Stuart being remembered and honored by the Pirates, on June 19, 2010 at PNC Park, for his role on the Pirates' 1960 World Series team.
November 7, 1932|
San Francisco, California
|Died: December 15, 2002
Redwood City, California
|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 an American professional baseball first baseman, who played in Major League Baseball (MLB) from 1958 to 1966 and 1969. In 1967 and 1968, he played in Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) 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". It has been noted that had the designated hitter rule existed then, he would have been an excellent candidate for such. Despite his difficulties in the field, he was the first first baseman to record three assists in one inning.
Stuart, in tribute to his poor fielding ability, also earned the nickname "The Ancient Mariner", a reference to an opening line in the Samuel Taylor Coleridge poem The Rime of the Ancient Mariner. The attributed line being: "It is an ancient mariner, And he stoppeth one of three", suggesting Stuart could only stop one of three balls hit at him the same way the Ancient Mariner in Coleridge's poem stops one of three wedding guests.
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 261st all-time as of 1/20/2016), 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.
Stuart was a member of the Pirates' 1960 World Series-winning team. He was on deck as a pinch hitter when Bill Mazeroski hit the ninth-inning home run off Ralph Terry to win the 1960 Series at Forbes Field.
In their book, The Great American Baseball Card Flipping, Trading and Bubble Gum Book, Brendan C. Boyd and Fred C. Harris 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".
- Abrams, Al. "Sidelights on Sports: Million Dollar Kid—Maybe". The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. March 7, 1957.
- Biederman, Les. "The Scoreboard: Walls, Stuart Exchange Condolences; Each Feels He Has What the Other Needs". The Pittsburgh Press. March 11, 1957.
- Hernon, Jack. "Stuart Slams Homer As Pirates Win, 7-4". The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. March 11, 1957.
- Associated Press. "Stuart, Bilko Clash Tonight in Swat Duel". The Desert Sun. April 16, 1957.
- Harris, Mark. "The Man Who Hits Too Many Home Runs". Life. September 2, 1957.
- O'Connor, Michael (UPI). "Richard Lee Stuart Likes To Hit Home Runs, Does So". The Desert Sun. June 24, 1958.
- Hernon, Jack. "Friend Gets 20th,Beats Giants, 6-4: Stuart's 2-Run Homer in 10th Breaks Deadlock". The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. September 11, 1958. pp. 1 and 28.
- Cernkovic, Rudy (UPI). "'Bad Boy' Stuart Now 'Good Boy': Woman's Touch". The Desert Sun. September 18, 1958.
- Biederman, Les. "The Scoreboard: Meet Ball, Homers Will Come, Clemente Assures Stuart". The Pittsburgh Press. April 18, 1959.
- Biederman, Les. "Loss to Cards Dims Stuart's Long Home Run; Tape Measure Job in Ninth Inning Brings Bucs Close". The Pittsburgh Press. May 2, 1959.
- Biederman, Les. "Stuart Makes Buc History: Dick's Homer First Ever Hit Over CF Wall; Ball Disappears At 457-Foot Mark, Cubs Win, 10-5". The Pittsburgh Press. June 6, 1959.
- Biederman, Les. "Scoreboard: Boost Dick Stuart Movement Getting Support Among Fans; Salesman's Plea to Get Behind Slugger and Thus Help Pirates Favorably Received". The Pittsburgh Press. March 3, 1960.
- Biederman, Les. "Stuart Gives Pirate 1 For Road: 3-Run Homer Nips LA in Ninth, 3-2; Milwaukee Next". The Pittsburgh Press. June 8, 1962.
- Grayson, Harry. "Dick Stuart Is Termed Biggest Thing In Boston Since Williams". The Ogdensburg Advance-News. March 31, 1963.
- United Press International. "Bitter Stuart Lashes Out at Houk". The Victoria Advocate. July 3, 1963.
- Creamer, Robert. "Old Stonefingers—best show around Boston in years". Sports Illustrated. September 2, 1963.
- United Press International. "'Big Stu' Has Record".The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. June 21, 1964.
- Associated Press. "Bosox Trade Stuart For Bennett In 1st Interloop Baseball Swap". The Schenectady Gazette. November 28, 1964.
- Down, Fred (UPI). "Phillies Expect Big Things Of Stuart".The Prescott Evening Courier. February 22, 1965.
- Bock, Hal. "Dick Stuart's Homers Give Phillies Win". The Gettysburg Times. March 19, 1965.
- Richman, Milton (UPI). "'Booed, Benched and Ridiculed: 'Dr. Strangeglove Is Immune".The Desert Sun. May 7, 1965.
- United Press International. "Dick Stuart Goes to Mets". The Desert Sun. February 23, 1966.
- Richman, Milton (UPI). "'Pretty Fair Year': Dick Stuart's Lot in Japan". The Madera Daily Tribune. August 24, 1967.
- "Weekend TV Key". The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. August 26, 1967.
- Couch, Dick. "Stuart Hits Grand Slam But Angels Lose On Errors". The Owosso Argus-Press. April 2, 1969.
- Jenkinson, Bill. Baseball's Ultimate Power: Ranking the All-Time Greatest Long-Distance Home Run Hitters. Guilford, CT: Lyons Press. pp. 80-83. ISBN 978-1-59921-544-0.