Friday, September 2, 2011

Flashback Friday: A Fan's First-Hand Account of Dave Stieb's No-Hitter


By
Image courtesy of Canada MSN Sports
Last year marked the 20th anniversary of Dave Stieb's historic no-hitter in Cleveland, and despite Brandon Morrow's best efforts last season, Stieb's still stands as the only no-hitter in Blue Jays history.

The club honoured this occasion with a great on-field celebration, bobblehead giveaway, and they even painted the number 37 into the mound. One year later, the feat is still just as impressive.

For this week's Acid Flashback Friday, we take a look back again at Dave Stieb's no-hitter on September 2nd, 1990. The difference this time around is we have someone who was there first-hand who experienced Stieb's no-hitter.

Earlier this season, a man by the name of Bruce was kind enough to email me to tell me he had come across the blog in searching for information about Dave Stieb's no-hitter, and offered to send me pictures to post from such event.

Bruce, his wife and two kids were lucky enough to be there in the stands at old Cleveland Stadium to witness history in the making. Here is a first-hand account of the momentous occasion:
"My wife and I, along with our son and daughter, visited the Cleveland area the weekend of September 1st and 2nd and took in the Sunday afternoon ball game at the old Cleveland stadium. Back in those days, we were true Blue Jays fans.

During the seventh inning of the game, we began to realize that Dave Stieb was throwing what could be the game of his life. We were well aware that he had flirted with a number of possible no-hitters in the past, and knew he was capable some day of getting one.

He had not allowed a single hit heading into the bottom of the seventh inning. I had brought along my film SLR camera with a 300mm lens and started taking photographs of Dave Stieb as he pitched this seventh inning. I had taken 12 or 14 photos, not knowing if any of them would even turn out.

In the bottom of the ninth, after getting the first two batters out, he walked the third. Yes, I had to look this up, but I do remember the third out. It was a fly ball to right field.

I can still remember Dave Stieb looking up at the ball heading out into the outfield and watching it land in the glove of Junior Felix. He stepped off the mound with his head down and was then surrounded by his teammates.

What a feeling it was to be there at that time to watch Dave Stieb and his teammates as they celebrated this no-hitter and to hear the Cleveland fans applaud his feat.

After returning home, I had the film processed and then went through all the pictures that I had taken. This photo was the best of the lot:


I had it enlarged to an 8 x 10, and the following year our family traveled to Florida and visited the Blue Jays at Spring Training in Dunedin, Florida.

While watching the Jays work out one day I was able to meet Dave Stieb and asked him to sign and date this photograph.
This was a very cool anecdote from Bruce on not only Dave Stieb's no-hitter, but also getting the chance to get him to sign the photo above at Spring Training in Dunedin the following year.

Thanks for Bruce for providing the inspiration for this week's Acid Flashback Friday post. If you have anything you'd like to see from Blue Jays yesteryear, please send your suggestion to bluejayhunter@gmail.com.

2 comments:

  1. Cool story! Thanks for sharing, Bruce and Ian! I had forgotten how, 10-15 years ago, we had to wait for the processing to see whether photos turned out well or not!

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  2. Minor Leaguer, looks like Bruce's pictures held up well after all these years. Thank goodness for scanners!

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