Dave Stewart

Overcoming physical and personal problems, Dave Stewart became a star in his native Oakland. Originally signed as a catcher by the Dodgers, the hard-throwing Smoke pitched well, in limited use, with Los Angeles, but struggled with Texas and Philadelphia. He earned some respect by successfully fending off a karate kick by Indians manager Pat Corrales, then flattening him, during a brawl on July 1, 1986. Encouraged that year by A’s coach Dave Duncan to add a forkball to his fastball and slider, Stewart became a Cy Young Award candidate in 1987. He led the club in wins, strikeouts, innings pitched, complete games, and starts, becoming the second Oakland A’s pitcher (with Vida Blue) to notch a 200-strikeout season. Preferring to pitch in hot weather, Stewart keyed the A’s successful pennant effort in 1988 with his second straight 20-win season and became a respected team leader in the Oakland community. On September 22, 1989 Stewart’s 100th career victory made him the only pitcher of the 1980s with three consecutive 20-win seasons. He won two games in both the LCS and the World Series that year, the only man ever to do so, and was the WS MVP.