R.C. Stevens

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R C Stevens

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Biographical Information[edit]

First baseman R.C. Stevens played four seasons in the big leagues, three with the Pittsburgh Pirates and one with the expansion Washington Senators.

Stevens was working in construction when discovered and signed by the Pirates in 1952. As he progressed through the minors, he played for the Hollywood Stars for parts of three seasons, hitting 27 homers for the club in 1956.

He reached the majors in 1958 as part of Pittsburgh's Opening Day roster and made his debut on April 15th in the season opener against the Milwaukee Braves, going 2 for 2 while driving in the game-winning run in the 14th inning. In his next appearance, four days later, he hit a homer off Harvey Haddix of the Cincinnati Redlegs. The following day, making just his fourth big league plate appearance, he hit another home run, a walk-off shot off Willard Schmidt, to beat the Redlegs. He got into 59 games for the Pirates that year, hitting 7 homers and slugging an impressive .556 in 90 at-bats.

Despite his success at the plate in 1958, Stevens appeared in just a handful of games for Pittsburgh over the next two years, spending most of his time with the Salt Lake City Bees of the Pacific Coast League. Following the 1960 campaign, he was dealt along with two other players to the Senators for Bobby Shantz. In the 9th inning of the expansion club's first game in 1961, he became the first pinch-hitter in team history, replacing Pete Daley and grounding out. He hit just .129 in 33 games in the majors that year, and he continued playing in the minors through 1963.

Since Stevens was a friend of Gene Baker, who had been born in Davenport, Iowa, he and his wife moved to Davenport after his baseball career and built a house next door to Baker's. Forty-five years later he still lived there. He worked for Ametek in East Moline, IL and for International Harvester for many years, and then drove a bus for the city of Davenport. He died there in 2010.

Further Reading[edit]

  • Alan Cohen: "RC Stevens", in Clifton Blue Parker and Bill Nowlin, ed.: Sweet '60: The 1960 Pittsburgh Pirates, SABR, Phoenix, AZ, 2013, pp. 187-191. ISBN 978-1-93359-948-9

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