Stottlemyre makes Hall ballot debut
Todd Stottlemyre delivered when the Blue Jays were in need of a lift. On Aug. 26, 1992, Stottlemyre took the mound in Chicago, trying to point Toronto back in the right direction after the club had piled up six losses in its past seven games.
The White Sox were helpless. Stottlemyre methodically sliced through Chicago’s lineup, holding the Sox without a hit until Dan Pasqua doubled with one out in the eighth inning. Toronto’s starter finished the job, completing a one-hit shutout victory that ignited a late-season surge for the Blue Jays.
Toronto racked up 25 wins over its final 36 games during that magical ’92 campaign, when the Jays cruised all the way to their first World Series title in franchise history. Stottlemyre played an important role in helping the Blue Jays reach that plateau, and now he’s being honored with a place on the Baseball Writers’ Association of America Hall of Fame ballot for the first time.
Voting results for the Hall of Fame will be announced on Jan. 8, and candidates need to be named on five percent of the ballots to be considered again. Joining the hallowed halls in Cooperstown, N.Y., will be a tall task for Stottlemyre, but he enjoyed a memorable Major League career nonetheless.
Over 14 seasons in the big leagues, Stottlemyre compiled a 138-121 record, good enough for a .533 career winning percentage between stints with the Blue Jays, A’s, Cardinals, Rangers and Diamondbacks. The 6-foot-3 right-hander spent seven of those seasons in Toronto, where he won World Series titles in 1992 over the Braves and in ’93 against the Phillies.
Stottlemyre didn’t retire without accumulating some hardware, either. In 2000, he was honored with both the Branch Rickey Award and the Lou Gehrig Memorial Award — accolades that recognize character and efforts off the field. Stottlemyre was involved in community initiatives with the Caring for Kids organization.
On the field, Stottlemyre — the son of Mel Stottlemyre, who won 164 games with the Yankees from 1964-74 — finished his career with 1,587 strikeouts and had eight seasons with 10 or more wins. The Blue Jays selected Stottlemyre in the first round (third overall) during the secondary phase of the 1985 First-Year Player Draft, and he moved into Toronto’s rotation on a full-time basis four years later.
In his career with the Jays, Stottlemyre finished with a 69-70 record. The righty enjoyed his best season in 1991, when he went 15-8 with a 3.78 ERA and 116 strikeouts across 34 starts. Stottlemyre left Toronto via free agency in 1995, when he elected to sign with Oakland. In his first tour with the A’s, Stottlemyre went 14-7 with a 4.55 ERA and finished second in the American League with 205 strikeouts.
Beyond the two World Series runs with the Blue Jays, Stottlemyre also made playoff appearances for the Cardinals, Rangers and Diamondbacks. In 15 career postseason games over 10 series, Stottlemyre posted a 3-5 record with a 5.91 ERA and 48 strikeouts over 53 1/3 innings.
On June 16, 1995, Stottlemyre recorded a career-best 15 strikeouts in a 10-inning performance against the Royals. But the signature moment in Stottlemyre’s career might be during that late-August outing in 1992 at Comiskey Park, where he helped the Blue Jays to a much-needed win en route to the Fall Classic.
The 2008 ballot features 25 candidates, with 14 returnees and 11 newcomers.
ï Brady Anderson
ï Harold Baines
ï Rod Beck
ï Bert Blyleven
ï Dave Concepcion
ï Andre Dawson
ï Shawon Dunston
ï Chuck Finley
ï Travis Fryman
ï Rich Gossage
ï Tommy John
ï David Justice
ï Chuck Knoblauch
ï Don Mattingly
ï Mark McGwire
ï Jack Morris
ï Dale Murphy
ï Robb Nen
ï Dave Parker
ï Tim Raines
ï Jim Rice
ï Jose Rijo
ï Lee Smith
ï Todd Stottlemyre
ï Alan Trammell
Stottlemyre makes Hall ballot debut