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Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Dave Stevens, Every Day - 3282

Dave Stevens made it through his first three-plus seasons in the Cubs organization as a starter. But that wasn't really where he wanted to be.

What Stevens wanted to do, he told The Los Angeles Times in July 1993, was be a reliever.

"Hopefully some day they'll put me in the bullpen--that's where I want to be," Stevens told The Times. "I like the idea of playing every day, and there has been some talk of me moving there. But I don't know what they want to do."

Soon after, Stevens made it to AAA Iowa, turning reliever. The next season, Stevens was a reliever in the majors, a place he'd be each season after that through 2000.

Stevens' pro career began in 1989, taken by the Cubs in the 20th round of the draft, out of La Habra High School in California.

With the Cubs, Stevens hit the field in 1990, at rookie Huntington, moving to short-season Geneva in 1991. He hit AA Charlotte in 1992, going 9-13 over 26 starts, with a 3.91 ERA.

Stevens then hit AA Orlando and AAA Iowa in 1993 before moving to the Twins for 1994 in a trade. It was with the Twins that Stevens first made the majors, getting called up in May to Minnesota.

Stevens picked up his first big league win in relief in early June, a four-out performance against the White Sox.

"I thought it was the worst thing that could happen to me when I got traded. It turned out maybe it was the best thing," Stevens told The Chicago Tribune after that win. "I hope I can prove them wrong."

Stevens ended up getting 24 outings for the Twins that year, with a 6.80 ERA. He returned to Minnesota for 56 outings in 1995, with a 5.07 ERA.

In 1996, Stevens got 49 outings, but should have had more. After giving up home runs in consecutive outings against the Indians that July, Stevens took out his frustrations on a Jacobs Field telephone box, according to The Associated Press. He was out hurt for more than three weeks.

"I punched the box with my right hand and broke my thumb," Stevens recalled to The AP in 1999. "It was the worst decision I've ever made."

Stevens got into 17 more games that year, but just 16 total in 1997. He returned partly to form in 1998, getting 31 outings in Chicago back with the Cubs.

He finished out his career with five outings in Cleveland in 1999 and two with Atlanta in 2000, ending his big league career after time in seven big league seasons.

Stevens is credited with two more seasons in the minors, in 2001 with the Braves and a season in independent ball in 2004.
1990 CMC-Pro Cards Tally 
Players/Coaches Featured:1,240
Made the Majors: 694 - 56.0%-X
Never Made Majors: 546-44.0%
5+ Seasons in the Majors: 298-X
10+ Seasons in the Minors: 177

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