September 30, 2006

Appreciation: 1990 Fleer #21: Dave Stewart

Today’s note of appreciation is less about the card than it is about the player. Dave Stewart was one of those pitchers who toiled for a few teams and more than a few years before finding his groove and showing his stuff as one of the game’s most dominant pitchers. He won 20 or more games four years in a row. Today it’s a big deal if a guy wins 17 games. He was recognized as the most dominant starting pitcher on a staff that included a guy who won 27 games that year (1990 A’s). His cards are cheaper than cheap, which is unbelievable, seeing as how cards of Johan Santana, this generation’s version of the dominant pitcher, are well realized price-wise. You could make a case that the game is not likely to see another pitcher on the caliber of Stewart, based on complete games alone. He had 55 in his career (not that great), with 41 of those coming in his four dominant years. The active leader in complete games is Roger Clemens with 118, and if you take his four most dominant years (1986, 1987, 1988, 2001), his complete game total is similar (42). I’m not saying Stewart is going to make the Hall of Fame, I’m just saying that when he was at the top of his game, he was at the top of the game. And for that he deserves more attention.

3 comments:

Cary Loughman said...

My favorite memory of Stewart, as a Reds fan, was the look on his face in a closeup after Eric Davis smoked one out of Riverfront Stadium to the deepest part of the ballpark.

Anonymous said...

His win total was more a product of his "bash brothers" teams offense rather than his pitching ability. During his "four dominant" the leads his offense staked him to allowed him to throw over 200 innings, a feat he accomplished only one other time in his career. During those same four years, he ammased 45 losses, finishing with double digits in three of the four. His WHIP Ratio of 1.25 was also not a mark of dominance.

Anonymous said...

Ask Clemens whether he thought Dave Stewert was dominant? 7-1 career postseason record head to head against Clemens says a lot.