Many Blue Jays have come close, but only one starter in franchise history has gone where nobody else did before and has ever since.
As we approach the 20th anniversary of one of the most memorable Blue Jays pitching performances, this week for Acid Flashback Friday we take a look back at Dave Stieb’s no-hitter.
For many years, the no-hitter eluded Dave Stieb similar to how Moby Dick eluded the great Captain Ahab. Steib was no stranger to being extremely close to retiring 27 hitters in a game without a single hit. Within a span of two seasons, Dave Stieb threw five one-hit complete games.
In his final two starts of the 1988 season, Dave Stieb carried a no-hitter into the ninth inning and needed to retire just one more batter to pick up the no-hitter.
The following year in 1989 against the New York Yankees in front of the hometown crowd at the Skydome, it would happen again in heartbreaking fashion as Stieb actually had a perfect game after 26 batters.
Finally on September 2nd 1990, Dave Stieb harpooned the great white whale which had haunted him his entire career. He decisively took care of the Cleveland Indians on the road at Cleveland Stadium. Stieb struck out nine, walked four, and gave up no hits.
Incredibly, Stieb’s no-hitter was the ninth of the 1990 season which was a modern day record. Though many starters have flirted with no-no’s, Stieb’s still stands as the only one in Blue Jays history.
In a way, I’m very glad this pitching performance is being immortalized in the form of a commemorative bobblehead, but I think there needs to be some sort of Dave Stieb bronze statue standing outside the Rogers Centre (not unlike the proposed Roberto Alomar statue).
For more background info, check out this MLB Network Remembers video saluting Dave Stieb’s no-hitter.