Steve Stone (baseball)

Steve Stone (baseball)

Infobox MLB retired
name=Steve Stone
birthdate=birth date and age|1947|7|14
city-state|South Euclid|Ohio
debutdate=April 8
debutteam=San Francisco Giants
finaldate=September 29
finalteam=Baltimore Orioles
stat1label=Win-Loss record
stat2label=Earned run average
teams =
* San Francisco Giants (by|1971–by|1972)
* Chicago White Sox (by|1973, by|1977–by|1978)
* Chicago Cubs (by|1974–by|1976)
* Baltimore Orioles (by|1979–by|1981)
highlights =
* All-Star selection (1980)
* 1980 AL Cy Young Award
* 1980 AL TSN Pitcher of the Year

Steven Michael Stone, nicknamed Stoney (born July 14, 1947, in South Euclid, Ohio) is an American, former Major League Baseball player and current sportscaster.

He was one of the best Jewish-American pitchers in major league history, 3rd career-wise in wins (107) and strikeouts (1,065), behind Ken Holtzman and Sandy Koufax, and 9th in games (320). [ [ Jewish Major Leaguers Career Leaders ] ]

Early life

Stone played high school ball at Charles F. Brush High School for Ohio high school baseball Coach Jim Humpall. Growing up he also won several tennis championships, was a ping pong champion, and was a proficient golfer.

At Kent State University, Stone was an outstanding pitcher and his catcher was Thurman Munson. He was selected to the All Mid-American Conference team, and was named team captain as a junior. He had a 2.00 ERA in the Cape Cod League in 1968. He also starred on the bowling and volleyball teams. He also became a Brother in Alpha Epsilon Pi Fraternity. He graduated in 1970 with a teaching degree in history and government. []


In 1968 he was drafted by the Cleveland Indians in the 16th round of the draft, but did not sign. In February 1969 he was drafted by the San Francisco Giants in the 4th round of the draft (secondary phase).

Minor league career

From 1969-71 Stone pitched in the minor leagues, compiling a 32-24 record and striking out nearly a batter an inning. [ [ Steve Stone Statistics - The Baseball Cube ] ]

Major league career

an Francisco Giants (1971–72)

Breaking the stereotype of ballplayers in his era, Stone said: "Charlie Fox (manager of the Giants in 1971) felt the only way a ballplayer could perform was to chew tobacco, wear a sloppy uniform and, as he put it, not be afraid to get a bloody nose, and eat, drink and sleep baseball. I never thought a bloody nose was all that comfortable, and tobacco upsets my stomach. I like to eat - but not baseball - and I never thought sleeping with the game would be all that enjoyable. I think he thought reading hurt your eyes." [ [ Jews In Sports: Exhibit Page @ Virtual Museum ] ]

In November 1972, after suffering a sore arm, Stone was traded by the Giants with Ken Henderson to the Chicago White Sox for Tom Bradley.

Chicago White Sox (1973)

In 1973 he was 4th in the AL in strikeouts per 9 innings pitched (7.04), and 8th in hit batsmen (7).

Chicago Cubs (1974–76)

In December 1973 he was traded by the White Sox with Jim Kremmel, Ken Frailing, and Steve Swisher to the Chicago Cubs for Ron Santo.

In 1975 he was 12–8 and pitched 214.3 innings.

Chicago White Sox (1977–78)

In November 1976, after suffering a torn rotator cuff and undertaking cryotherapy after refusing surgery and cortisone injections, he signed as a free agent with the Chicago White Sox for $60,000, turning down offers from 4 other teams.

In 1977 he was 15–12. However, during that year on August 29 he would give up a home run to Cleveland Indians second baseman Duane Kuiper – Kuiper's only career home run in 3,379 at bats.

Baltimore Orioles (1979–81)

In November 1978 he signed a 4-year, $760,000 deal as a free agent with the Baltimore Orioles, again turning down 4 other offers.

In 1979 Stone was 11–7, and was 7th in the league in fewest hits allowed per 9 innings pitched (8.37). Stone began developing patterns of music listening, met with a psychic, found a "metaphysical" approach to the game, and tried meditation and optimistic thought patterns. He read Sandy Koufax's autobiography five times, and changed his uniform number from 21 to Koufax's old number, 32.

His best year was undoubtedly by|1980, when he went 25–7 for the Orioles, won the Cy Young Award and The Sporting News Pitcher of the Year Award, and came in 9th in the AL MVP voting.quote box2 |width=15em | bgcolor= |align=right |halign=left | quote= "I knew it would ruin my arm. But one year of 25-7 is worth five of 15-15."|source= — Stone, on throwing over 50% curveballs in 1980Stone had decided to try for one big year, throwing more curveballs -- over 50% -- at the expense of his arm. He led the league in wins and won-lost percentage (.781), and was 2nd in games started (37), 7th in ERA (3.23), strikeouts (149), hits allowed/9 IP (8.04), and hit batsmen (6), and 9th in innings (250.7). At one point, he had won 14 games in a row. He also pitched 3 perfect innings in the All-Star Game that year.

"I used to try not to lose before," Stone said in 1980. "Now, when I go out, I go out to win every time, and I'm certain I am. I try to envision myself literally walking off the mound a winner. I allow no negatives in my thinking. When certain ones start creeping in, I erase them and make it like a blank blackboard waiting to be filled in with things like, 'The team is going to play well, is going to score some runs, I'm going to throw strikes, I'm going to win.' " []

The heavy curveball diet took its toll, and Stone struggled with tendinitis in 1981, going 4-7 with a 4.60 ERA, and retiring a year after his best season at age 34.

portscasting career

From 1983-97, Stone was a color commentator for the WGN television broadcasts of the Chicago Cubs, teaming for 15 years with Hall of Fame announcer Harry Caray. After Harry Caray's death in February 1998, Stone was paired with Caray's grandson Chip Caray. Stone left the booth due to health reasons in 2000, and returned to the Cubs booth in 2003 and 2004.

Leaving the Cubs booth

Highly regarded as a broadcaster, Stone refused a contract extension as the Cubs color-man after the 2004 season amid a controversy involving Cubs players who felt he was being overly critical of their performance. Even so, he was a fan favorite. This was apparent at the Cubs' last home game of 2004, when, after the game had ended and all the players had left the field, nearly everyone left in the stadium looked up to the broadcast booth and chanted "Stoney! Stoney!" for several minutes. One reason he was so well-liked was his ability to accurately predict what might happen in various game situations, explaining to the audience why the strategy or pitch would be successful prior to the play. A famous example of this was him expressing "I wouldn't pitch to this guy" in a 2004 game mere seconds before the batter Adam Dunn hit a home run off Cubs pitcher Mike Remlinger to give the Reds the lead.

Stone expressed frustration with Cubs manager Dusty Baker for not controlling his players. At one point during the 2004 season, Kent Mercker called the broadcast booth from the bullpen during a game to complain about comments made, and he also confronted Stone in a hotel lobby. [] Among the comments that reportedly irked Mercker were Chip Caray's praise of Houston Astros pitcher Roy Oswalt. It was also reported that Mercker and left fielder Moisés Alou yelled and shouted at Stone on a team charter plane to an away game in 2004, and that Alou tried to have Stone and Caray banned from the team charter flights. [ [ - Writers - Donovan: Second half went sour for these clubs - Friday September 3, 2004 3:59PM ] ]

On September 30, 2004, in the wake of a 12-inning loss to the Cincinnati Reds that all but buried the Cubs, Stone lit into the team. "The truth of this situation is [this is] an extremely talented bunch of guys who want to look at all directions except where they should really look, and kind of make excuses for what happened...This team should have won the wild-card [playoff berth] by six, seven games. No doubt about it." [ [ Stone's criticism surprises Cubs ] ] The comments stunned manager Baker, and were a factor in Stone's resignation as a Cub broadcaster the following month. [ [ The Cubs Chronicle » Steve Stone Resigns ] ]


In early 2005 Stone was hired by Chicago radio station WSCR to provide commentary and host a weekly talk show, hosted on Mondays by Terry Boers and Dan Bernstein, on Tuesdays by Mike North, and on Thursdays by Brian Hanley and Mike Mulligan. He was also hired by ESPN to work some of that network's baseball telecasts.

In early August 2007, Stone filled in for Chicago White Sox color commentator Darrin Jackson, while Jackson took leave for the birth of his child.

In October 2007 Stone called postseason games for TBS, partnered with play-by-play announcer Ted Robinson.

On March 4, 2008, Stone was named the color commentator for White Sox radio broadcasts for the 2008 season on WSCR AM670 The Score, replacing Chris Singleton, who moved to ESPN's "Baseball Tonight".

On September 13, 2008, Stone accepted the job as the color commentator for the White Sox Television Broadcasts for six years beginning with the 2009 season.

Other activities

In 1999 Stone, along with Barry Rozner of the Chicago suburban area "Daily Herald", authored "Where's Harry?", a memoir of his experiences with Caray in the WGN booth. The book proved extremely popular, especially with Cub fans and Chicagoans.

ee also

* List of Major League Baseball wins champions
* Chicago White Sox all-time roster


*"Where's Harry?" (1999) (with Barry Rozner) Taylor Publishing ISBN 0-87833-233-2


External links

*baseballstats|br=s/stonest01 |fangraphs=1012573 |cube=S/Steve-Stone
* [ Jewish Major League career leaders]

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

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