Blass was one of the best pitchers in the National League during a 10-year career with the Pittsburgh Pirates that abruptly ended when he completely lost his ability to control the baseball. Blass came up with the Pirates in 1964, but spent 1965 in the minor leagues. He returned to the big-league club in 1966 and won 11 games. He went 18-6 with a 2.12 ERA in 1968 and was 19-8 with a 2.49 ERA in 1972. He was an all star that year and finished second in the Cy Young voting. The next year, however, was a disaster for Blass as he fell to 3-9 with a 9.85 ERA. After one game in 1974, Blass’ career was over and “Steve Blass Disease” was added to the baseball vocabulary.
As he notes on his survey, Blass was part of the 1971 world champion Pittsburgh Pirates. He won two games that year against the Orioles, pitching complete games in both outings.
Following his playing career, Blass served as a TV color man for Pirates games. He is the author of an autobiography entitled A Pirate For Life. It is available here.
Steve Blass – career stats