Born: January 23, 1916|
St. Louis, Missouri
Died: October 8, 2004 88) (aged|
St. Louis, Missouri
|April 14, 1941, for the New York Yankees|
|Last MLB appearance|
|September 28, 1941, for the New York Yankees|
|Runs batted in||36|
Sturm was born in St. Louis, Missouri, in 1916. He attended Roosevelt High School in St. Louis and also played semi-pro baseball.
Sturm started his professional career in 1936 in the New York Yankees organization. In 1939 and 1940, he played for the American Association's Kansas City Blues alongside the double play combination of Phil Rizzuto and Jerry Priddy. The Blues won two league championships, and Sturm hit over .300 in both seasons. He joined the Yankees in 1941, replacing Babe Dahlgren at first base.
Sturm sat on the bench early in the season but broke into the lineup after the other infielders – including Hall of Famers Rizzuto and Joe Gordon – got off to slow starts. Sturm hit just .239 for the Yankees but still batted first in the lineup the rest of the way. He later claimed to have a back injury that year. He did, however, hit .286 in the 1941 World Series; the Yankees defeated the Brooklyn Dodgers in five games. After the season, Sturm enlisted in the United States Army and served in World War II. He was out of professional baseball from 1942 to 1945 and lost the tip of his right index finger in a tractor accident.
In 1946, Sturm tried to come back to the major leagues but broke his wrist. He played and managed in the minors for the rest of the decade, hitting .360 for the Joplin Miners in 1948. He is also known as the man who first recommended Mickey Mantle to the Yankees.
Sturm was married and had three children. He died of congestive heart failure in 2004.
- "Johnny Sturm's Obit". thedeadballera.com. Retrieved 2010-11-03.
- Weiss, Bill and Wright, Marshall. "1939 Kansas City Blues". minorleaguebaseball.com. Retrieved 2010-11-03.
- Goldman, Steven. "You Could Look It Up: First-Base Horrors". baseballprospectus.com. January 8, 2010. Retrieved 2010-11-03.
- "Johnny Sturm Minor League Statistics & History". baseball-reference.com. Retrieved 2010-11-03.
- Litsky, Frank. "Johnny Sturm, 88, Ex-Yankee Who Managed Mantle in Minors". The New York Times. October 14, 2004. Retrieved 2010-11-03.