Steve Rogers (baseball)
October 26, 1949 |
Jefferson City, Missouri
|July 18, 1973, for the Montreal Expos|
|Last MLB appearance|
|May 19, 1985, for the Montreal Expos|
|Earned run average||3.17|
|Career highlights and awards|
Rogers was born in Jefferson City, Missouri and raised in Springfield, Missouri. He is a graduate of the University of Tulsa, where he was named to the all-tournament team at the 1971 College World Series While at the University of Tulsa he was a member of the Kappa Sigma Fraternity.
Major League career
Rogers was originally drafted by the New York Yankees in the 60th round of the 1967 amateur draft. He ultimately failed to come to terms on a contract with New York and was subsequently drafted by the Montreal Expos in the 1st round (4th overall) of the 1971 amateur draft.
Rogers is remembered as arguably the most successful pitcher in Montreal Expos history. Rogers was known for an unusual delivery, appearing to almost stumble during his follow-through. Although he never won 20 games, Rogers averaged 14 wins per season between 1974 and 1985. Rogers rarely missed a turn in the rotation until a throwing arm injury shortened his career. His most productive season came in 1982, when he collected a career-high 19 wins, pitched four shutouts, and led all National League pitchers with a 2.40 ERA.
According to the book No More Mister Nice Guy by former Expos manager Dick Williams, who was Rogers' manager from 1977 to part of 1981, Williams was not a fan of Rogers. Williams accused Rogers of being unwilling to step up when his team needed him in big games once the Expos became contenders. According to Williams, Rogers was at his best when the Expos were bad because he had no pressure. Williams called Rogers "a fraud", claiming that he had "king of the mountain syndrome".
However, Rogers defeated the Philadelphia Phillies and their ace Steve Carlton twice in the 1981 National League Division Series. He held the Phillies to one run in Game One and hurled a six-hit 3–0 shutout, helping himself with two RBI in the deciding Game Five, to send Montreal to the National League Championship Series. In Game Three of that Series, Rogers pitched a seven-hit 4–1 complete game against the Dodgers, but lost Game Five in relief when he allowed a pennant-winning home run to Rick Monday. The decision of manager Jim Fanning to use Rogers in that game, on only two-days rest, is still debated by Montreal fans.
In a 13-year career, Rogers posted a 158-152 record with a 3.17 ERA and 1621 strikeouts in 2837.2 innings. He pitched 129 complete games with 37 shutouts in 399 appearances, 393 as a starter. In four post-season games, Rogers was 3-1 with a 0.97 ERA and two complete games.
Post playing career
- Five-time All-Star (1974, 1978–79, 1982–83)
- Twice led National League in shutouts (in 1979  and 1973 )
- Led National League in ERA (1982)
- Three-time Top Five in Cy Young Award vote (1980, 1982–83)
- TSN National League Rookie of the Year (1973)
- List of Major League Baseball annual ERA leaders
- List of Major League Baseball players who spent their entire career with one franchise
- W. C. Madden, Patrick J. Stewart, The College World Series: A Baseball History, 1947–2003 (McFarland Publishing, 2004), ISBN 978-0786418428, pp. 92-96, 102-103. Excerpts available at Google Books.
- Miller, Lynn. "Sugar Plum Role For WW Teen In ‘Nutcracker’", West Windsor & Plainsboro News, November 30, 2007. Accessed April 14, 2008. "Rogers, 16, is a junior at High School South. Born in Tulsa, Oklahoma, she has lived in West Windsor for eight years. Her father, Steve Rogers, a former baseball player, works at the Major League Baseball Players Association."