Sports Outside the Beltway

Former MLB Pitcher Chuck Stobbs dead at age 79

The left handed Stobbs came to the Major Leagues for the first time in 1947 and stayed around till 1961. He won over 100 games, but with a losing record. Mostly because he played most of his career with one of the worst teams(The Senators) in the American League. His one claim to fame or infamy, was giving up a 565 homerun to Mickey Mantle. My memories of Stobbs comes from my playing past seasons of Strat-O-Matic baseball. His luck in most of the games I recreated were no better than Stobbs was in real-life. RIP.

SARASOTA — The Washington Senators were just playing out the string and it wasn’t even his turn in the rotation, but left-hander Chuck Stobbs gamely took the ball for the 1957 season finale.

Facing the indignity of suffering his 20th loss of the season, Stobbs battled the visiting Baltimore Orioles for 10 innings before dropping a 7-3 decision at Griffith Park. The fact that he cemented his spot in baseball lore that Sept. 27 day overshadowed Stobbs’ competitive spirit.

That same competitive spirit served the Sarasota resident well the last seven years as he battled cancer. Surrounded by friends and family, the 79-year-old Stobbs succumbed to the disease early Friday morning.

“What I will always remember is that he didn’t complain once during the last seven years,” Stobbs’ son, Charley, said.

Born in Wheeling W.Va., on July 2, 1929, Stobbs attended one year of high school in Vero Beach before his family moved to Norfolk, Va. He starred in football, basketball and baseball at Norfolk’s Granby High School.

He was later recognized by the Granby High School Hall of Fame and the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame. The Virginian-Pilot newspaper named Stobbs as one of the Tidewater-area’s greatest athletes of the 20th century.

Stobbs received a $50,000 bonus when he signed a contract with the Boston Red Sox organization prior to the start of the 1947 season. He made his major-league debut on Sept. 15 of that year
against the Chicago White Sox at Fenway Park.

Stobbs was the youngest player in the majors during the 1947 season and the youngest player in the American League in 1948. The legendary Ted Williams once took the youngster along on a clothing shopping spree in New York City.

After compiling a record of 33-23 in five seasons with the Red Sox, he was dealt to the White Sox on Nov. 13, 1951. Following the 1952 season, the White Sox traded Stobbs to the Washington Senators.

The Senators were perennially one of baseball’s worst teams. Fans joked, “First in war, first in peace, and last in the American League.”

In his first season with the club, the 6-foot-1, 185-pound Stobbs gave up a “565-foot” home run to Yankee slugger Mickey Mantle. The blast, which was recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records, was the first of its kind described as a “tape measure shot.”

Stobbs was credited with throwing the longest wild pitch in history during the 1956 season. The pitch reportedly traveled into the 17th row in the grandstand.

Stobbs joined the St. Louis Cardinals after being released in July 1958 by the Senators. The Cardinals released Stobbs in the offseason and he rejoined the Senators, staying with the organization through its first season as the Minnesota Twins in 1961.

Related Stories:
Recent Stories:

Comments are Closed


Visitors Since Feb. 4, 2003

All original content copyright 2003-2008 by OTB Media. All rights reserved.