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Nothing and nobody are going to stop John Elway from endorsing a Supreme Court nominee. Not his team, not his league, not Broncos fans, non-Broncos fans or the general public.
Instead, he spent a few years playing in the outfield for a local softball team as one of its home run hitters before the majors beckoned again for a short comeback in 1998.
Stieb wound up at 176-137 with a 3.44 ERA for his career, respectable numbers no doubt in his eyes but not Hall of Fame worthy. He takes the same hard stance with other candidates, even friends. Asked to assess the Hall of Fame chances of good friend and fellow 80s ace Bret Saberhagen, Stieb pulled up Baseball-Reference.com.
He’s like me, Stieb said, looking at Saberhagen’s numbers. He’s got no chance.
Stieb noted Saberhagen’s JAWS rating, the stat created by Jay Jaffe of Sports Illustrated which rates Saberhagen as the 66th-best pitcher in baseball history and Stieb as 67th-best. Stieb looked at some of Saberhagen’s other accomplishments.
All he’s got on me is two Cy Youngs and a World Series that he actually pitched in, Stieb said. And I don’t think that’s enough to make it to the Hall of Fame.
What is Stieb’s standard for Cooperstown?
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The Hall of Fame is more indicative of somebody having consistency throughout their whole career and dominating numbers throughout their whole career, he said.
If only Stieb gave himself more credit for accomplishing this.