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1990: Dave Stieb: Blue Jays All-Star Moments!

Dave Stieb, back in 1990
Dave Stieb, back in 1990

Working our way through our top 10 Blue Jay All-Star moments, our number 8 choice is Dave Stieb's performance from the 1990 All-Star game, played at Wrigley Field in Chicago. It was the 3rd time the game was played at baseball's second oldest park. They had just put in lights that year. 

Dave Stieb has the team record for most times named to the All-Star team, with 7 and he pitched at least a full inning in each of those games and he started two games. In all he pitched 11.2 All-Star innings, allowing just 1 earned run, off 6 hits and 6 walks, with 10 strikeouts. 

In 1990, Stieb was the second pitcher in the game for the American league. Oakland's Bob Welch start. It would be tough to argue that Stieb should have had the start over Welch, Welch went 27-6 with a 2.95 ERA that year, winning the Cy Young. 

Stieb hit the All-Star break with an 11-3 record and a 3.15 ERA in 17 starts. For the season he was 18 and 6, with a 2.93 ERA, in 33 starts. It would be his last good season, he pitched a ton of innings in the 80's and his arm pretty much gave out after 1990. 

Stieb came into the scoreless game in the 3rd inning. In that inning he faced 3 future Hall of Fame players and a future financial genius (uh huh). Stieb got Ozzie Smith to ground out, walked Tony Gwynn, then got Len Dykstra to fly out and Ryne Sandberg to ground out. 

His 4th innings wasn't quite as tough, he only faced one future Hall of Famer. Dave got Will Clark and Kevin Mitchell to ground out and then struck out Andre Dawson. And that was his day. He earned a .116 WPA, not that anyone knew that term back then, heck very few baseball fans knew the term on base percentage.

When he left the score was still 0-0.

We had 2 other Jays named to the team that year. Kelly Gruber hit .296/.353/.561, with 20 home runs and 66 RBI at the break, he finished 1990 with a .274/.330/.512 line. Kelly came into the game in the 6th inning, as a pinch runner for Wade Boggs and stole 3rd in a double steal with Jose Canseco. Then in the 7th he took a walk off Rob Dibble and stole second base. In the 9th he flied out to CF against John Franco. So an 0 for 1, with a walk and 2 stolen bases for Gruber. 1990 was the second time Gruber had been named to the team, he was on the 1989 team but did not play. 

George Bell was named to the All-Star team for the second time as well. He started and hit cleanup in 1987. He would also make the 1991 NL team as a member of the Chicago Cubs. At the break in 1990, Bell was hitting .278/.319/.486 with 17 home runs and 60 RBI. He would slow in the second half, finishing with a .265/.303/.422, 21 homers and 86 RBI. Bell pinch hit for Cal Ripken in the 6th inning with 2 on and was struck out by Astro's reliever Dave Smith. In the 8th Randy Myers got George to fly out. In his 3 All-Star games, Bell went 0 for 7.