Dick Stuart

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Dick Stuart

Richard Lee Stuart (November 7, 1932 – December 15, 2002) was an American baseball player known equally well for prodigious slugging and defensive ineptitude, the latter leading to a series of less-than-flattering nicknames such as Iron Glove, Stonefingers, and Dr. Strangeglove (as per the like-named feature film).


  • Every home run gives me the deepest personal thrill, although I've hit droves. Last year at Lincoln I hit 66, yet it gave me the deepest personal thrill every time I seen that ball flying nine miles out of the park.
  • I thought I could catch him. I demand a rematch.
    • Speaking on September 15, 1960, regarding a play that occurred the previous day: specifically, his failure to throw the ball to second base following Vernon Law's successful pickoff of Maury Wills; as quoted in "Alston Rates Wills with Robinson" by Frank Finch, in Los Angeles Times (September 16, 1960), p. 76
  • I guess you're the manager of nothing.
    • Speaking on September 15, 1960—the day after his "bonehead play" had led to 2 runs in a 5-2 loss to L.A.—in response to manager Danny Murtaugh's question, "Now who am I?", posed immediately after having informed Stuart that he, Murtaugh, should be addressed strictly as "Mr. Murtaugh," and that he, Stuart, was "nothing'; as recounted by Murtaugh in "It Happened in Baseball," True (July 1961), p. 77; cited in "Gazette Sports: Stuart Still in Public Eye" by Roy Anderson, in The Billings Gazette (Saturday, July 1, 1961), p. 8
  • I was gonna hit one. Can I help it if Maz got cute?
  • There must be the best 169-pound slugger in baseball.
    • On Roberto Clemente; as quoted in "Clemente’s Clouting Keeps Corsairs Hot on Trail of Treasure" by Les Biederman, in The Sporting News (May 31, 1961)
  • Philadelphia fans don't discriminate enough. They boo everybody. In Boston and Pittsburgh, they only booed me.
    • Circa 1965; as quoted in "Stuart's Quip High on List" by Harold Kaese, in The Boston Globe (December 30, 1965), p. 17.
  • I never did get a hit off him in the American League. One day Lou Clinton hit one back and it hit Wyatt right in the face. Cut his lip all up, big gash. They held the game up 15 minutes. He got up on the mound, the blood all coming out of his mouth. He sees me standing in the batter's box and decides he can pitch. Struck me out on three pitches.
    • Stuart's only slightly exaggerated recollection of making the final out in a 9-7 Red Sox loss to Kansas City on May 19, 1963 (he actually struck out on 5 pitches); as quoted in "Nobody Loses When Mets, Phils Meet; Stuart Recalls Wyatt" by Steve Jacobson, in Newsday (Friday, March 18, 1966), p. 49C
  • Sure he'll get his job back; he used to park cars in downtown L.A.
    • When asked—circa August 1966—whether he thought first baseman Wes Parker, whom Stuart had replaced in the Angels' starting lineup, would eventually win his job back; as quoted in "Extra Innings: Stuart Still Afire" by Phil Fuhrer, in The San Bernardino Sun (Wednesday, August 12, 1970), p. D-1
  • It was Hank Aaron who hung that Dr. Strangeglove tag on me. I told him, to his face, that he would never amount to anything.
    • Clearly confusing "Strangeglove" with "Stone Fingers" (see below); as quoted in "A Sad Story: Dick Stuart's Bat Was Solid; So Was His Glove" by Milt Dunnell, in The Toronto Star (June 1, 1987), p. B1
  • That was when I started telling Polish jokes. Actually, Maz robbed me. If I had hit that home run, I would have made a lot more out of it than Maz did. He never made much effort to capitalize on it. Can you imagine what that homer would be worth in endorsements today?
  • I guess you could say I never understood baseball trades. In 1963, I hit 42 home runs for the Red Sox and drove in 118 runs. You'd call that a pretty good year, wouldn't you? Next year, I'm down to 33 homers and 114 RBIs. In other words, you're looking at 75 home runs in two seasons. Are the Red Sox happy? Not so you'd notice. They trade me to the Phils. Boston was a crazy place. Now, with those good statistics, I tell the Phils I'm entitled to a healthy raise. You know what they tell me? They say I still haven't done anything for them. I did get a raise, though.
    • As quoted in "A Sad Story: Dick Stuart's Bat Was Solid; So Was His Glove"
  • I had a good time there. Moby Dick was my nickname. I struck out four times one night, and in the papers they said Ahab got his whale.
    • On his time—1967 and '68—with the Taiyo Whales; as quoted in "The Summer of 66" by Rick Shrum, in The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (September 20, 1998), p. D-3

Quotes about[edit]

  • Hello, Stone-fingers.
    • Henry Aaron, greeting his erstwhile fellow National Leaguer Stuart on August 5, 1963, just prior to the annual Hall-of-Fame exhibition game; as quoted in "Stuart Ranks Next to Foxx" by Harold Kaese, in The Boston Globe (Friday, August 16, 1963)
  • The commandos stormed ahead. They ran right over the body of dead Nazi laying on Omaha Beach. The 'Nazi' was Dick Stuart, Lincoln's home-run-hitting outfielder. That scene from the movie D-Day, The Sixth of June, was probably the first and last time anyone will ever run over Dick Stuart.
  • He's about the gosh-awfullest outfielder I've ever seen. But on the other hand, we've only had 10 home runs this spring and he's hit five of them, so what are you going to do? It's a funny thing. Stuart has a good arm. Strong, and his throws are accurate. But he just can't field. And he doesn't want to. He's got no desire. The other day, we were playing the Phillies and he let a ball drop right at his feet. The crowd groaned. Everybody knew any other fielder could have caught the ball with his chin. He's a smart enough kid. Not a wise guy at all. He likes to hit. Loves to hit. But it's got to be a real good hit for him. In that same game with the Phils he was up with bases loaded and two out and he hits one back to the pitcher. He might have beat it out, but he just trots down to first, holding his finger like he hurt it. I talked to him that night and I said, "We just sent Johnny O'Brien back to Hollywood but he knows he gave it all he had and if he keeps it up he'll be back for another chance. You hit 66 home runs and you might be on your way to Hollywood tomorrow," I told him. "And if you are, it'll be because you let that ball fall at your feet and because you didn't run out that ball to the pitcher with the bases loaded."
    • Bobby Bragan, as quoted in "Bragan Has Big Worry With Stuart" by the Associated Press, in The Austin Statesman (Wednesday, March 27, 1957), p. 21
  • If he'd concentrate, he could get good enough to be just bad.
    • Bobby Bragan, as quoted in "Golden Glove" by Jim Murray, in The Los Angeles Times (Thursday, June 4, 1964), Part III, p. 1
  • You all wrong. You try to hit home run every time but you no can do. No man can do. I wish you try to hit ball like you did when you joined team last July. Then you just try to meet ball because you want to make good showing after coming from minors. You swing easy and ball goes into centerfield seats. Next day, you swing easy again and ball goes over left field wall. Now you swing too hard. Try to hit home run every swing. You wrong. You have no timing, you miss ball. Please, for me, just try to meet ball when we open season. You have so much power, you just meet ball and whoosh—it goes over fence. Stu, with my brains, if I have your power, I make $200,000 in baseball.
  • It must also be remembered that baseball is played not only at the plate but in the field, and it is here, on defense, that Stuart sometimes offers more aid and comfort to the enemy than to his own club. Pittsburgh ex-manager Bobby Bragan has called him "one of the worst outfielders I've ever seen." True, Stuart is not a "natural" in the style of Willie Mays, but he does not have to be as bad a fielder as he is. He can, when the spirit moves him, conduct himself on defense adequately if not always with consummate grace. He is not fleet enough tyo be a good centerfielder, but he could be effective in right or left field, and he has a wonderfully strong and accurate throwing arm. Unfortunately, however, Stuart afield tends to become a study in dejection. His natural endowment goes largely to waste because he is busy thinking about the last home run he hit, the home run he failed to hit, or the home run he hopes to hit just as soon as he can return to the dugout and exchange his glove for his beloved bat. Manager Bates at Atlanta, who experimented with Stuart not only in the outfield and at first base but also at third base, was inclined to ask himself not where Stuart could do the most good but where he could do the least damage.
  • He's like Bill Buckley, late of New York's mayoral election. You may not like what he does, but you'll have to admit he does it with flair.
    • Steve Jacobson, "Mets Dance to Dick Stuart Swing; Stuart Warns He is No New Marv", Newsday (Monday, March 14, 1966), p. 56C
  • No, but I sure look a lot like Dick Stuart.
  • You're slowing up, Dick. Two years ago you could have gotten out of the way of that ball.
    • Eddie Mathews, circa spring or summer, 1966, after Stuart, of all people, had robbed him of a base hit; as quoted in "Leftover Comments" by Ed Rumill, in The Christian Science Monitor (Friday, April 21, 1967), p. 11
  • In left field, he was as mobile as the Empire State Building. At first base, he resembles a dinosaur egg. But at the plate he looks like a man swinging the Empire State Building at a dinosaur egg.
    • Larry Merchant, "Doctor Strangeglove," Philadelphia Daily News (November 30, 1964), p. 55
  • I hope Stuart doesn't think he means him.
    • Danny Murtaugh, in response to the pre-game public address announcement, "Anyone who interferes with the ball in play will be ejected from the ballpark"; as quoted in "Sports of the Times" by Arthur Daley, The New York Times (Sunday, March 25, 1962), p. 2S
  • If I look older, it all began when I got Dick Stuart. Remember the play in the '60 World Series, when we had Mickey Mantle hung off first but he slid around Rocky Nelson? Somebody asked Stuart if he would have played it the way Nelson did, and Stu said he didn't think so, because he wouldn't have caught the ball to begin with.
    • Danny Murtaugh, as quoted in "Young Ideas: Football Pileups Steered Him to Baseball; After He Quit, He Started to Crow a Little; Easy-Going Manner Was Just a Cover-Up" by Dick Young, New York Daily News (Sunday, October 4, 1964), p. 146
  • This fan bent over from a box seat and called me a couple of vile names. Before we could stop him, Stu popped the guy. I said to Stu: "Now why did you do that? We might have a law suit." Stu told me that he had called me the same vile names, but he said: "I don't want any strangers calling you things like that."
  • After two months of careful and forgiving observation of Dick Stuart of the Red Sox, this humble voice suggests that he be given the nickname of Sailor. Sailor Stuart fields like the Ancient Mariner, who, in Samuel Taylor Coleridge's poem of the same name, "stoppeth one of three."
    • Arthur Siegel, "Sailor Suggested as Nickname," The Boston Globe (May 23, 1963),p.  40
  • No male animal ever looked more like a big league ball player than Richard Lee Stuart and no character out of Ring Lardner ever sounded more like a busher than the same Dick Stuart in some of the statements attributed to him on the sports pages. When he came to training camp with the Pirates in 1957 he was promptly put away as an eccentric—partly because he had hit 66 home runs for Lincoln, Neb. the preceding summer, which is not normal behavior for anybody; partly because his gift for reticence was as undeveloped as his skill in the outfield; partly because of his undisguised loathing for gloves and all other appurtenances of defensive baseball.
    • Red Smith, "Views of Sports," The York Dispatch (Wednesday, March 4, 1959),p. 25
  • He had a golden bat and an iron glove.
    • Bill White, as quoted in "Stuart Poked Fun at Self" by Harold Kaese, in The Boston Globe (Sunday, December 6, 1964), p. 89

Dr. Strange[g]love: From Sellers to Stuart[edit]

  • Peter Sellers is now in the $250,000-per-picture class—that was his deal with Stanley Kubrick for "Dr. Strangeglove" [sic]—and inasmuch as he makes pictures as fast as he can read scripts, he should be a millionaire by Saturday.
    • Dorothy Kilgallen (debuting, albeit inadvertently, a soon-to-be ubiquitous typo which, within the year, will have become a fully intentional, widely used emblem of baseball fielding ineptitude and, not coincidentally, Dick Stuart's most enduring nickname), "Voices of Broadway: Jottings in Pencil," Wilkes-Barre Record (Wednesday, June 5, 1963), p. 4
  • The Giants' Jim Ray Hart, who has averaged at least one error per game thus far, has a new nickname: "Dr. Strangeglove."
    • Herb Caen (in what, judging from the quote displayed directly below, must be a reprint from a previously published San Francisco Chronicle column), coining the now immortal pun, "Herb Caen: About This Town; "Herbert's Sherbet," Honolulu Star-Bulletin (March 22, 1964), p. 98
  • Blame Herb Caen for inspiring this, but another current movie makes you wonder—if the erstwhile Yankee doctor-infielder Bobby Brown were still playing and having a bad day afield, would they call him Dr. Strangeglove?
    • Chuck Thomas (Star-Free Press sports editor), "The High Cost of Sitting: Notes to You," Ventura County Star-Free Press (March 20, 1964), p. 16
  • Although we fully realize that Calvin Griffith is well versed in baseball management, we also know that he must also eventually bow to the fans' wishes. We, therefore, plead that Twins' fans join us in petitioning to keep Dr. Strangeglove off first base. Vic Power fans everywhere should stand up and be counted before a disastrous decision is made and he is benched or, even worse, traded. Let the outfielders battle among themselves for the three positions available. "To Tell the Truth," we think the real first baseman should stand up—where he belongs.
    • Unidentified representative of Minnesota Vic Power fan club, in unsuccessful bid to prevent the benching and/or trading of first baseman Vic Power in favor of slugging outfielder Bob Allison; as quoted in "People's Column: Can't Locate Luverne; The Guards Stood Out; A Power Booster; Why Bench Him?; More Power Boosters," edited by Charles Johnson, The Minneapolis Star (March 28, 1964), p. 15
  • Overheard at a Boston Red Sox game: "That Dick Stuart can really swing that bat, can't he? But around first base he looks like Dr. Strangeglove."
    • Fred Tharp (News Journal sports editor), "Fred Tharp on Sports," Mansfield News Journal (Sunday, June 7, 1964), p. 30
  • Parting shot: A new Dick Stuart nickname circulating about—Dr. Strangeglove."
    • Will McDonough, "Red Sox," The Boston Globe (Friday, June 12, 1964), p. 27
  • Washington writer Bob Addie's nickname for many-thumbed first-baseman Dick Stuart: Dr. Strangeglove.
    • Paul Hemphill (Times sports editor), "New A's Boss," The Tampa Times (Thursday, June 18, 1964), p. 7
  • Stuart, known as "Dr. Strangeglove," made a couple of fine fielding plays — and what better evidence it wasn't to be the Yanks' night?
    • Joe Trimble, "3 Bosox HRs Send Yanks Reeling to 5th in Row, 7-0," New York Daily News (Saturday, August 22, 1964), p. 7
  • In left field, he was as mobile as the Empire State Building. At first base, he resembles a dinosaur egg. But at the plate he looks like a man swinging the Empire State Building at a dinosaur egg. This, of course, is Dick Stuart, the Dr. Strangeglove of baseball and, ho-ho-ho, the newest of the Fainting Phillies. When does spring training start?
    • Larry Merchant (his classic quip reprised, in its original, nickname-dropping context), "Doctor Strangeglove," Philadelphia Daily News (November 30, 1964), p. 55
  • Stuart with a bat in his hand is a threat. Unfortunately, he is a threat also to the good and welfare of his own team when he has a first baseman's mitt on his hand. Stuart's adventurous attempting to field batted balls or ground balls for the Red Sox last season earned him the sobriquet of "Dr. Strangeglove."
    • Shirley Povich, "This Morning," The Washington Post (Tuesday, December 1, 1964)
  • It has occurred to a number of baseball people that the Phillies could have the leakiest infield in the game next year when Bo Belinsky pitches ... Bo isn't noted for his hustle in fielding a ball ... Dick Stuart, the first baseman ("Dr. Strangeglove"), likes to toss a coin with the pitcher to see who covers first base ... Dick likes to stand back when he gets a ground ball and let the pitcher run to cover the bag ... On third base will be Richie Allen, who swings a hot bat but has iron hands ... All in all, Gene Mauch, who has a low boiling point, could go slightly daft.
    • Bob Addie, "A Giant Step," The Washington Post (Saturday, January 14, 1965), p. C3
  • He hit 28 homers and drove in 95 runs. However, Stuart's lack of skill afield has caused him to be dubbed "Dr. Strangeglove."
    • Bob Addie, "Senators May Try for Allison, Stuart," The Washington Post (Sunday, November 28, 1965), p. C5
  • Casey Stengel once said of Japanese baseball players: "They have bad hands." The recent decision by Dick "Dr. Strangeglove" Stuart to play in Japan should enhance the legend. Stuart has worse hands than a hard-luck poker player.
    • Bob Addie, "Stadium Spruced Up; It occurs to me," The Washington Post-Times Herald (Saturday, April 6, 1967), p. H2

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