Dave Stieb Exclusive Betway Interview
In an exclusive interview with Betway Insider, Toronto Blue Jays legend Dave Stieb revealed he didn’t really want to be a pitcher at the beginning of his career, and was more interested in playing outfield.
The seven-time All-star’s career kicked off a few months after being spotted by Bobby Mattick, a Toronto scout. Dave Stieb was in his junior year in Southern Illinois University and was filling in as a pitcher when he was scouted. According to Stieb, Mattick had liked the way he had pitched and told him the fastest way to the majors was by being a pitcher. Stieb was later drafted by Toronto. However, his heart was still set on playing outfield and he told Toronto he was interested in playing outfield and as a pitcher as well.
However, when Steib faced off with an opponent and struck out three times, it dawned on him that Toronto already had all the outfielders they wanted and what they needed the most was a pitcher. He hesitantly accepted the fact that he was going to have to pitch. However, he says it was a blessing in disguise for him. Stieb was 5-2 in Triple-A and later managed to go to Toronto in just a matter of months.
Despite his lucky streak, Stieb had trouble adjusting to the pressures associated with the new role. For instance, losing really took a hard toll on him. Moreover, his competitive nature came out when he was on the field and he developed a reputation for being hot-headed. Stieb says he always approached a match with a winning attitude and losing was not an option to him.
Moreover, sometimes Stieb found himself at loggerheads with his teammates because “their play was not up to my calibre”. Stieb reveals he was also uneasy about having to count on his teammates because the win did not solely rest on him the way it did when he was an outfielder. However, he learnt that it was wrong to react the way he did when his teammates did not perform well. He came to accept that his teammates would win sometimes and lose sometimes.
Stieb says his animation when he was in the field drew a lot of attention, including that of his idol, Reggie Jackson. He admits that Reggie pulled him to the side as they were playing the Angels and told him to stop showing his animated emotion. Reggie advised him the emotions he was showing would give the other team an edge. However, Reggie never stopped, admitting that yelling and mumbling was his way of motivating himself. It was his way of venting and getting it out of his system. Bottling up his emotions did not work for him.