As a first baseman, Dick Stuart led the league in errors for seven straight years, usually by a wide margin. As a fielder, suffice it to say that his nickname was “Dr. Strangeglove” and no less an authority than Hank Aaron called him “Stonefingers.”

In November 1962 the Pirates had traded Stuart to the Red Sox. Going to Boston was good for him, as he had an outstanding offensive season of his career, leading the American League with 118 RBIs, while slugging 42 home runs. Apart from the homers and RBIs, he led the league in grounding into 24 double plays. And he led the league with 29 errors, a number made uglier because the runner-up committed only 12.

The Sox did not field a good team in those years and manager Johnny Pesky knew a good part of the reason for the team's lack of success was Dick Stuart. He told him flat out that he was losing more games for the team with a lackadaisical attitude on the field than he was winning for the team with his bat. But he didn't care and battled Pesky as often as he could.

Stuart wouldn't go after ground balls just out of his reach and in the end, his selfishness undermined everything that Pesky was trying to instill. He ran the bases, head down and looking anywhere except at the third-base coach or the outfield or a teammate who might be able to tell him something, often sending his team out of the inning.

In one game a pop fly was hit in Stuart's direction. Sure he wouldn't catch it, both Frank Malzone and Eddie Bressoud raced over from their positions to try and catch it. They both collided and fell down in front of him. Stuart calmy just picked up the ball and handed it to his pitcher, Earl Wilson. Wilson was in a rage and his teammates were sure he would kill him.

On June 29th, he let another ground ball go threw his legs that gave the Yankees three runs and the game, 2-0. It was the second time in a week that he had cost the Sox a game, and he was benched for the second time that season.

But at the plate, Stuart was a force. As the Red Sox were sweeping a doubleheader from the Angels on May 15th, he had one of his biggest days. He blasted a grand-slam homer in the first game and a three-run job in the second game. The result was a 9 to 3 and 7 to 6 double victory and he had driven in seven runs in the two games.

In the 1963 home run race with Harmon Killebrew, who had 40, on September 21st when the Sox were hosting the Twins, Stuart banged out his 42nd homer. But he believed his pitchers didn't like him because his fielding caused them to lose games. He was sure the pitchers would give Killebrew soft pitches so he would lose the home run race. Sure enough, Killebrew hit four homers, giving him 44, off four different Sox pitchers in that day's doubleheader.

In 1964, Stuart continued to swing a magic bat for the Sox, who defeated the Orioles, 6 to 4 in 11 innings, on April 28th at Fenway. The Sox were two runs behind in the last of the ninth inning. With two men on base, he doubled off the center field fence to drive in the tying run. Then in the 11th inning, the Sox were two runs behind again, had loaded the bases and he slammed a walk-off grand slam homer into the net making the Sox 6 to 4 winners.

In a 14-7 win in Kansas City on June 5th. Stuart hit another grand slam, his third of the season and his second against the A's in the last 12 days.

On July 21st at Fenway, the Tigers had come from behind and tied the score. But then Stuart stepped up in the seventh inning, belted a three-run homer, his 24th of the season, and the Sox triumphed, 7 to 5.

The game on May 12th was a bad one for Stuart. In the first inning, he made a throw to second base when there was nobody there, and gave the Indians two runs. At bat, he left seven base runners stranded, six of them when the score was tied or with his team down by a run. The Sox were leading 5-4 in the ninth and lost the game, 6-5.

He was wearing out his welcome in Boston, primarily because of his fielding and his inability to get along with Johnny Pesky, whose battle with him continued on and on.

Stuart had been benched for the first two games in Kansas City after batting under .200 in favor of Tony Horton, in the first game of a doubleheader on Labor Day against the Angels, but played in the second game. He had three hits but dropped a foul pop fly.

Pesky again benched him for not running out a pop fly, with two men on base, in a game with Minnesota.

In the end, Stuart hit well in 1964, too, with 33 homers and 114 RBIs to go with his .279 average. He cut his errors to 24 but still led the American League. He was named the first baseman on the "Sporting News’" American League All-Star Team for his efforts.

But Dick Stuart dragged everyone down and was considered a selfish ball player. He had never been criticized by GM Mike Higgins nor Tom Yawkey because he was an attraction for the fans, by slugging home runs and that was more important to Sox management than backing their manager.

Still, he was wearing out his welcome in Boston, primarily because of his fielding and his inability to get along. To the surprise of no one, the Red Sox traded him to the Phillies after the 1964 season.

As to his fielding, he once received a standing ovation for catching a hot dog wrapper on the fly. Dick Radatz also suggested that Stuart’s license plate should be E-3.

For his ten-year career Dick Stuart hit a respectable .264, belted 228 home runs, drove in 743 runs. His fielding became the stuff of legend. Given the nicknames he earned, it’s safe to conclude that much of the legend is based in fact.

Dick Stuart died of cancer in Redwood City on December 15, 2002 at age 70.