Friday, February 21, 2014

#167 Steve Olin

About the Front: Sadly, Steve Olin had already died by the time most collectors saw his final card from Topps. On March 22, 1993, he and a pair of new Cleveland teammates, pitchers Tim Crews and Bobby Ojeda, had spent a day off barbecuing and fishing at Crews' home on Little Lake Nellie in Florida. The trio took the host's 18-foot motorboat out on the water before 8:00 PM and crashed into a new dock while traveling in excess of 50 mph. Olin died instantly, and Crews died the following day; both fatalities were due to head injuries. Ojeda suffered a lacerated scalp and was rushed into surgery; he made a full recovery and returned to the Indians in midseason.

About the Back: Obviously it's not the most important thing, but it bears mentioning that Olin had established himself as Cleveland's closer in his final season.

Triple Play:

1. Steve threw with a submarine-style underhand delivery. When he entered home games from the Indians bullpen, The Beatles' "Yellow Submarine" would be played over the PA system.

2. He made his only big league start on September 17, 1990, earning the win with seven innings of two-run ball against the Brewers. Moreover, it came just two days after he'd earned a save with three and two-thirds scoreless innings against the Royals.

3. When the Indians clinched the American League Central Division title in 1995, Mike Hargrove instructed the PA operator to play Olin's favorite song: Garth Brooks' "The Dance".

11-Year-Old Kevin Says: I wasn't yet following the daily ins and outs of MLB when Olin was killed, but I remember learning about the accident months later. I imagine that the story would be more heavily scrutinized today, considering that alcohol was so closely linked to the incident.

Bill James Said: Nothing, as only players from the 1993 regular season were included in the book.

On This Date in 1993: February 21. Star Fox is released for the Super Famicom/Super Nintendo video game consoles. It is the first 3D Polygonal Star Fox title developed by Nintendo along with Argonaut Software.


  1. Ojeda made his first appearance after the accident in Memorial Stadium and later sent a letter to the city and fans in Baltimore about the reception he got.

  2. Bob - Thanks for sharing! I vaguely remember this.