Dave Stewart Essentials
Bats: R Throws: R
Height: 6-2 Weight: 200
Born: Tuesday, February 19, 1957 in Oakland, CA USA
Last Game: 7/17/1995
Full Name: David Keith Stewart
Dave Stewart’s big-league career lasted 15 seasons, but he is best known for a four-year stretch with the Oakland Athletics from 1987 to 1990 in which he notched 84 wins – all 20-victory seasons – and led the Athletics to three consecutive World Series appearances. In 1989, “Smoke” won 21 games, two more in the American League Championship Series and two more in the World Series, winning the Series MVP award as the A’s captured their fourth Series championship in Oakland. Stewart left the A’s after the 1992 season for the Toronto Blue Jays. At age 36, Stewart was no longer a dominant pitcher, but still won a dozen games for the Jays in 1993 as they went on to win the 1993 Fall Classic.
Stewart was drafted in 1975 by the Los Angeles Dodgers as a catcher, but was converted to the mound during his minor league days. He made his big-league debut at age 21 in 1978, pitching two scoreless innings of relief against the San Diego Padres at the end of the season. Two years later, Stewart was back, and spent much of the next three seasons pitching both out of the bullpen and out of the rotation for the Dodgers.
On August 19, 1983, the Dodgers traded Stewart to the Texas Rangers for Rick Honeycutt. Upon Stewart’s arrival in Arlington, Rangers manager Doug Rader inserted him into the starting rotation. He fared well, winning five of seven decisions, but struggled to a 7-14 mark in 1984. Banished to the bullpen in 1985, his struggles became worse. In September, he was sent to the Philadelphia Phillies, where he made four appearances. He underwent surgery during the off-season to remove bone chips from his elbow. He made eight more appearances for Philly in 1986, did poorly, and was released. The Athletics signed him, and he spent the rest of that season working between the rotation and the bullpen. In 1987, he took a spot in the Oakland rotation and ran with it, winning 20 games and becoming the first Oakland hurler to fan 200 hitters in a season since Vida Blue in 1971.
Stewart went 6-0 to start the 1988 season. He was the first pitcher to go 6-0 before the end of April. With an earlier start to the season, several pitchers would follow suit in the 2000s and 2010s: Randy Johnson in 2000 and 2002, Brandon Webb in 2008 and Jered Weaver in 2011. He is also the last pitcher to have recorded a complete game of more than 10 innings in the majors, doing so on August 1, 1990, when he won 1-0 in 11 innings.
Stewart returned to the A’s after a two-year stint with the Blue Jays in 1993-1994. He started 16 games for them in 1995, won 3 and lost 7, and retired.