, now pitching for the White Sox against Walter Johnson and the Senators, Burns again was one out from a no-hitter when it was broken up. This made him the first pitcher in baseball history to suffer this fate twice, a feat not repeated until Dave Stieb lost no-hitters with two outs in the ninth inning in consecutive starts on September 24 and 30, 1988. Yu Darvish would have become the third on May 9, 2014

, but a seventh-inning error was officially re-scored as a hit five days later after an appeal by David Ortiz

. Stieb would go on to break Burns's record on August 4, 1989, this time losing a perfect game with one out to go.

Itch Jones

Richard "Itch" Jones (born 1938 in Herrin, Illinois) is a retired college baseball coach.

Jones broke his leg while in third grade, and the cast he had to wear caused severe itching. To get a measure of relief, he stuck a flyswatter handle between the cast and his leg. His cousin, Albert, nicknamed him "Itchy." The nickname stuck, though in later years it was shortened to "Itch."A 1960 graduate of Southern Illinois University-Carbondale, Jones played second base under Abe Martin. He then played one year in the Baltimore Orioles minor-league system. In 1961 Jones accepted a position at Jacksonville High School coaching freshman football and junior varsity basketball. In 1964 Jones was promoted to head varsity basketball coach. In 1964 Jones led his JHS team to the Sweet Sixteen in the Illinois High School basketball tournament.

Jones became head baseball coach at MacMurray College in 1966. He then returned to his alma mater as an assistant under Joe Lutz in 1968, becoming head coach in 1970. In 21 years, he led the Salukis to 10 NCAA Tournaments and three College World Series. His best team was the 1971 unit, which came within one game of winning the national title. His record of 738-345-5 is still the best in school history.In 1991, Jones moved to Illinois as head coach. In 15 years, he compiled a record of 474-373-1, including two Big Ten regular-season titles, a Big Ten Tournament title in 2000, and two NCAA tournament appearances. He retired after the 2005 season. At the time of his retirement, he was the 15th winningest coach in collegiate baseball history.

Twenty of Jones' players went on to play in the major leagues, including Dave Stieb, Steve Finley and Scott Spezio. He was named national coach of the year twice, in 1971 and 1977.

Junior Félix

Junior Francisco Félix Sánchez is a former professional baseball player who played in Major League Baseball as an outfielder from 1989-1994. His official listed birth date is October 3, 1967, but he was widely rumored to be older than his stated age, possibly as much as ten years older.On May 4, 1989, Félix hit the first pitch he saw in the big leagues for a home run off Kirk McCaskill, but his Blue Jays lost 3–2 in 10 innings. He was the 27th American League player ever to homer in his first major league at-bat, and the 10th to do so on the first pitch.

In the same season on June 2, at Fenway Park, in Boston, Félix hit an inside the park grand slam.On September 2, 1990, Félix caught the final out of the Blue Jays' first no-hitter, thrown by Dave Stieb.

List of Toronto Blue Jays Opening Day starting pitchers

The Toronto Blue Jays are a Major League Baseball (MLB) team based in Toronto, Ontario. They play in the American League East division. The Blue Jays first played their home games at Exhibition Stadium until 1989, when they moved into the SkyDome, which was renamed Rogers Centre in 2005. The first game of the new baseball season for a team is played on Opening Day, and being named the Opening Day starter is an honour, which is often given to the player who is expected to lead the pitching staff that season, though there are various strategic reasons why a team's best pitcher might not start on Opening Day. The Blue Jays have used 25 different Opening Day starting pitchers in their 43 seasons. The 25 starters have a combined Opening Day record of 15 wins, 16 losses and 12 no decisions. No decisions are only awarded to the starting pitcher if the game is won or lost after the starting pitcher has left the game.

The Blue Jays first Opening Day starting pitcher was Bill Singer, who received a no decision against the Chicago White Sox. Roy Halladay holds the Blue Jays' record for most Opening Day starts with seven consecutively from 2003 to 2009, and has an Opening Day record of 3–3. Halladay also has the most starts at home with four. Dave Lemanczyk has the worst winning percentage as the Opening Day starting pitcher with a record of 0–2, both of which were pitched away from Exhibition Stadium.

Overall, the Blue Jays' Opening Day starting pitchers have a record of 0 wins and 1 loss at Exhibition Stadium, and 6 wins and 4 losses at SkyDome/Rogers Centre. In addition, although the Blue Jays were nominally the home team on Opening Day 2001, the game was played in Hiram Bithorn Stadium in Hato Rey, Puerto Rico. Esteban Loaiza started the game in Hato Rey and won, making the Blue Jays' Opening Day starting pitchers' combined home record 6 wins and 4 losses, and their away record 6 wins and 9 losses. The Blue Jays went on to play in the American League Championship Series playoff games in 1985, 1989 and 1991, and won the World Series in 1992 and 1993. Dave Stieb, Jimmy Key and Jack Morris were the Opening Day starting pitchers those years, and had a combined Opening Day record of 2 wins and 3 losses.

The Blue Jays and the Cleveland Indians currently hold the record for the longest Opening Day game in Major League history. They set that record on Opening Day 2012, when Jairo Asencio of the Indians gave up a 3-run home run in the top of the 16th inning to give the Blue Jays the win. This broke the record of 15 innings set between the Indians and the Detroit Tigers in 1960.The Blue Jays would later participate in the ALCS in 2015 and 2016.

OK Blue Jays

"OK Blue Jays" is a baseball song played during the seventh-inning stretch of home games of the Toronto Blue Jays, a Major League Baseball team based in the city of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The song includes references to the team's roster and events from the 1980s. It was released in 1983 and charted 47th on RPM's singles list. It was written by Jack Lenz and Tony Kosinec and is performed by Keith Hampshire and "The Bat Boys". The song was remixed by Rob Wells and Chris Anderson in 2003.By 1986, the single had sold over 50,000 copies and was certified gold. In a pre-game ceremony in 1986, Jimy Williams accepted a gold record from a recording industry representative before a game against the Milwaukee Brewers.The Blue Jays song was conceptualized by Alan Smith, Creative Director at JWT Direct. He wrote most of the lyrics together with copywriter Pat Arbour, although the first verse was written entirely by recording artist Tony Kosinec of the Lenz/Kosinec jingle house, which was hired to write the music and produce the song under Smith and Arbour's direction. The project was approved and supported by Blue Jays executive Paul Beeston. Lenz stated that Beeston "wanted the song to be fun, but not to promise too much because the team was OK".The original version of the song was about two and a half minutes long, but the version played during the seventh-inning stretch is 58 seconds long. During its play, the Blue Jays JForce cheerleaders lead fans in simple stretching activities, such as clapping and fist-pumping. When the song was first introduced in 1983, a group from Fitness Ontario would lead fans in calisthenics exercises. The lyrics state:The song refers to eight teams; in order, they are the Chicago White Sox, Boston Red Sox, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, Texas Rangers, New York Yankees, Cleveland Indians, Detroit Tigers, and Oakland Athletics. The original version referred to the Milwaukee Brewers instead of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.

Two individuals are mentioned by their given name only. The first is Dave Stieb, about whom the song states:

The lyrics were later changed to "Jays throw down a smoker".

The second individual mentioned is "Billy", referring to Billy Martin, who had been the manager of the Oakland Athletics in 1982 and had his third stint as manager of the New York Yankees in 1983.

The refrain of the song is:

The song ends with the sound of a bat swung by Willie Upshaw striking a pitched baseball.

Sarasota Reds

The Sarasota Reds were a professional minor league baseball team, located in Sarasota, Florida, as a member of the Florida State League. However team originally started play in Sarasota as the Sarasota White Sox in 1989. They remained in the city for the next 21 seasons, going through a series of name changes due to their affiliation changes. They were known as the White Sox from 1989–1993, as the Sarasota Red Sox from 1994–2004, and the Reds from 2004–2009. In Sarasota, the team played in Payne Park (1989) and then Ed Smith Stadium (1990–2009). They won two division championships, in 1989 and 1992, and made playoff appearances in 1989, 1991, 1992, 1994, and 2007.

However the roots of the Reds can be traced back, even further, to the Tampa Tarpons. In the 1980s rumors arose that a major league team would come to Tampa, which would threaten the viability of the Tarpons and other minor league teams in the Tampa Bay Area. In 1988 the Chicago White Sox replaced Cincinnati as the Tarpons' affiliate, launching murmurs that the White Sox would themselves relocate to the area. Fearing his team would soon be displaced, in 1989 Tarpons owner Mitchell Mick sold his franchise to the White Sox, who moved it to Sarasota, Florida as the Sarasota White Sox.The team's Sarasota era produced many notable player who would go on to play in majors. Bo Jackson, Mike LaValliere, Dave Stieb, Hall of Famer Frank Thomas and Bob Wickman all played for the Sarasota White Sox. Meanwhile, Stan Belinda, David Eckstein, Nomar Garciaparra, Byung-hyun Kim, Jeff Suppan, Dustin Pedroia, Jonathan Papelbon, and Kevin Youkilis were alumni of the Sarasota Red Sox. The Sarasota Reds also produced many notable major league players such as Jay Bruce, Johnny Cueto, Joey Votto, Chris Heisey, and Drew Stubbs.

After the Reds' spring-training departure from Florida's Grapefruit League to Arizona's Cactus League in 2009, the Reds and Pittsburgh Pirates did an "affiliate-swap". The Pirates took over the Sarasota Reds, while the Reds became the parent club of the Pirates' former Class A-Advanced affiliate, the Lynchburg Hillcats of the Carolina League. The Pittsburgh Pirates have had their spring training facilities based in Bradenton, Florida since in 1969, when the city met with Pirates' general manager Joe Brown and owner John W. Galbreath and both sides agreed to a lease of 40 years, with an option for another 40 years. On November 10, 2009, baseball officials voted to allow the Pirates to purchase and uproot the Sarasota Reds. The Pirates moved the team to Bradenton, where they were renamed the Bradenton Marauders. The Marauders became the first Florida State League team located in Bradenton since the Bradenton Growers folded in 1926.

Tom Waddell (baseball)

Thomas David Waddell (born September 17, 1957) is a former Major League Baseball pitcher. One of only eight Scotland natives to ever be a major league ballplayer, he pitched for the Cleveland Indians from 1984 to 1985, and again in 1987.

Waddell grew up in Closter, New Jersey.The right-hander was signed by the Atlanta Braves as an amateur free agent out of Manhattan College in 1981. After three seasons in their farm system, he was drafted by the Indians in the 1983 rule 5 draft. He made his major league debut on April 15, 1984 against the Baltimore Orioles, facing only two batters and giving up a game tying sacrifice fly and a single. For the season, Waddell went 7–4 with a 3.06 earned run average, 59 strikeouts and six saves in 58 appearances for the Indians, setting a club record for relief appearances by a rookie.

In 1985, Waddell was 4–5 with a 3.88 ERA and nine saves out of the tribe's bullpen when Cleveland manager Pat Corrales converted him into a starter. In his first major league start, Waddell pitched six plus innings to earn the win over Ron Guidry and the New York Yankees. For the season, he made nine starts, including a 7-hit complete game win over Dave Stieb and the Toronto Blue Jays on August 19.Waddell had shoulder surgery in September 1985 and made only three rehab appearances for Cleveland's triple A affiliate in 1986. He was unsuccessful in a brief 1987 comeback bid, going 0–1 with a 14.29 ERA in six games with the Indians. He signed a minor league contract with the Montreal Expos in 1988, and went 3–2 with a 2.95 ERA splitting the season between their double and triple A affiliates. He split the 1989 season between the Expos' and Milwaukee Brewers' farm system before retiring.

Toronto Blue Jays

The Toronto Blue Jays are a Canadian professional baseball team based in Toronto, Ontario. The Blue Jays compete in Major League Baseball (MLB) as a member club of the American League (AL) East division. The team plays its home games at the Rogers Centre.

The "Blue Jays" name originates from the bird of the same name, and blue is also the traditional colour of two of Toronto's other professional sports teams: the Maple Leafs (ice hockey) and the Argonauts (Canadian football). In addition, the team was originally owned by the Labatt Brewing Company, makers of the popular beer Labatt's Blue. Colloquially nicknamed the "Jays", the team's official colours are royal blue, navy blue, red, and white. An expansion franchise, the club was founded in Toronto in 1977. Originally based at Exhibition Stadium, the team began playing its home games at the SkyDome upon its opening in 1989. Since 2000, the Blue Jays have been owned by Rogers Communications and in 2004, the SkyDome was purchased by that company, which renamed it Rogers Centre. They are the second MLB franchise to be based outside the United States, and currently the only team based outside the U.S. after the first Canadian franchise, the Montreal Expos, became the Washington Nationals in 2005.

In the late 1970s and early 1980s, the Blue Jays went through struggles typical of an expansion team, frequently finishing in last place in its division. In 1983, the team had its first winning season and two years later, they became division champions. From 1985 to 1993, they were an AL East powerhouse, winning five division championships in nine seasons, including three consecutive from 1991 to 1993. During that run, the team also became back-to-back World Series champions in 1992 and 1993, led by a core group of award-winning All-Star players, including Hall of Famer Roberto Alomar, Joe Carter, John Olerud, and Devon White. The Blue Jays became the first (and, to date, only) team outside the US to appear in and win a World Series, and the fastest AL expansion team to do so, winning in its 16th year. After 1993, the Blue Jays failed to qualify for the playoffs for 21 consecutive seasons, until clinching a playoff berth and division championship in 2015. The team clinched a second consecutive playoff berth in 2016, after securing an AL wild card position. In both years, the Jays won the AL Division Series but lost the AL Championship Series.

The Blue Jays are one of two MLB teams under corporate ownership, with the other being the Atlanta Braves (who are owned by Liberty Media).

Toronto Blue Jays award winners and league leaders

This is a list of award winners and league leaders for the Toronto Blue Jays professional baseball team.

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