Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Dave Stieb had quite a few near misses when it came to throwing a no hitter. On this day in 1990, Stieb finally got that elusive final out to get his no hitter.
When it came to throwing a no hitter through 26 outs, Toronto Blue Jays ace Dave Stieb was one of the best pitchers to play the game. Prior to this day in 1990, Stieb had been one out away from a no hitter, only for that final batter to find an opening, ruining his chance at history.
One could have forgiven Stieb if he felt a bit of dread when, for the fourth time in his career, he was one out away from his first no hitter. After all, he had been there before, and had yet to record that final out. As such, when th elight hitting Alex Cole stepped to the plate, representing the final chance for the Indians to extend the game, Stieb may well have felt like he was facing one of the better hitters in the game.
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Perhaps due to nerves and a desire to avoid missing a fourth no hitter with one out to go, Stieb walked Cole, bringing Jerry Browne to the plate. After Cole took second on defensive indifference, Browne lined Stieb’s 1-1 pitch to right. For a moment, one could imagine a sensation of deja vu as the ball came off the bat. This time, however, that ball settled into Junior Felix‘s glove, the only out he would record during the game.
For Stieb, it was a moment of jubilation. He finally got that monkey off his back, getting that final out after so many attempts before. One could see the relief on his face after Felix made that catch, with the liner hit almost directly at him. The chase was over.
This no hitter was also the first, and thus far only, in Toronto Blue Jays history. While that may be a bit of a surprise, given the quality of arms they have had in their history, it is almost poetic justice for Stieb to stand alone. Considering how close he came, and how many times he was literally an out away, it is as though the baseball gods are giving Stieb that glory for as long as possible.
On this day in 1990, the Toronto Blue Jays and Dave Stieb finally got their first no hitter. And thus far, it is the only one in Blue Jays history.