Share your memories of Dick Stuart
HERE IS WHAT OTHER METS FANS HAVE TO SAY:
Known as "Doctor Strangeglove". His main claim to fame was hitting 66 HRs in one minor league season.
July 26, 2001
I believe Dick Stuart was capable of hitting a baseball further than any baseball player that ever lived. I believe he hit one in Lincoln, Nebraska that was over 600 feet long.
I remember watching him hit one over the Flor De Melba sign in Ponce De Leon Park. It was foul, but was probably well over 500 feet. He was my favorite player as a kid. Terrible fielder..but boy, could he hit the ball!
July 29, 2001
I remember 2 home runs in one game in st. Louis when he was playing for the pirates. You couldn't stop his hitting, even when he was tired.i Wonder where he is now?
August 19, 2001
I was there the day that Stuart playing as a Pirate hit the longest home run ever at Forbes Field. It cleared the wall at the 420 mark and landed at the fountain in Schenley Park on the fly. It actually went higher than the outfield light towers, and had the crowd on its feet the instant he made contact. You just knew that baby was gonna be a long one.
It might be of interest to someone that the next batter, Smokey Burgess, hit a ball to 420 mark and made an out!!
As luck would have it, I was also at the game for the Dick Stuart hot dog wrapper catch. It was a slow-moving night game and from out of nowhere the wrapper started drifting in the air over infield. Gradually it floated towards first base, the closer it got, the more quite the crowd got. Suddenly, like a cat, (a very large, slow-moving cat!) Dick shagged that sucker right out of the air - BAM The crowd leaped up as one in a heart-felt standing ovation, (and hearty laugh)
October 25, 2001
Does anyone else remember the pregame show that Dick Stuart hosted prior to Mets game during his brief tenure with the team? It was called " Stump Stuart". He would choose a fan from the stands prior to home games and that fan would try to "Stump Stuart" with a baseball trivia question. One day he had an NYC cop named Petrocelli on the show who asked a question about a home run record for Red Sox shortstops. You guessed it the answer was Rico Petrocelli(the guy's brother). Even though Dick had played with the Red Sox he was stumped. I always thought he missed the question on purpose so the guy would win the prize. I wish Dick would have been productive at bat for the Mets. It would have been fun having him spend a few seasons as a Met. I still have my Dick Stuart Mets cup that Sunoco gas stations gave away that season.
January 15, 2002
Anyone who can be stopped in 1964 for still carrying 1963 licence plates on his car, and tell the police officer, "I had such a good year that I wanted to remember it," can't be all THAT bad.
Ironic stat of the 1960s: Dick Stuart became - and remains - the only first baseman in major league history to record three assists in one inning. He did it, alas, with the Red Sox.
He wasn't really a Met long enough to make much of a difference, but something tells me that, if there hadn't been a Marvelous Marv, someone might have been tempted to bring across Dick Stuart. Except that Stuart had a reputation for being a fancy dresser, the difference is negligible. And the entertainment value might have been just as high. Plus, it says here, if you thought Dick Stuart could yank them over the Green Monster, imagine what feasts he might have had playing for the short left field lines in the Polo Grounds.
Alas, my Keystone Mets. So often ahead of their time yet occasionally behind their time.
March 14, 2002
then there is the story of the team bus driving past a concrete plant and someone telling the driver to stop because Stuart wants to go get a new glove.
July 4, 2002
To Jack Polaritz -- was that Forbes Field home run the one Jim Brosnan talked about in one of his two books? Victimized pithcer: Jim Brosnan.
The most distinct memory here of Dick Stuart was when he was the Mets' first baseman, and the Dodgers' Sandy Koufax hit a grounder to someone. Koufax' batting average was a hundred points lower than his ERA, but he thought he had an infield hit.
Nope. Out at first by a whisker to end the inning.
It was Stuart who caught the throw. He then lackadasically lobbed it in the air toward right field in lollipop fashion. Koufax, still chugging down the line, sighed and snatched the inning-ending toss with his left hand. It was as though the two had rehearsed it all.
January 3, 2003
He was better known as Dick Stuart, and his name was even more familiar when recalled as "Dr. Strangeglove" because of his many errors at his first base position for 10 years in the major leagues.
Even if it has to be "Strangeglove" that reminds fans of his home run achievements, I'm happy. But I just knew him as a fine friend. We met after his big league career had ended and he worked for a collection agency, carrying with him 8X10 photos instead of a business card. We worked financial deals together, and then he agreed to be my batting instructor for the 1981 Mount Vernon Generals of the Atlantic Collegiate Baseball League. It was a great year because Mount Vernon won for the first time in 15 years. Our record was 29 and 12, the best.
On that team, I was President, GM, and first base coach. Special coaching advisors that year was ex big leaguer, Nick Testa, and Fred Calaicone of Pace. Along with Dick, is it any wonder that we won the flag in '81? A guy named Bobby DeVincenzo was the manager.
The leading batter on Mt. Vernon was promising catcher, Joe Pareres, while our regular third baseman was a guy named Gene Larkin. Parers led the team in hitting with .386 and 3 home runs while Larkin was only "fair:", at .289 and one home run. But Larkin spent 6 years with the Minnesota Twins. Joe P. didn't get signed but still plays!!!
Maybe a bit of Dick Stuart rubbed off on everybody.
Dick was a lovable guy who never stopped kidding and telling us his baseball stories. In 1960, when Pittsburgh's Bill Mazeroski hit his famous series ending home run to defeat the New York Yankees in that 7th game, guess who was on deck at the time? Big Stu. I once invited him to a party and he asked the host this trivia question. No one knew the answer. Stu said, "It was ME. I was on deck!!!" And who hit the most professional home runs in one year? Well, it wasn't Barry Bonds. It was Stuart. Here's how he did it. With Lincoln, in the minors, in 1958, he belted 66 home runs, and he finished the season with the Pirates, adding 16 more for a grand total of 82.
Dick always claimed that while he made lots of errors, 160, he fielded balls that nobody else could reach for. In 1963 and 1964, when playing for the Boston Red Sox, he had a total of 2366 putouts, but also had a total of 238 assists, better than most. And he had an explanation for the 53 errors he had for those seasons.
Kiddingly, Dick once said, " Moe. When my mom and dad came to see me play, I didn't let them sit behind first base. It was too dangerous."
A famous Stuart quote, "One night in Pittsburgh, thirty- thousand fans gave me a standing ovation when I caught a hot dog wrapper on the fly."
The hot dog story is true!
For a guy 6 feet 4 inches and a 200 pound frame, he also belted 30 career triples and only 157 doubles. What an unusually high ratio. But he said many of those doubles could have been triples but he always paid attention to his third base coaches.
He wound up his career with a respectable .264 lifetime batting average, 228 home runs, with 743 runs batted in, with 1,055 hits. He struck out 957 times in 3,997 at-bats, much better than lots of guys who are swinging and missing these days. No, he wasn't a Hall of Famer.
Dick Stuart's career ended with the Dodgers, Mets, and California, in 1969. He became very low key in later life. We spoke periodically, but I could never get him to attend any baseball functions, with one exception. I persuaded him show up at the annual New York Baseball Writers Dinner, where I listened to him and Dusty Rhodes trade stories. But that was a long time ago.
Dick became a loner. He was a California guy all his life. And while we traded Christmas cards, none of us made a move to visit the other. That's life, but I regret not speaking to him for the last half year.
He did have a daughter who used to show up once in a while in Mount Vernon, but he might have also had a son. I just don't remember.
All I know is that I learned of his passing by picking up the newspaper like everybody else. The difference, of course, is that I was shell-shocked. 70 was much too soon.
I will always miss him.
January 4, 2003
He drove manager John Pesky of the Red Sox crazy. Dick Radatz tells of Opening Day when Stuart showed up late to the park. Pesky upbraided him in front of everyone while setting out a schedule of fines for being late. Pesky asked if anyone had any questions when Dick raised his hand and said, "Yeh, Skip. Are these fines tax deductable?" Pesky fumed, the team guffawed and went out and lost a million games.
February 16, 2004
The spring of '66 was one of optimism for a young Met fan such as I. After all, we had a fine young powerhitting sophomore in Ron Swoboda, a sound athletic line drive hitter in rookie Cleon Jones, a hard nosed catcher in Jerry Grote and a returning from injury gritty Ron Hunt. Additions such as Al Luplow, Dick Stuart and Ken Boyer led us to think that maybe, just maybe, this team will begin to win a few.
The first spring training game found me glued to our ruby red colored Crosley radio, tubes ofcource, scoresheet in hand as the Mets of 1966 hit the field. I can still hear Lindsey Nelson's call of a towering long fly ball hit by Dick Stuart that is going, going, goodbye dolly mae, it's gone, a long home run to left. Yep, 1966 would be the year that Dick Stuart would crash 35 home runs and the Mets would reach .500!
Hope springs eternal. By June, Dr Strangeglove was sold to the LA Dodgers. Gone was his outrageous suits and off the air went his brief pre-game TV segment.
He was a decent slugger specifically with the Bosox and later on with the Phillies after hitting the scene with the Bucs in Pittsburgh.
Stuart, Agee, Boyer, Koonce, McGraw, sad to think that our heros of that era are no longer with us.
As in childhood, Too Soon Gone!
February 21, 2004
I remember Dick Stuart more for his 1966 Mets baseball card than his acutal playing.
When traded players appeared with their new clubs, especially if they were issued as a "high number" (Topps would issue their cards in series form as opposed to the entire set all at once back then; i.e., series one would come out in early April; series five or six would be out in late August/early Sept.) Topps normally would provide either capless, big-headed photos or photos with airbrushed caps to match the team colors. Sometimes, Topps would try to draw in the logo of their new affiliation, resulting in something you would have doodled in your sixth grade notebook.
However, Topps actually got off its lazy behind and went to spring training to shoot the new Mets in their uniforms. That's right; no coloring, no big-headed portrait shots. Stuart was one who lucked out and got to be pictured in his new duds; so did Ed Bressoud and Lou Klimchock. Problem was, Stuart and Klimchock were long gone by the time their "new" cards were issued. So even when Topps got it right, fate intervened.
March 17, 2004
How could a guy who bought himself a vanity license plate, "E-3," not have been a Met at some point during his MLB career?
elliot the mets fan
February 1, 2005
The Mets obtained Dick Stuart from the Phillies in February of 1966 for catcher Jim Schaeffer. I was excited when they obtained him, because I felt that had two solid long ball threats in him and Ken Boyer. The one thing I remeber about Stuart with the Mets is that he had a show before Kiners Korner, called Stuart on Sports. For some one who once hit 66 Hr's in the minor leagues, he was huge disappointment for the Mets, as he was sent to the Dodgers in early July.
December 30, 2006
Here's what Dick Williams, Stuart's one-time Red Sox manager, said in his autobiography, "No More Mr. Nice Guy": "He was the poorest excuse for a caring baseball player I've ever seen."
July 19, 2008
Dick Stuart joined the Mets at the beginning of the 1966 season and was initially considered one of the team's "stars" because of his power. One of the broadcast sponsors (Sunoco, I think) had a promotional campaign that featured some of the more prominent Mets, including Stuart, on thermal tumblers. After a few months of disappointing offense, as well as defense, Dr. Strangeglove was traded to the Dodgers. Shortly after that, my friend Alan and I were going to Banner Day. Our banner read: "Any refunds of my Dick Stuart thermal tumbler?" which got a lot of positive response from the fans as we paraded around the field.
June 16, 2010
I think it was 1958 when I met him through a high school classmate of his. He was playing for Salt Lake City, which was the AAA farm team of the Pirates. They came in for a 7-game series with Seattle and on a Saturday night we got plastered. He played the next day and hit three home runs. He said he had to soak his face in a cold towel between innings.
January 4, 2013
I remember Dick Stuart while serving in the US military close to Tokyo in 1965. I met him next door to US Embassy at a local pub western foreigners frequented and was popular place to socialize. I remember he was a really nice guy; here I was a G. I. and he was like an everyday good guy. I was shocked when I wrote home and told my older brother who I met. Shortly after one night I exited a taxi in front of the old Otani Hotel where he was staying, and still remember him yelling out my name, asking me to join him inside for a drink. Unfortunately I was meeting someone else. But the impression he left on me was "great guy". I hope this helps round out his image of the kind of man he was. I saw and knew him as a person off the field.
January 23, 2013
What a great guy he was. I was working as a medical receptionist in Redwood City and he use to see a doctor there. Once I got to know him he would bring a couple of us girls his baseball cards and sign them for us. I still have them. I was so shocked to learn of his passing. Really nice guy.