Regular visitors of Notinhalloffame.com know that we are slowly working on the top 50 of every major team in the NHL, NBA, NFL and MLB. Once that is done, we intend to look at how each team honor their past players and executive. As such, it is news to us that the Oakland Athletics have announced that Dave Stewart will have his #34 retired by the team.
This announcement concluded the 30thanniversary celebration of their 1989 World Series Championship.
Stewart was signed early in the 1986 season after being released by the Philadelphia Phillies and prior to that he had unremarkable statistics over five seasons with the Lod Angeles Dodgers and the Texas Rangers. Very few fans of the A’s had reason to think that Stewart would do much with Oakland, and frankly most of them likely never noticed he was signed at all, but it was in Oakland where he would live up to everything that the Dodgers originally envisioned when they converted him to a pitcher almost a decade before.
He would finish the season going 9-5, but in 1987 as a fixture in the A’s rotation, he would go on one of the best four-year runs for a Pitcher in franchise history.
Stewart finished 1987 by leading the AL in Wins (20) and finishing third in Cy Young voting. He was without a doubt the ace of the Oakland staff and in 1988 he would win 21 Games while leading the league in Innings Pitched (275.2). More importantly, Stewart took Oakland to the World Series, though they would lose to the Los Angeles Dodgers. 1989 would again see Stewart win 21 Games and he was the runner-up for the Cy Young. The A’s returned to the World Series (this time winning) where he won two Games in both the ALCS and the World Series winning the MVP in both. In 1990, he would win a career high 22 Games, with a third place Cy Young finish. The A’s returned to the World Series and though they lost to Cincinnati, Stewart was the ALCS MVP on the road to get there.
He would remain with Oakland until he signed with the Toronto Blue Jays after the 1992 Season. As an Athletic, he would post a record of 119-78 and 1,152 Strikeouts.
Stewart becomes the sixth former Athletic to have his number retired as he joins Denis Eckersley, Rollie Fingers, Catfish Hunter, Rickey Henderson and Reggie Jackson.
We here at Notinhalloffame.com would like to congratulate Dave Stewart for earning this prestigious honor.