Stewart, Joe

Primary Position: Relief pitcher
Birthplace: Monroe

First, Middle Names: Joseph Lawrence Nickname: Ace
Date of Birth:  March 11, 1879 Date and Place of Death: Feb. 10, 1913, Youngstown, OH
Burial: Suncrest Cemetery, Monroe, NC

High School: Unknown
College: Erskine College, Due West, SC

Bats: Unknown           Throws: R        Height and Weight: 5-11, 175
Debut Year: 1904       Final Year: 1904          Years Played: 1
Team and Year: Boston Beaneaters, 1904

Career Summary
G         W        L          Sv        ERA     IP         SO       WAR
2         0          0         0          9.64     9.1       1          -0.4

Though he appeared in only two major-league games, Joe Stewart spent much of his short life playing baseball.

He likely played in high school in Monroe, North Carolina, where he was born in 1879, the third of seven children. His father, John, owned a clothing store. His mother, Harriet or “Hattie,” died when he was seven years old.

We know he played at Erskine College, a Christian school in South Carolina, but don’t know how well. Stewart is the second of eight players from Erskine to play in the majors. Champ Osteen, a likely teammate, beat him by a year.

We also know that he played for the Wilmington, North Carolina, Giants of the old Virginia-Carolina League, a Class D assemblage that lasted five seasons. Stewart moved up to the Class B Pelicans of New Orleans, where he won 20 games in 1902, and then to the Saints, a Class AA club, in St. Paul, Minnesota, where he won 16 the following season.

That got him a look from the Boston Beaneaters of the National League in 1904. Stewart pitched well in his debut on June 9, giving up a hit in three innings of work against the Pittsburgh Pirates. Two days later, though, the Pirates pounded him for 11 runs on 11 hits in six innings in a 19-1 drubbing of the Beaneaters. Stewart returned to the minors.

He was in Ohio in 1906, pitching for another lowly Class D team in Zanesville. He settled in Youngstown playing baseball for nearby minor-league clubs and taking odd jobs in the offseason While working at a hotel in Youngstown in February 1913, Stewart fell out a third-story window and died. He was 33.

He was “a generous-hearted young man and very popular among his associates. He was kind, loyal and true,” his obituary in a Wilmington newspaper a few days later noted.[I] It could have added: And he played baseball, not for the money or the fame, but for the love the game.

[I] “Lawrence Stewart.” Wilmington (NC) Dispatch, Feb. 21, 1913.