November 7, 1932
San Francisco, California
December 15, 2002 (aged 70)
Redwood City, California
|Batted: Right||Threw: Right|
|July 10, 1958 for the Pittsburgh Pirates|
|Last MLB appearance|
|May 27, 1969 for the California Angels|
|Runs batted in||743|
|Career highlights and awards|
Richard Lee Stuart (November 7, 1932 - December 15, 2002) was a Major League Baseball first baseman from 1958 to 1966 and 1969. In 1967 and 1968, he played in Japan for the Taiyo Whales. Throughout his baseball career, Stuart was known as a fine hitter, but a subpar fielder, garnering the unique nickname of "Dr. Strangeglove" for his poor defense. That was a play on words of the movie Dr. Strangelove, which was released in the middle years of Stuart's career. Similarly, the movie Goldfinger inspired another nickname, "Stonefingers". In 1963, he set a record by committing 29 errors, a major league record for first basemen that still stands. Yet another less-than-flattering nickname for Stuart was "The Man With The Iron Glove".
Stuart played the bulk of his career with the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Boston Red Sox. He hit 228 home runs in his Major League Baseball career (tied for 234th all-time as of 9/20/09), with a batting average of .264. He was elected to the All-Star team in 1961. While Stuart never led the league in home runs, he finished in the top ten in five seasons (1959-61, 1963-64). As a minor league player, Stuart smashed 66 home runs for the Lincoln club of the Class A Western League in 1956; it remains one of the highest totals in the history of minor league baseball.
When Stuart was with the Dodgers, he pulled off a superb play at first, so impressive that an entry in the Dodgers' scorecard for that year commented "'Dr. Strangeglove,' Indeed!"
In their book, The Great American Baseball Card Flipping, Trading and Bubble Gum Book, Brendan C. Boyd & Fred C. Harris, Little Brown & Co, 1973, on p.77, the authors wrote an essay on Stuart's notoriously poor fielding. An excerpt: "Every play hit his way was an adventure, the most routine play a challenge to his artlessness. It is hard to describe this to anyone who has not seen it, just as it is hard to describe Xavier Cugat or Allen Ludden. Stu once picked up a hot dog wrapper that was blowing toward his first base position. He received a standing ovation from the crowd. It was the first thing he had managed to pick up all day, and the fans realized it could very well be the last."
Dick Stuart grew up in San Carlos, not Redwood City - Attended Sequoia High School in Redwood City, graduating in 1951 - I was a team-mate at Sequoia & Dick was a lifelong friend! Claude DeMoss San Jose, CA
Sequoia High School is in Redwood City, CA Claude DeMoss San Jose, CA