Samuel Lee Stewart
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 6' 3", Weight 208 lb.
- School Montreat-Anderson College
- High School Charles D. Owen High School
- Debut September 1, 1978
- Final Game October 3, 1987
- Born October 28, 1954 in Black Mountain, NC USA
Sammy Stewart is best known for his eight years with the Baltimore Orioles, from 1978 to 1985. In his major league debut against the Chicago White Sox on September 1, 1978, he struck out 7 consecutive batters - then the major league record for consecutive strikeouts in a debut game. He had a very unusual and effective pick-off move to second base when he first came up; instead of turning counter-clockwise to throw to second, as most right-handed pitchers do, having to to a three-quarter turn since pitchers will pitch from the stretch with a baserunner on second, he would simply rotate his hips clockwise and flick the ball to second while hardly using his legs. It took a while for opposite runners to learn to adjust to the move.
Stewart and Steve McCatty were the two pitchers involved in the famous "rounded-off ERA" controversy at the end of the 1981 season. Major league baseball at the end of each season used to round off innings pitched to the nearest inning, until that turned out to alter the outcome of the 1981 championship for the lowest ERA.
A self-described crack addict, he was charged 46 times with more than 60 offenses between 1988 and 2006: his first six prison sentences totalled 25 months. In October 2006, at Buncombe County Superior Court, NC, he pleaded guilty to being a habitual felon, felony drug possession and failure to appear in court on a felony. He was sentenced to "between 80 and 105 months".
After that trial, the District Attorney said: "It's a very sad situation. I've known Sammy Stewart for probably 20 years. We've dealt with him here in the court system for years, and he would get caught and make promises and not follow through. He's a fellow that had all the opportunities in the world and made a lot of money. We're just not going to deal with him up here anymore, at least for the next 80 months."
- Peter Golenbock: "What Made Sammy Run", in The Forever Boys