Longtime Royals baseball scout Art Stewart dies at 94

Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports
1 Comment

KANSAS CITY, Mo.- Longtime baseball scout Art Stewart, who began his career with the New York Yankees in the 1950s before becoming the longest-tenured member of the Kansas City Royals organization, died Thursday. He was 94.

The Royals announced the death of Stewart, who just completed his 52nd year with them. No cause was given.

Stewart scouted more than 70 players who reached the big leagues, including Bo Jackson, Kevin Appier, Mike Sweeney, Johnny Damon and Carlos Beltran. He was instrumental in helping sign the talent that led the Royals to the 1985 World Series title, and Stewart was still part of the front office when they won their second title 30 years later.

“Art was truly an extraordinary human being, whom we all loved and admired for many reasons,” Royals president Dayton Moore said in a statement. “His unmatched love and appreciation for the game of baseball, recollection of players and events, combined with his special ability to tell stories will be forever cherished by all.”

Stewart began his career as a territorial scout for the Yankees in 1953, when they were in the midst of their dynasty years led by Mickey Mantle, Yogi Berra, Whitey Ford and manager Casey Stengel. Stewart soon became their Midwest scouting supervisor, a position he held until joining the expansion Royals franchise in 1969.

Stewart spent the next 16 years crisscrossing the heartland in search of talent, eventually becoming the director of scouting and helping the Royals organization become a model small-market franchise throughout the 1980s.

He moved to the front office as a special assistant to the general manager in 1997, then became a senior adviser to the GM in 2002. He was given the Roland Hemond Award for long-time service in scouting and player development in 2007, and the following year he was inducted into the club’s Hall of Fame and the Professional Scouts Hall of Fame.

Stewart took on many special projects late in his career, including work establishing one of the first academies run by a big league club in the Dominican Republic. It eventually was renamed in Stewart’s honor.

Nationals blow 6-run lead, rebound to beat Phillies 8-7

Getty Images
2 Comments

WASHINGTON (AP) Lane Thomas singled in the go-ahead run in the eighth inning and the Washington Nationals sent the Philadelphia Phillies to their fifth straight loss, winning 8-7 after blowing a six-run lead.

The defending NL champion Phillies have just five victories in their last 18 games and are tied with the Nationals at the bottom of the NL East at 25-32.

“We’ve got to overcome it,” Phillies manager Rob Thomson said. “We’ve got to play better, get consistent in all phases and keep moving forward.”

Alex Call drew a two-out walk against Connor Brogdon (2-1) in the eighth, stole second on a low pitch that catcher JT Realmuto couldn’t make a throw on and scored on Thomas’ single to right center.

“The way Lane’s swinging the bat, if you can get on second base, we can win the game,” Call said. “I look over and the ball’s in the dirt, he doesn’t catch it. Now I’m saying: ‘All right, Lane. Come on!’”

Kyle Finnegan (3-2) pitched 1 2/3 innings for the victory, stranding the tying run on second in the ninth.

Nick Castellanos homered twice, singled, doubled and drove in five runs for Philadelphia, which had scored just three runs in its past three games.

“There’s definitely a lot of positives as a group,” Castellanos said. “Showing some fight. It would have been really, really easy to lay down and allow the way the game started to be the way that it finished.”

Down 7-1 after four innings, Philadelphia tied it at 7 in the eighth. Brandon Marsh worked a nine-pitch walk against Mason Thompson leading off, and Drew Ellis singled with one out. Finnegan came on to face Kyle Schwarber, who hit a ground ball up the middle. Shortstop CJ Abrams fielded it behind it behind second base, touched second for one out, but threw wildly to first and Marsh came home with the tying run.

Castellanos’s second homer, a two-run shot to center in the sixth, pulled the Phillies to 7-3 and Marsh added an RBI single in the inning.

In the seventh, Schwarber doubled with one out and Bryson Scott reached on an infield single. Hunter Harvey came on and walked Bryce Harper to load the bases. Castellanos singled to center scoring two runs to make it 7-6.

Luis Garcia homered and Jeimer Candelario doubled twice and drove in three runs for the Nationals, who have won seven of 12.

Philadelphia starter Zack Wheeler, coming off eight shutout innings against Atlanta, allowed seven runs on eight hits in 3 2/3 innings.

“This one’s on me really,” Wheeler said. “Guys battled back. Just couldn’t finish it out. We know who we have in this room and what we’ve got to do.”

Josiah Gray gave up four runs on six hits in 5 1/3 innings for Washington.

Candelario doubled just beyond the reach of left fielder Schwarber to drive in the first of Washington’s two runs in the first.

In the second, Abrams hit a one-out drive to deep center that Marsh misplayed into a double. With two outs and two on, Candelario doubled off the wall in right center to make it 5-0.

Garcia ended Wheeler’s night with a solo homer in the fourth.

“When you come out the way we did, you’ve got to tack on,” Nationals manager Dave Martinez said. “It didn’t happen tonight, but we got one more than the other guys.”

CANDY MAN

Candelario is 9 for 26 (.346) with four doubles, a home run, nine RBIs, five walks, and seven runs scored in his last seven games.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Phillies: Thomson said RHP Taijuan Walker played catch Friday and there are “no worries about his next start.” In a four-inning outing against the Mets on Thursday, Walker’s sinker velocity averaged 90.6 mph, down from 92.7 mph for the season. His fastball, splitter and curveball velocity also dropped.

Nationals: OF Victor Robles (back spasms) took batting practice on the field for the first time since going on the injured list. … LHP Sean Doolittle (elbow) gave up a run on two hits and struck out two batters in 2/3 of an inning working his second straight night for Class A Fredericksburg.

UP NEXT

Phillies: LHP Matt Strahm (4-3, 3.20) will start a bullpen game on Saturday.

Nationals: LHP MacKenzie Gore (3-3, 3.57) went seven innings and struck out a career-high 11 batters in his previous outing – a no decision against the Royals.

AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/mlb and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports