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Stephen Robert Blass (born April 18, 1942 in Canaanmarker, Connecticutmarker) is a former Major League Baseball right-handed pitcher and a current broadcast announcer for the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Playing career

In a 10-year career, Blass posted a 103-76 record with 896 strikeouts and a 3.63 ERA in 1597 innings pitched.

Signed by the Pittsburgh Pirates in , Blass made his major league debut in , joining the team permanently in . He won 18 games in , including a 2.12 ERA with seven shutouts, both career-highs, and in won 16 with a career-high 147 strikeouts. From 1969-72, Blass won 60 games, with a career-high 19 victories in . In that season, he made the National League All-Star team.

In the 1971 World Series against the Baltimore Orioles, Blass pitched two complete game wins, allowing only seven hits and two runs in 18 innings. He finished second in the voting for World Series MVP behind teammate Roberto Clemente.

Besides his Series performance, Blass is best known for his sudden and inexplicable loss of control after the season . His ERA climbed to 9.81 in the season. He walked 84 batters in 88 innings, and struck out only 27. Blass suffered through the 1973 season, then spent most of 1974 in the minor leagues. He gave it one last try in spring training of . Failing to regain his form, he retired from baseball in March .

Thereafter, a condition referred to as "Steve Blass Disease" became a part of baseball lexicon because such a change in a player's skill was identified with him. The diagnosis is applied to talented players who inexplicably and permanently seem to lose their ability to accurately throw a baseball.

Post-playing career

Blass joined the Pirates' TV and radio broadcast team in as a part-time color commentator, earning a full-time post in . He is known for his affable nature and knowledge of the game . Before the season, he announced that he would only announce home games onward so as to spend more time with his family .

On September 11, 2009, Steve Blass recorded 2 holes-in-one during a single 18 hole round of golf.

He was inducted into the Kinston Professional Baseball Hall of Fame in .

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