Dick Stuart

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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).

Quotes[edit]

  • 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 guess that makes you the manager of nothing.
    • Circa summer 1958, 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 quoted by Murtaugh in "Gazette Sports: Stuart Still in Public Eye" by Roy Anderson, in The Billings Gazette (July 1, 1961)
  • 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)
  • I never did get a hit off him in the American League. One day Lou Clinton hit on 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

Quotes about[edit]

  • 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

External links[edit]

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