Just another sad step in Stewart's life, unfortunately. (Link: AP)
Stewart, 51, pleaded guilty Monday in Buncombe County Superior Court to being a habitual felon, felony drug possession and failure to appear in court on a felony, Stewart's attorney Roger Smith said. His jail term could stretch to nearly nine years in prison, Smith said.
Since 1988, Stewart has been charged with more than 60 offenses and sent to prison six times.
Stewart has called himself a crack addict many times in the past. He hasn't gotten the same amount of press over the years for his troubles that a lot of guys -- Darryl Strawberry, Doc Gooden, Steve Howe -- get for theirs. But Sammy Stewart's life started spiraling out of control many, many years ago, and he never got the second chances those guys did. He was a fine reliever for many years, never a star. He had the best season of his career for the Birds in 1981, posting a 2.32 ERA and four saves in 29 appearances (three starts). He was, again, a member of the '83 World Championship team, pitching 9 1/3 scoreless innings in five appearances against the White Sox and Phillies. He didn't have a phenomenal year or anything (3.62 ERA, 109 PA ERA+), but he was a rock in the bullpen for the O's that season, along with Tippy Martinez. Stewart pitched 144 1/3 innings of relief that season (well, he did start one game).
Sammy also played in that short-lived Senior Professional Baseball Association in 1989, for both the Bradenton Explorers and the first-place St. Petersburg Pelicans.
The District Attorney after the trial said, "It's a very sad situation. I've known Sammy Stewart for probably 20 years. We've dealt with him here in the court system for years, and he would get caught and make promises and not follow through. He's a fellow that had all the opportunities in the world and made a lot of money. We're just not going to deal with him up here anymore, at least for the next 80 months."
Maybe this'll be his rock bottom and it'll get his life back on track. And maybe not, I don't know. Everyone screws up, but yeah, it's been almost 20 years of trouble. Best wishes to him.