Sam Stewart - Baseball, 2014
Sam Stewart is often referred to at the Jackie Robinson of Savannah for the role he played in desegregating the Oglethorpe Baseball League in the 1960s. A Tompkins High School graduate, Stewart was a standout on the diamond good enough to be scouted by Major League Baseball’s Pittsburgh Pirates. He chose to remain close to home to play for the Savannah Kilowatts and broke the color barrier as an all-star who could excel at any position on the field. Stewart was good enough to win five MVP trophies and five batting championships in the Oglethorpe league during a career that spanned many years. As a pitcher, he was an overpowering strikeout artist who averaged more than 10 strikeouts per game. As unhittable as he was on the mound, he was equally effective at the plate and finished his MVP season in 1964 with a .462 average. Stewart played for several teams in the Savannah area in the 1960s and 1970s and his talent on the field was matched by his influence off the field. After concluding his baseball career, Stewart turned his attention to softball and was inducted into the Savannah Softball Hall of Fame. Sam Stewart made an indelible impact in Savannah as a supremely talented athlete on the field and a courageous man of character in the community.