Best. Article. Ever.
I came across a great Sunday spread in the Toronto star of the Blue Jays finest and worst moments, some of which I’d never heard before. Here’s a great coincidence pieced together:
Toronto ace Dave Stieb did the unthinkable in 1998- he had two no-hitters (one a perfect game) broken up on the last out of the game (although interestingly there were 9 broken up in the 9th that year, a record 9 no-hitters the next year, and 8 the year after that- a far cry from 2006, in which a drought of 2 1/2 years without a no-hitter being thrown was finally ended). The first was broken up by grounder that took a terrible hop in front of Manny Lee.
I was at the second game. Tthe entire stadium stood and chanted “STIEB….STIEB….STIEB” with two outs in the ninth (umm…anyone ever heard of the don’t-mention-it-curse?!?) until a broken bat single over first base, right where we were sitting, ruined it. After the game Steib said:
My brain is so fried right now. I can’t even comprehend what happened.
Which is an amazingly profanity-free statement considering the circumstances. He had one more perfect game broken up after 26 batters the next year, and then finally (and it’s a good thing or he’d be in a mental ward somewhere looking for the flawless marble, the perfect fork, etc…) got his no-hitter the year after that:
Eight years later, in 1998, the next hard-throwing, franchise ace by the name of Roy Halladay makes his second major league start. He also takes a no-hitter up until two outs in the ninth, when Bobby Higginson ends it by hitting a two-run home run. The ball sails into the Toronto bullpen, bounces off the wall and is caught by…wait for it…Dave Stieb, who is making a comeback as a reliever for the Blue Jays after 5 years out of the game. Welcome to the big leagues, kid! Now I remember why I quit…
Also good: After a disheartening loss, Damaso Garcia burnt his uniform in the shower area:
“Some guys break bats, break up clubhouses,” said Garcia. I just decided to go a little crazy and burn my uniform.”
He gets points for originality AND flat-out craziness.