I don’t know about you, but there are certain images from baseball in the 1980’s that are burned into my mind. In 1988 when the Los Angeles Dodgers played the Oakland A’s in the World Series it was Dave Stewart’s fierce stare. When the popularity of the forearm smashing ‘Bash Brothers’ was at an all-time high. When Kirk Gibson created a moment in World Series history that continually gets air time some 20 years later. Dave Stewart still scares the crap out of me…
I don’t know if it was that his hat was perfectly curved to sit just above his eyes. Maybe it was that when he held his glove in front of his face all he let you see were his eyes. I don’t know for sure, but I can tell you that as a 13-year old kid I was scared. I had never seen so much focus in all of my life. To feel all of that emotions while looking into someone’s eyes is an emotion from that World Series that I will never forget.
As a batter facing Stewart, I don’t know how you couldn’t be intimidated. I can compare his fierce stare to that of someone playing football and seeing Lawrence Taylor lined up against him. He is the lion and you are his prey. All of his attention is on you and he is not going to lose sight of you until you are destroyed.
In what was an unforgettable World Series with baseball’s superstars on display, it was the stare and focus of Dave Stewart that remains my greatest memories from 1988’s fall classic.