Jerry Joseph Stephenson (October 6, 1943 – June 6, 2010) was an American Major League Baseball pitcher. He pitched for the Boston Red Sox (1963, 1966–68), Seattle Pilots (1969) and Los Angeles Dodgers (1970). Born in Detroit, Michigan, and raised in Hermosa Beach and Anaheim, California, Stephenson was a graduate of California State University, Fullerton. During a seven-year Major League career, Stephenson compiled eight wins, 184 strikeouts, and a 5.70 earned run average in 67 games and 2381⁄3 innings pitched.
He was regarded as a top prospect until he hurt his elbow while pitching for the 1964 Seattle Rainiers of the Triple-A Pacific Coast League; until he was injured, he had won six of ten decisions, compiling an ERA of 1.57 with 97 strikeouts and only 61 hits allowed in 91 innings pitched. Six years later, as a veteran, he won 18 of 23 decisions for the PCL's Spokane Indians, the Dodgers' top affiliate, pitching for manager Tommy Lasorda.
The son of former MLB catcher and longtime Boston scout Joe Stephenson, Jerry Stephenson spent 36 years as a Major League scout with the Dodgers (1974–1994) and Red Sox (1995–2009) before his retirement to part-time status after the 2009 season. His son Brian Stephenson, a former minor league pitcher, is a regional crosschecker for the Dodgers — the third generation of the family to serve as an MLB scout.
Jerry Stephenson died of cancer at his home in Anaheim on Sunday, June 6, 2010, at the age of 66.
By Dean Hanley
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