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Tom Sturdivant
Starting pitcher
Born: April 28, 1930(1930-04-28)
Gordon, Kansas
Died: February 28, 2009 (aged 78)
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Batted: Left Threw: Right 
MLB debut
April 14, 1955 for the New York Yankees
Last MLB appearance
June 21, 1964 for the New York Mets
Career statistics
Win-Loss     59-51
Earned run average     3.74
Strikeouts     704

Thomas Virgil Sturdivant II (April 28, 1930 ‚Äď February 28, 2009) was an American Major League Baseball pitcher who played for the New York Yankees, Kansas City Athletics, Boston Red Sox, Washington Senators, Pittsburgh Pirates, Detroit Tigers, and New York Mets. He was nicknamed "Snake" for his excellent curveball.

Born in Gordon, Kansas, he was signed by the Yankees as an amateur free agent out of Capitol Hill High School in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma in May, 1948.[1] He finally made his major league debut seven years later, working exclusively out of the bullpen during the regular season and the third and fourth games of the 1955 World Series. He was a sixteen-game winner in each of the next two campaigns, starting a World Series game in each year, and pitching a complete game to defeat the Brooklyn Dodgers 6-2 in Game 4 of the 1956 World Series (the game before Don Larsen's perfect game).[1] In 1957 his 16-6 record led the American League in won-lost percentage, and his 2.54 ERA was second in the league.[2]

A rotator cuff injury in 1958 greatly limited his effectiveness for the remainder of his baseball career.[1] On May 26, 1959, in one of the many lopsided and controversial trades executed between the Yankees and Athletics during the late 1950s, he, along with Johnny Kucks and Jerry Lumpe, was sent to Kansas City for Hector Lopez and Ralph Terry, an eventual 23-game winner in 1962. Sturdivant wore uniform number 32 for the A's that year.

On December 3, 1959, he was traded by the Athletics to the Red Sox for Pete Daley. He wore uniform number 15 for the Red Sox.

On December 14, 1960, he was drafted by the Senators from the Red Sox in the 1960 expansion draft. Initially he wore uniform number 35 for the Senators, but later was given the same number 47 which he had worn for the Yankees.

On June 29, 1961, he was traded by the Senators to the Pirates for Tom Cheney. He wore uniform number 15 for the Pirates, the same number he had worn on the Red Sox.

On May 4, 1963, he was purchased by the Tigers from the Pirates. He wore uniform number 22 for the Tigers.

On July 23, 1963, he was purchased by the Athletics from the Tigers. He wore uniform number 18 for the A's this time.

After he was released by the Athletics on May 10, 1964, he signed as a free agent with the Mets later that same day. He wore uniform number 47, his old Yankees number, for the Mets. He was released by the Mets on June 27.

After his retirement from the sport, he was involved in the freight and truck leasing business, concentrating on the former during the 1980s. He was once part-owner of R&R Trucking, Inc. He later served on the board of directors of Metro Tech in Oklahoma City and the Integris Hospice of Oklahoma County.[3]

Sturdivant died on February 28, 2009, in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.[4]


External links


  • Forker, Dom. Sweet Seasons: Recollections of the 1955‚Äď64 New York Yankees. Dallas, TX: Taylor Publishing Co., 1990.


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