Friday, February 15, 2013

#357 Dick Stuart

Dick Stuart was known for three things, his prodigious homers, his awful glove work, and his self confident quotes.

Homers: He had a 162-game average of 33 homers while playing all or parts of 10 seasons with the Pirates, Red Sox, Phils, Mets, Dodgers and Angels. In 1956 he had a 66 homer/171 RBI season (see note below) for Lincoln in the Western League.

Glove work: He holds the single season record for errors by a first baseman. He was given several nicknames based on his grace-less infield play including Dr. Strangeglove and the Man with the Iron Glove.

"If the pitching was better, I would have hit 90 home runs. I had to chase a lot of bad balls to get those 66 homers."
 "I know I'm the world's worst fielder, but who gets paid for fielding? There isn't a great fielder in baseball getting the kind of dough I get paid for hitting." 
"Isn't it odd? A guy bats .301 and has 35 homers. Then everybody starts to tell him what a good fielder he has become." 
"One night in Pittsburgh, thirty-thousand fans gave me a standing ovation when I caught a hot dog wrapper on the fly."
All that, and he looks like my cousin Joe. There is a fun blog entry about Stuart right here. Worth the read.

Look, it's Valentine's Day evening as I type this. If I don't stop and pay attention to my wife I might need to start a new blog called The Divorced Collector.

EDIT: As was pointed out in the comments the card lists Stuart's RBI total in the minors in 1956 as 158. I got the 171 figure from the blog I linked to in the last paragraph. I have done some digging and found a wonderful page put together on the Lincoln Chiefs' 1956 Western League season. It's part of the Nebraska Baseball History website which I had completely forgotten about. I had browsed that site in the past since I have an interest in Nebraska and it's sports history. It credits Stuart with 158 RBI. I bow to the folks at Topps and stand corrected.

There is even this picture of a Stuart promotional trading card.


  1. More on the hot dog wrapper:

    [Stuart] 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.

    -- Stuart's Wikipoedia page, 2009 (now removed)

    1. Thanks for adding that, Jim. Stuart comes off as a really unique character, no?

  2. I don't want to quibble, but according to the card back he only hit 158 RBI in 1956. Loved watching this guy on the old Home Run Derby! Keep up the outstanding work.

    1. I got the 171 number from the last linked blog in my post. Either way it's a hell of a season.

  3. The Divorced Collector: bitter rants about how alimony payments are preventing you from obtaining that '61 Bob Gibson. ... Sounds entertaining.

    1. I read this on the sly during a presentation today and I LOL'd. Got a few funny looks.