David Clyde

David was called “The Next Sandy Koufax” as he was drafted straight out of high school with the number 1 pick in 1973. I’m not so sure he would have been another Sandy Koufax but because of greed he never found out. David was a can’t-miss prospect who was 18-0 with a 0.18 ERA as a Westchester senior who went just 18-33 as a major leaguer.

The Texas Rangers had moved from Washington because of bad attendance and settled in Texas. In 1972 they had low attendance and the owner Bob Short wanted a boost in attendance and the plan was to start his new draft pick David Clyde in two games and then send him to the minors after that.

Twenty days after pitching his last high school game, Clyde won his first-ever Major League start before over 35,000 fans in Arlington Stadium, the first sellout in stadium history. David pitched well in his second game until a blister forced him out in the 6th inning. Now he was scheduled to go to the minors to learn and develop. Short, though, had other ideas after 33,010 fans flocked to Arlington Stadium for Clyde’s second start, a six-inning, no-decision performance against the White Sox.

Clyde remained a Ranger and got battered, going 4-8 with a 5.01 ERA for a 57-105 team.

Whitey Herzog the manager pleaded with Short to send Clyde to the minors. Like many young pitchers, Herzog says, Clyde started throwing his curveball too hard and lost control of it. Then hitters began sitting on his fastball. Herzog says Clyde could have regained his control and confidence in the minors.

At the end of 1973 Billy Martin was let go by the Detroit Tigers and Rangers owner Bob Short told his manager, Whitey Herzog, that he would fire his own grandmother to have a chance to hire Martin…well he fired Herzog and got Martin. Herzog’s reply was “I’m fired, I’m the grandmother.”

Martin argued to send David Clyde to the minors for seasoning the next year but he still started 21 games. He was sent and later on developed arm troubles and was traded to Cleveland in 1978

He threw his last major league pitch on Aug. 7, 1979, as a 24-year-old Cleveland Indian, 37 days shy of qualifying for MLB’s pension plan. He has tried to act as a coach to get the 37 days but no luck so far. 

Many people claim that David Clyde saved the Rangers Franchise from moving elsewhere. 

 

Author: badfinger20

Power Pop fan, Baseball fan, old movie and tv show fan... and a songwriter, bass and guitar player.

8 thoughts on “David Clyde”

  1. I remember the name but didn’t know he was such a highly- touted prospect. One has to wonder what his trajectory would have been had he gone through minors like most young players.
    Will be interesting to see how attendance is this year in Texas…new stadium which seems highly un-needed but should spark more interest and their team looks like a contender. Football is King in Dallas area but there are far worse markets, like the 2 in the state of Florida

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You never know what he could have done if he would have developed right.

      I didn’t understand the new stadium at all. They had a nice stadium there. Football is king in TN also…and it would be the same if Nashville got the Yankees lol.

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  2. Isn’t that hard to believe done at 24? Todd Van Poppel reminds me of Clyde in all the hype he received. He had a longer career but he was the next Nolan Ryan… more like the next Irene Ryan..

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    1. You are right Hans…that is a great comparison with Poppel. If they developed him right he still might not have made it but I think it would have helped him. Herzog seemed like a good guy.

      What is sad…just 37 days away from pension…and he could have used it.

      Oh geez…that is funny…Irene Ryan

      I’m doing a 70s third baseman post…just a question. If you owned a team…Schmidt or Brett? Schmidt has more WAR but I loved Brett’s style.

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      1. I was more of a Brett fan because of his open passion for playing. Schmidt played for the hated Phillies- but while I hated Bowa- Luzinski and others- I could never work up a hate for Schmidt or Lefty they were too good. I do think if I were starting a team I would have to take Schmidt- Brett did seem to miss a lot more time with injuries. Both great ones- On my all time third baseman list Schmidt ranks at the top- Brett would certainly be on Mt. Rushmore….. Funny how Van Poppel’s refusal to go to Atlanta worked for them- they got Chipper instead. I could be wrong but I think if Clyde hadn’t been rushed he would have had a better shot at making it-than Van Poppel- it always seemed to me that he made the majors because well he was Todd Van Poppel and was such a revered prospect. If I recall he wasn’t exactly tearing it up in the minors.

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      2. Yea I have Schmidt number 1 during that era. It was a golden era during that time for 3rd basemen…he might be #1 in the 80s also. Brett seemed to always rise to the occasion.
        Funny I hated the Phillies also but not as bad as you would have… they always met the Dodgers in the playoffs and then they got Rose and that made it worse. I really hated Bowa with a passion.

        The Braves caught a big break there. Without Chipper they would have been a different team. Van Poppel didn’t come off well at all.
        It seemed that Clyde had the goods but was rushed and lost confidence and then had arm troubles because he changed his piching motion.

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