Longtime Royals scout Art Stewart dies at 94

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) – Longtime baseball scout Art Stewart, who started his career with the New York Yankees in the 1950s before becoming the longest-serving member of the Kansas City Royals organization, died Thursday. He was 94 years old.

The Royals have announced the death of Stewart, who just completed his 52nd year with them. No cause was given.

Stewart has spotted over 70 players who have made it to the big leagues, including Bo Jackson, Kevin Appier, Mike Sweeney, Johnny Damon and Carlos Beltran. He was instrumental in signing the talent that led the Royals to the 1985 World Series title, and Stewart was still part of the front office when they won their second title 30 years later.

“Art was truly an extraordinary human being, whom we all loved and admired for so many reasons,” Royals president Dayton Moore said in a statement. “His unparalleled love and appreciation for baseball, the memory of players and events, combined with his special ability to tell stories, will be cherished by all forever. “

Stewart began his career as a territorial scout for the Yankees in 1953, when they were in their mid-dynasty years led by Mickey Mantle, Yogi Berra, Whitey Ford and manager Casey Stengel. Stewart quickly became their Midwestern screening supervisor, a position he held until he joined the expanding Royals franchise in 1969.

Stewart spent the next 16 years scouring the heart of the country in search of talent, eventually becoming the Director of Scouting and helping the Royals organization become a model franchise for small markets throughout the 1980s.

He moved to the front office as Special Assistant to the General Manager in 1997, then became Senior Advisor to the General Manager in 2002. He received the Roland Hemond Award for his long years of service in recruiting and developing players. in 2007, and the following year, he was inducted into the club’s Hall of Fame and the Professional Boy Scout Hall of Fame.

Stewart undertook many special projects at the end of his career, including establishing one of the first major league club-run academies in the Dominican Republic. It was eventually renamed in honor of Stewart.

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