Steve Fireovid was drafted by the San Diego Padres in 1978 and made his major league debut with them in 1981. He pitched for 5 teams during his 6 seasons. As a long time fan of his, I was happy when he pitched (although only briefly) for my hometown Chicago White Sox in 1985.
His time in the majors was fairly short, but his pro baseball career was lengthy and successful. During parts of 16 seasons in the minors, he had an impressive record of 139-98. His 1990 season with the Indianapolis Indians is the subject of The 26th Man, a book he wrote back in 1991. It is a season long diary, with good stories and a candid look at his career and life.
I recently contacted Fireovid to ask him a few questions. Below is the first part of my exchange with Fireovid.
Q-What have you been doing since you retired?
SF-Since retiring in 1993, I've been a financial adviser in my hometown of Bryan, OH. In 2000, I formed Fireovid Financial Group, Ltd. It's a far cry from baseball, but I imagine most any occupation would be. I am involved in the community in areas I feel strongly about, but enjoy being a homebody for the most part. I certainly do not miss the travel associated with baseball.
Q-How did it feel to see your first card and to be asked for an autograph?
SF-I was pretty gracious when it came to autographs. In fact, I still get several a week in the mail and try to promptly return them. I think the first time I was asked for one, I just thought to myself, "Why would anyone want my signature?" I still do feel that way, but that's a whole different and deeper conversation. My first card was bittersweet. I'm no male model, but it may be the worst picture I've ever seen.
Q-Do you know which pitcher gave up your first major league hit?
SF-Rick Mahler of the Braves. I hit a groundball up the middle. I do have to admit feeling justified even if only to myself.
For the record, Fireovid's first hit came on Sept. 12, 1981, in his second at bat (he struck out in his first). Fireovid came up in the top of the fifth with nobody on base and no outs. Joe Lefebvre had just cleared the bases with a home run to put the Padres ahead 4-1. Ozzie Smith, Gene Richards and Ruppert Jones all made outs and stranded Fireovid on base.
I thought Fireovid would remember his first hit. So many times,players have vivid memories and specifically pitchers about their hitting.
Check back tomorrow for Part 2. Until then, check out some of his other cards.