Bob Stephenson

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Robert Loyd Stephenson

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Biographical Information[edit]

Shortstop Bob Stephenson was signed as an amateur free agent by the St. Louis Cardinals before the 1950 season. He spent 59 games with the Houston Buffaloes of the class AA Texas League in his first season in pro baseball and broke few bats with his .178 hitting average. He was then with the Omaha Cardinals of the class A Western League in 1951, appearing in 153 games, hitting .226 with five home runs.

Stephenson was out of baseball the next two years (1953-1954), serving with the the United States Military during the Korean War. Back in his baseball uniform for the 1954 season, Bob played the season with the Columbus Red Birds of the American Association, appearing in 138 games but hitting just .232 in his third full year in the game.

The slick-fielding shortstop was given his chance with the major league Cardinals debuting with the Sportsman's Park club on April 14, 1955. He hung with the Cardinals for the entire season, hitting a career high .243 and fielding a .965 percentage at the shortstop position while appearing in 67 games. This would be it for Bob in his run at the big leagues.

Stephenson recalled his first big league game. "My first game was against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field and the first ball hit to me at shortstop I pulled the first baseman off the bag with the throw for an error. The next inning I called off Wally Moon on a pop fly and made a pretty good catch. Eddie Stanky, the manager, was addressing the team the next day and mentioned that I made a nice play and showed a lot of courage after making the error on my first play." But Stevie was back in the minors when he was traded in a multi-player deal along with Red Schoendienst for Alvin Dark in June of 1956.

Bob was with the Omaha Cardinals of the American Association in 1956, and after the June trade to the New York Giants, he finished out the season with the Minneapolis Millers of the same league and hit for a combined .238 average while fielding at a .943 pace. After 14 games with the Pensacola Dons of the Alabama-Florida League in 1957 Bob decided to call baseball a done deal and finished out his four years and a bit in the minors with a .226 career hitting average and a .939 fielding percentage.

Stephenson, who was a graduate of the University of Oklahoma, with a degree in petroleum geology, became the co-owner of the Potts-Stephenson exploration company based in Norman, OK and as of 2010, was retired in his native Sooner Country.


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