We have a couple of birthdays today:
First, Dave Stewart turns 66 today.
Stewart pitched for 16 seasons in the MLB. The Dodgers drafted Stewart in the 16th round of the 1975 Amateur. He made it to the majors, for half a cup of coffee, in 1978 (1 game, 2 innings pitched). He didn’t make it back until 1981 when he made 32 relief appearances in the strike-shortened season. But that was enough to earn him a World Series ring when the Dodgers (after beating out the Expos in the NLCS, stupid Rick Monday), beat the Yankees for their first World Series win since 1965.
The Dodgers traded him to the Rangers in 1983. From there, he was traded to the Phillies in 1985, but they released him after 16 innings.
It was with the A’s that he became a star. In eight seasons in Oakland, he had a 119-78 record 3.73 ERA in 257 games, 245 starts. He finished second, third (twice) and third in Cy Young voting and picked up one more World Series ring.
The Jays signed him as a free agent before the 1993 season.
In 1983, he went 12-8 with a 5.18 ERA in 26 starts, 163 innings. But he made two terrific starts against the White Sox in the ALCS, getting 2 wins, and earning the ALCS MVP award. He went 6 innings in our game 2 win, allowing just 1 run, before handing the ball over to Al Leiter and Duane Ward to hold the 3-1 win. And he went 7.1 innings in game 6 to get the win (with Ward getting the save again) that sent us to our second World Series.
Stewart didn’t have as great a time in the World Series, losing game one and leaving game six after a Lenny Dykstra 3-run homer in the seventh inning (Stewart started the inning with a walk, single, and home run before Cito pulled him, our 5-1 lead had shrunk to 5-4). Danny Cox and Al Leiter each gave up a run each that inning.
But you likely remember what happened at the bottom of that game’s ninth.
Dave’s 1994 season wasn’t as good as his 1993 season, going 7-8 in 22 starts, 133.1 innings in the lockout/strike-shortened season. Stewart signed with the A’s and had a 3-7 record, with a 6.89 ERA in 16 starts in another shortened season that was his career.
After his playing days, he worked as an assistant GM and pitching coach for several teams, including a couple of seasons of doing both jobs for the Jays. I’ve made a fair bit of fun of his part in the trade of Woody Williams for Joey Hamilton.
He ran a sports agency company for a few years and then got the job of GM for the Diamondbacks. The team had a 148-176 record in two seasons at the helm, and they fired him.
He did all that and managed to record a number of hits with Annie Lennox.
My opinion of Stewart improved a lot when talking about Trevor Bauer. He said, in all-cap, “HE BROKE THE UNWRITTEN RULE ON HOW YOU SHOULD TREAT WOMEN!”. Nice to see someone say that.
Happy Birthday, Dave. I hope it is a good one.
Miguel Batista turns 52 today.
Miguel also spent two seasons with the Jays in the middle of an 18-year career. He signed as a free agent before the 2004 season.
In 2004, he started the season in the rotation. In 31 starts, he had a 10-12 record with a 4.88 ERA. Then, in mid-September, the team moved him to the bullpen, where he had 5 saves. He was closer for the 2005 season and racked up 31 saves with a 4.10 ERA.
Career, he had a 102-115 record, a 4.48 ERA, and 41 saves in 658 games and 248 starts, playing for 11 teams. He was one of those guys that other teams always seemed to want. Miguel has a World Series ring from his time with the Diamondbacks.
Happy Birthday, Miguel.