Sailor Stroud

Ralph Vivian "Sailor" Stroud (May 15, 1885 – April 11, 1970) was a Major League Baseball pitcher for the Detroit Tigers in 1910 and the New York Giants in 1915 and 1916. Born in Ironia, New Jersey, Stroud was a 6 ft 0 in (1.83 m) right-handed pitcher. He played in 28 games for the Detroit Tigers in 1910, 15 of them as a starter. In his major league debut on April 29, 1910, Stroud shut out the St. Louis Browns 5–0. During the 1910 season, Stroud had 7 complete games and 3 shoutouts in 130-1/3 innings pitched. He had a record of 5–7 with an ERA of 3.25. He allowed 9 home runs in 1910—more than any other pitcher in the American League.

In 1913, Stroud played for the Sacramento Solons in the Pacific Coast League, impressively winning 25 games in 315 innings with 202 strikeouts. In 1914, Stroud had another great season for the Solons, with a 20–18 record, a 2.01 ERA in 331 innings.

After two strong seasons with the Solons, Stroud was signed by the New York Giants. Stroud had a good curve and changeup, but he was erratic. He won a spot in the Giants' starting rotation in 1915 after winning a pitching duel with Grover Cleveland Alexander. He went 12–9 for the Giants in 1915 and 3–2 in 1916. Stroud won his last major league victory on May 26, 1916, a 12–1 win over the Boston Braves.

After his major league career was over, Stroud continued to pitch on the West Coast. Stroud pitched for Hanford of the San Joaquin Valley League in 1921 or 1922. The owner of the Hanford, California team reportedly sold Stroud to the New York Yankees. However, an article in the Bakersfield Daily Californian reported that Stroud refused to report to New York because he did not want to take a cut in pay; the San Joaquin Valley League was supported in those years by wealthy agricultural interests and paid well.

Stroud died in Stockton, California in 1970 at age 84. He is buried at East Lawn Memorial Park in Sacramento, California.

By Dean Hanley

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