Tom Sturdivant, who won 16 games in both 1956 and 1957 for the New York Yankees, was always the life of the back room at Gerald’s Donut Shop on South Pennsylvania Avenue.
Every morning, six days a week, Capitol Hill High School graduates, most of them athletes, meet to talk shop and old times.
The Capitol Hill gathering will be a little quieter from now. Sturdivant died Saturday at Integris Southwest Medical Center. He was 78.
"When he was in the donut shop, he thought he was in the dugout,” said Ray Thompson, a 1951 Capitol Hill grad.
Said Chuck Page, a 1954 Capitol Hill graduate, "Great guy. Fun to be around. Everybody I knew thought a lot of him.
"Tommy, he was a great competitor. He would get after you. We knew that from his high school days.”
Sturdivant graduated from Capitol Hill in 1948 and signed with the Yankees. He was in the major leagues by 1955, and in 1956-57, Sturdivant was one of the American League’s best pitchers. He started a World Series game in both seasons and beat the Dodgers 6-2 in Game 4 of the ’56 Series with a complete-game performance.
Sturdivant suffered an arm injury in 1958 and was never the same. The Yankees traded Sturdivant to Kansas City in 1959; he retired after the 1964 season, with a 59-51 career record.
Sturdivant is survived by his wife, Elaine. Sturdivant was preceded in death by two sons, Paul in 2002 and Tommy III in 2006.
Services are pending.