Former MWLers Stewart, Watson join D-backs front office

The Arizona Diamondbacks announced Thursday afternoon that they’ve hired Dave Stewart as senior vice president and general manager and De Jon Watson as senior vice president of baseball operations. Both will report directly to Chief Baseball Officer Tony La Russa.

Stewart’s major-league career included a four-year stretch during which he annually won 20 or more games for the La Russa-managed Oakland Athletics. The A’s played in the World Series in three of those years.

Stewart was drafted by the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1975 and played for their Midwest League affiliate in 1976 (Danville) and 1977 (Clinton). His 10-inning stint with the Danville Dodgers was forgettable — he went 0-2 with a 16.20 ERA, 10 strikeouts and 16 walks — but his season with the Clinton Dodgers was memorable. He went 17-4 with a 2.15 ERA and 144 strikeouts in 176 IP for Clinton.

Despite his impressive season with Clinton, Stewart wasn’t the Midwest League’s MVP or prospect of the year in 1977. Both of those honors went to future Hall-of-Famer Paul Molitor, who batted .346 with 8 HR and 50 RBI in 64 games with the Burlington Bees that year.

According to the Diamondbacks, Stewart is the only current MLB general manager who played and coached in the major leagues.

Watson never played in the major leagues, but he spent five seasons in the minors, including the 1987 season in the Midwest League. Primarily a first baseman, he batted .240 with 5 HR and 50 RBI in 91 games with the Appleton Foxes, who were a Kansas City Royals affiliate at that time.

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This entry was posted in Baseball Hall of Fame, Burlington Bees, Clinton LumberKings, Midwest League, Wisconsin Timber Rattlers. Bookmark the permalink.

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