Thomas Virgil Sturdivant II
(Smoke or Snake)
- Bats Left, Throws Right
- Height 6' 1", Weight 186 lb.
- High School Capitol Hill High School
- Debut April 14, 1955
- Final Game June 21, 1964
- Born April 28, 1930 in Gordon, KS USA
- Died February 28, 2009 in Oklahoma City, OK USA
After attending Capitol Hill High School in Oklahoma City, Tom Sturdivant signed with the New York Yankees in 1948 and began his pro career that summer. Originally an infielder, he hit in the .240-.250 range through 1950 and then missed the 1951 season due to military service.
Sturdivant returned to baseball in 1952 and was converted to a pitcher in the Texas League. He reached the majors with the Yankees in 1955 and appeared in two World Series games that year as his team lost to the Brooklyn Dodgers. The next summer, 1956 he recorded 16 wins and also a complete game in Game 4 of the World Series as his club got revenge on the Dodgers, capturing the title in seven games. He won 16 games again in 1957 and led the American League with a .727 winning percentage, but the Yankees fell to the Milwaukee Braves in the World Series.
Sturdivant developed a sore arm in 1958 and never again won 10 games in a season. He later went on to play for the Kansas City Athletics, Boston Red Sox, Washington Senators, Pittsburgh Pirates, Detroit Tigers, and New York Mets.
Following his baseball career, Sturdivant was an executive for a trucking company.
- AL Winning Percentage Leader (1957)
- 15 Wins Seasons: 2 (1956 & 1957)
- 200 Innings Pitched Seasons: 1 (1957)
- Won two World Series with the New York Yankees (1956 and 1958; he did not play in the 1958 World Series)