John Franklin "Stuffy" Stewart (born January 31, 1894 in Jasper, Florida — died December 30, 1980 in Lake City, Florida) was a right-handed infielder in who starred with the Birmingham Barons in the 1920s, managing the club in 1923 and 1924.
Stewart played shortstop at Southwestern Presbyterian College (now Austin Peay) in Clarksville, Tennessee, graduating in 1914. The following year he debuted in the Florida-Alabama-Georgia League, where his skills as a base-stealer emerged. He stole 38 bases in 71 games that year and, after beginning the 1916 season in the South Atlantic League, earned his Major League debut with the St Louis Cardinals on September 3.
Stewart remained with the Cardinals at the beginning of the 1917 season, but was demoted to the Western League Denver Bears after two months. During World War I he served as a military nurse at Camp Jackson in South Carolina. He was sent overseas just as the armistice was signed. In 1919 Stewart was traded to the Philadelphia Phillies and assigned to their Florida State League affiliate. He led the league in steals with 57 in 68 games.
In 1920 Stewart debuted with the Birmingham Barons. Over the next five seasons he led the Southern Leauge in steals four times (66 in 1921, 47 in 1922, 57 in 1924 and 53 in 1925. On August 20, 1924 he set a Barons record with 5 stolen bases in a game against the Arkansas Travelers. While with the team, he earned trials with the Pittsburgh Pirates (3 games in 1922) and Brooklyn Robins (4 games in 1923), but remained in Birmingham, serving as the Barons' manager in 1923 and 1924.
In 1925 the Washington Senators traded three players for Stewart and a teammate. He spent two years with Washington, mainly substituting for second-baseman Bucky Harris. For the 1928 season, Stewart requested to return to Birmingham, and once again led the league in steals (61). He also led the league with 138 runs scored, setting another Barons record which still stands. The Senators re-purchased his contract after the season and traded him to the International League's Baltimore Orioles near the end of the 1929 season. He made his last Major League appearance for Washington on June 29, 1929.
Stewart remained an Oriole for two seasons before being sold to the Seattle Indians of the Pacific Coast League. Seattle sent him to the Knoxville Smokies late in 1931. He finished his career in 1932 playing for the Texas League's Tyler Sports.
In the offseasons, Stewart was a professional golfer. His son, John Jr, won acclaim as a swimmer.
|Birmingham Barons manager
- Stuffy Stewart article in the baseball-reference.com bullpen - accessed August 20, 2007
- Stuffy Stewart stats at baseball-reference.com