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.