Ron Stead
Ronald Duncan Stead.png
Pitcher
Born: (1936-09-24)September 24, 1936
London, Ontario, Canada
Died: December 5, 2011(2011-12-05) (aged 75)
Chatham, Ontario, Canada
Batted: Right
Threw: Left
Member of the Canadian
Empty Star.svg Empty Star.svg Empty Star.svg Baseball Hall of Fame Empty Star.svg Empty Star.svg Empty Star.svg
Induction2006

Ronald Duncan Stead (September 24, 1936 – December 5, 2011) was a Canadian baseball pitcher. He played briefly in Minor League Baseball, then went on to play for over a decade in the Intercounty Baseball League of Ontario, setting multiple league records. He was inducted to the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame in 2006. Listed at 5 feet 10 inches (1.78 m) and 150 pounds (68 kg), he threw left-handed and batted right-handed.

Biography

Stead grew up in Toronto near Maple Leaf Stadium, home ballpark of the Toronto Maple Leafs of the International League.[1] He served as a batboy for the team in 1947 and later was a batting practice pitcher for the team.[1] In 1956, he signed a player contract with the Maple Leafs and was assigned to the Florida State League (FSL).[2][3]

Stead played in Minor League Baseball during 1956, 1957, and part of 1958.[4] In 1956, he played in the FSL for the Orlando Seratomas.[4] In 30 games (29 starts and 20 complete games) he compiled a 10–17 win–loss record with a 3.04 earned run average (ERA) while striking out 157 batters in 237 innings pitched.[4] He returned to the FSL in 1957; pitching for the Gainesville G-Men he had a 17–10 record in 30 games (26 starts and 24 complete games) with a 2.34 ERA while striking out 138 batters in 226 innings.[4] In 1958, Stead made two appearances for the Duluth-Superior White Sox, a farm team of the Chicago White Sox in the Northern League.[4] His statistics for the season are incomplete, although a newspaper box score shows he allowed eight runs in 1+13 innings of relief during a game in May.[5]

In early June 1958, Stead joined the Brantford Red Sox, a team in the amateur Intercounty Baseball League of Southern Ontario.[6] One of his teammates with Brantford was outfielder Jimmy Wilkes,[7] who had played several seasons in Negro league baseball.[8] Stead went on to pitch for Brantford for nine seasons, through 1966, and pitched 14 total seasons in the Intercounty Baseball League, finishing in 1972 with the Guelph CJoys.[9] Stead had great success in the league, including a 0.35 ERA in 1967, setting a new league record.[10] He was named an all-star 10 times,[11] was league MVP three times,[11] and is considered one of the top 100 players in league history.[12] Stead's uniform number, 11, was retired by the Brantford Red Sox in 2002.[11] He still held multiple Intercounty Baseball League records, including career wins (104) and strikeouts (1,231), when he was inducted to the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame in 2006.[1]

Stead also played for the Canada national baseball team, appearing in the 1967 Pan American Games, contested in Winnipeg. He was the starting pitcher of the team's opening game, a 3–1 loss to Mexico; Stead struck out 10 batters in seven innings while allowing four hits.[13] Canada won its second game in the tournament, defeating Puerto Rico by a 3–2 score.[14] However, officials then ruled that four players on the Canadian team, including Stead, were ineligible to compete because they had previously played professional baseball.[14] The win over Puerto Rico was forfeited, and the Canadian team continued in the tournament without the ineligible players,[14] ultimately finishing last in the five-team competition.[15] Stead later played for the champion Ontario baseball team at the 1969 Canada Games.[16]

Outside of baseball, Stead worked for Union Gas.[11] After his baseball career, he played slow-pitch softball until 2000.[11] Stead and his wife, Betty, had three sons and a daughter.[17] He died in 2011, aged 75.[4]

References

  1. ^ a b c "Ron Stead". baseballhalloffame.ca. Retrieved December 24, 2021.
  2. ^ "Training Camp Notes: Leafs Sign Fielder". The Kingston Whig-Standard. Kingston, Ontario. CP. February 25, 1956. p. 12. Retrieved December 24, 2021 – via newspapers.com.
  3. ^ "Rock's Brother Farmed Out". The Sault Star. Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario. CP. April 4, 1956. p. 21. Retrieved December 24, 2021 – via newspapers.com.
  4. ^ a b c d e f "Ron Stead Minor Leagues Statistics & History". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved December 24, 2021.
  5. ^ "Duluth-Superior vs. St. Cloud (box score)". St. Cloud Times. St. Cloud, Minnesota. May 19, 1958. p. 16. Retrieved December 24, 2021 – via newspapers.com.
  6. ^ Beare, Ted (June 2, 1958). "Beare sport Facts (column)". The Expositor. Brantford, Ontario. p. 8. Retrieved December 24, 2021 – via newspapers.com.
  7. ^ "Stead, Wilkes Lead Red Sox To Extra-Innings Victory". The Expositor. Brantford, Ontario. July 12, 1958. p. 8. Retrieved December 24, 2021 – via newspapers.com.
  8. ^ "Jimmy Wilkes Stats". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved December 24, 2021.
  9. ^ Beare, Ted (August 18, 1972). "Beare sport Facts (column)". The Expositor. Brantford, Ontario. p. 6. Retrieved December 24, 2021 – via newspapers.com.
  10. ^ "Weatherman assures Sox of full team". The Expositor. Brantford, Ontario. August 14, 1975. p. 9. Retrieved December 24, 2021 – via newspapers.com.
  11. ^ a b c d e Beare, Ted (June 5, 2002). "Beare Facts (column)". The Expositor. Brantford, Ontario. p. 13. Retrieved December 24, 2021 – via newspapers.com.
  12. ^ "Top 100 IBL Players". theibl.ca. Retrieved January 29, 2021.
  13. ^ Beck, Dallis (July 25, 1967). "Dallis Beck (column)". The Albertan. Calgary. p. 10. Retrieved December 24, 2021 – via newspapers.com.
  14. ^ a b c "Stead Suspended From Pan-Ams, Found Ineligible". The Expositor. Brantford, Ontario. July 27, 1967. p. 9. Retrieved December 24, 2021 – via newspapers.com.
  15. ^ "1967 Pan American Games". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved December 24, 2021.
  16. ^ "Ron Stead". attheplate.com. Retrieved December 25, 2021.
  17. ^ "Obituary of Ron D. Stead". mckinlayfuneralhome.com. Retrieved December 25, 2021.