Library of Congress
Fred Clarke of the Pittsburgh Pirates at the West Side Grounds in 1903
- OF, SS, 3B
- October 3, 1872
- 5' 10"
- 165 lbs
- Major League Debut:
- 6-30-1894 with LS3
- Hall of Fame:
Teams Fred Clarke Managed
Louisville Colonels (1897-1899)
Pittsburgh Pirates (1900-1915)
Where does Fred Clarke rank among baseball greats?
Fred Clarke rank among the Top 50 all-time at LF. Rankings ?
Clarke All Time Team!
Fred Clarke Teammates
Best Season: 1903
Despite missing time due to injuries, Clarke led the National League in slugging (.532), and OPS (.946) in 1903, as he led the Pirates to the first modern World Series. He also paced the league in doubles (32), and finished second to teammate Honus Wagner in the batting race (.351). Another season of note for Clarke include 1897 when he batted .390 (losing the crown to Willie Keeler) and finished in the top five in OBP, SLG, OPS, hits, and total bases.
Fred Clarke was one of those people who were born without the ability to kiss anyone's ass. He would tell you exactly what he thought, even if you didn't ask. As a result of that character trait, Clarke had more than his share of run-ins with teammates and opposing players. As a manager, he especially had little patience with pitchers who couldn't get the ball over the plate.
Where He Played
Left field (more than 2,100 games).
As a Manager
Clarke won more games (1,602), managed more games (2,829), and has the highest winning percentage (.576) of any Pirate manager.
Fred Clifford Clarke was born on October 3, 1872, in Winterset, IA.
August 14, 1960, Winfield, KS
Honus Wagner, Deacon Phillippe, Tommy Leach, Claude Ritchey, Max Carey
1903 World Series
1909 World Series
Had Clarke played 20 years later, during the offensive boom of the 1920s and 1930s, he most assuredly would have reached 3,000 hits. He collected 2,672 during his career, spent primarily in the dead ball era.
- July 23, 1901: Cycle...
- May 7, 1903: Cycle...
According to research done by SABR member Maria Vaccaro, Fred Clarke wore "smoked glasses hinged to bill of cap" in 1911 or about that time. It would be one of the earliest documented cases of a player using "flip-down" sunglasses on the field in the majors.
35 games (1895)
As a rookie in 1894 with Louisville, 21-year old Clarke replaced Larry Twitchell in left field.
21-year old Max Carey worked his way into left field in 1911 part-time, and by 1912 full-time. Carey went on to a Hall of Fame career, giving the Pirates a Hall of Famer in left field for more than 20 years in a row. Later, Clarke was instrumental in getting rid of Carey, with whom he had several disagreements with.
Best Strength as a Player
The measure of a power-hitter in Clarke's day was the number of triples he hit. Clarke clubbed 220 and finished in the top ten in that category 11 times. He was a very good hitter with power.
Largest Weakness as a Player
He was somewhat injury-prone.
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