Steve Blass Born April 18, 1942 in Canaan, Connecticut
Major League Debut: May 10, 1964 Final Game: April 17, 1974
Steve Blass went from being the hero of the 1971 World Series to being out of baseball by early in the 1974 season.
Blass was dominating in the 1971 World winning Game 3 and Game 7 and not just winning but pitching the Pirates to complete game wins over the Orioles. He gave up only 2 earned runs and 7 hits while striking out 13 and walking four batters in 18 innings.
In Game 7 he defeated the Orioles despite the Orioles starting a 20 game winner and using two 20 game winners in relief with Mike Cuellar 20-9 starting the game and Pat Dobson 20-8 and Dave McNally 21-5 finishing the game and all three 20 game winners pitched in the 9th inning. Jim Palmer 20-9 also won 20 games for the Orioles. This series proved that pitching isn't everything since the Orioles hitters only hit .205 in the 1971 World Series.
Blass had an even better 1972 season as he bettered his 15-8 record of 1971 with a 19-8 record in 1972 and lowered his ERA from 2.85 to 2.49 that season. 1973 was the year the world of Blass began to crumble as his 84 walks in 249 innings in 1972 were identical to the 84 walks he issued in 1973 but the big difference was that it only took 88 innings to issue those walks. He had probably the worst strikeouts to walks ratio in the history of baseball striking out 27 but issuing 84 walks. He also led the NL in hit batsmen with 12 in 1973.
His 15-8 season of 1972 had changed to 3-9 in 1973 with his ERA skyrocketing to 9.85 after the 2.49 ERA of 1972.
In 1974 he pitched very briefly only pitching 5 innings and walked 7 batters while striking out only 2. He played his last game on April 17, 1974 only one day before his 32nd birthday. Blass retired with a very respectable 103-76 record and if not for the control problems may have won over 200 games.
Blass had gone from being on top of the world in the fall of 1971 to being a former major leaguer in the spring of 1974. He was washed up as a major leaguer at the age of 31.
Blass has been announcing Pirates games since 1983 and is today still announcing only the home games for the Pirates.
The following story at the Green Weenie blog tells more details on the demise of Blass and this site also is treasure trove of information about the Pirates from the days of Honus Wagner till 2008 players like Freddie Sanchez:
The following extremely short video shows the Pirates celebrating after the last out was made by the Orioles in the 1971 World Series.
Herb Hash Dies at 97
Herb Hash former Red Sox pitcher died at the age of 97 in Culpepper, Va on May 20th. The following story gives more details of his baseball achievements:
Lightning strike kills former ML pitcher Geremi Gonzalez
Former ML pitcher Geremi Gonzalez, 33, who last pitched in the Majors in 2006, was struck and killed by a bolt of lightning Sunday while walking on a beach in his native Venezuela. Gonzalez pitched for five teams, (Cubs, Rays, Red Sox, Mets and Brewers) in his 10 year career, posting a record of 30-35.