Steve Luebber, we hardly knew you

To say that Steve Luebber‘s life as a Blue Jay was short-lived would be a gross understatement. The right-handed pitcher, who was originally drafted in the 13th round by the Minnesota Twins in 1967, signed with the Jays as a free agent prior to the 1979 season. Despite having made his major-league debut in ’71, Luebber had spent the majority of his 12-year career in the minors, where he was destined to play again in ’79. At Triple-A Syracuse, Luebber went 11-8 with a 3.39 ERA in 29 starts that season, earning him a September call-up to the big club.

Luebber On September 18, 1979 at Exhibition Stadium, Luebber made his Blue Jay debut … sort of. Though he came into the game in the seventh inning against the Boston Red Sox, he failed to record an out, thus ending the game with a line of 0.0 innings pitched. Luebber faced three batters in the frame, surrendering RBI-doubles to hall-of-famer Carl Yastrzemski and hall-of-fame candidate Jim Rice, while also issuing a walk to Butch Hobson. And that was it; his only appearance in a Blue Jay uniform, as he was released by the club just prior to the 1980 campaign. For his effort during that forgettable September 18 contest, Luebber ended his Blue Jay career with an ERA equal to infinity.

Now 57 years old, Luebber is in his 40th season of professional baseball, serving as the pitching coach for the Class-A Wilmington Blue Rocks of the Carolina League. And who is Wilmington’s hitting coach this season? None other than former Blue Jay infielder Nelson Liriano.

Another random Steve Luebber fact:

Luebber was part of the longest game in professional baseball history, the famous 33-inning contest between the Pawtucket Red Sox and Rochester Red Wings of the Triple-A International League in 1981. Luebber came on for the Red Wings in the 15th inning, pitching the next eight frames before giving way to Jim Umberger, who threw the next 10. The game was finally suspended after 32 innings (4:09 am) and resumed the following day, in which Pawtucket won it in the 33rd, 4-3.

Making his second start of the season, Tomo Ohka allows three runs in the fourth inning, giving the Tigers a 4-0 lead … Hot-hitting Aaron Hill belts his second homer of the season, cutting the deficit to two runs … Trailing 5-3 in the eighth, Lyle Overbay doubles to pull the Jays within one, but Alex Rios strikes out swinging to end the threat … A ninth-inning rally is not in the cards on this night, and Toronto drops Game 1 of the four-game set versus the defending American League champs … Game 2, Roy Halladay — tomorrow at 7:07 pm …

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2 Responses to “Steve Luebber, we hardly knew you”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    He is my pitching coach

  2. Anonymous Says:

    There is alot more to Steve Luebbers career than this brief description. He spent big league time with the Twins and Orioles as well. Not many guys are able to make baseball a lifetime career via minor league play, major league play, and now coaching. Not everyone can teach/coach well.

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