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.
    • 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 (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 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
  • 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)
  • 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
  • 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."
  • I understand they're making a special license plate for you this year: E3.
    • Dick Radatz, as quoted in "Crackers Plan Adoption if Twins Orphan Oliva" by Charlie Roberts, in The Atlanta Constitution (Monday, January 27, 1964),p. 14
  • 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

External links[edit]

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