Friday, March 25, 2016

1913 National Game (reprint): Fred Clarke, Pittsburgh Pirates, MGR/OF

     Fred Clarke was near the end of a Hall of Fame playing career in 1913 beginning his 20th season in the majors as a 40-41 year old player-manager.  After leading the Pirates to their 1st World Series championship of the 20th century in 1909, Clarke's Pirates missed out on getting back to the World Series to McGraw's Giants in 1912.  Clarke's final three seasons in the majors from 1913-1915 were be marked by a decrease in his playing time as well as a declining team performance.  He had already led the Pirates to 4 NL pennant since taking over as player-manager in 1900.  Clarke was a major contributor as a league leader in Doubles, Triples, Walks, Slugging, and OPS for the Pirates during his time with the team.  His early years in the majors were with the NL Louisville Colonels between 1894-1899 before being traded to the Pirates along with Honus Wagner in a huge 17-player deal just before the turn of the century.  Clarke was born in the same Iowa town as John Wayne in 1872, moved to southern Kansas as a child, but was mostly raised in Des Moines where he discovered baseball working for Hall of Famer Ed Barrow.  Clarke was selected to the Hall of Fame in 1945 by the Old Timers Committee.  

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