April 22, 1955 |
Kansas City, Kansas
|Batted: Left||Threw: Left|
|June 27, 1973 for the Texas Rangers|
|Last MLB appearance|
|August 7, 1979 for the Cleveland Indians|
|Earned run average||4.63|
|Career highlights and awards|
David Eugene Clyde (born April 22, 1955 in Kansas City, Kansas) is a former left-handed Major League Baseball pitcher who played all or part of five seasons for the Texas Rangers (1973 to 1975) and Cleveland Indians (1978 to 1979). His once promising baseball career ended at age 26 because of arm injuries.
Clyde had a stellar high school baseball career at Westchester High School in Houston where he finished with a record of 18-0 as a senior and only three earned runs in 148 innings pitched. He was the first person selected in the 1973 MLB Draft. He received a $125,000 ($646,458 today) signing bonus, the highest bonus ever given to a draft pick at the time.
Rangers owner Bob Short was looking for some sort of spark to boost attendance. In their first year after moving from Washington, D.C., the Rangers had the second-smallest gate in the American League, ahead of only the Cleveland Indians. Clyde agreed to sign a contract, but wanted to make two starts in Arlington before heading to the minors. Clyde won his first ever Major League start, before 37,000 fans—the first sellout in Arlington Stadium history. He pitched well in his next start as well, and the Rangers dropped all plans to send him to the minors. The youngest player to play in a major league game in 1973, Clyde pitched a total of eighteen games (all starts) that season, finishing with a record of 4-8, with a 5.01 ERA.
In the 1974 season, Clyde played in 28 games (21 starts) and finished with 3-9 record, and a 4.38 ERA. He started one game in the 1975 season (a loss) before developing arm trouble and being demoted to the minor leagues. He stayed in the minors for three seasons before being traded (with Willie Horton) to the Cleveland Indians for Tom Buskey and John Lowenstein before the 1978 season.
Clyde started for the Indians for most of that year, playing in 28 games (starting 25) and finished with a record of 8-11, with a 4.28 ERA and 83 strikeouts. Clyde also finished fourth in the American League with 11 wild pitches. He pitched in 9 games (8 starts) with the Indians during the 1979 season (3-4, 5.91 ERA) before being demoted to the minors. He was traded back to the Rangers after the 1979 season, but was released before the 1980 season.
Many of Clyde's troubles are attributed to the rush to get him into the majors before he was ready. This was due, in part, to Short wanting to sell tickets. The Rangers averaged 27,000 fans in Clyde's six home starts, but 6,000 fans for the other 75 home dates. As it turned out, Clyde's major league debut was the highlight of his career.
Whitey Herzog, Clyde's manager in 1973, wrote in his autobiography White Rat that he regretted going along with Short's desire to rush Clyde to the big leagues. According to Herzog, he was often forced to leave Clyde in the game much longer than he felt was normal for a young pitcher because fans wanted to see the 18-year-old "phenom" pitch. This led to Clyde's arm burning out at an early age.
Clyde himself is convinced that he was rushed too early in his career, saying in 2003, "If nothing else came out of my career, the things I hear periodically are, 'We're not gonna do what we did to that young man, what we did to David Clyde.'"
Clyde is retired from the lumber business.
- Baseball Digest article, August 2003 Retrieved April 29, 2006
- Herzog, Whitey; Kevin Horrigan (1987). White Rat. Harpercollins. ISBN 978-0-06-015694-7.
- Buscema, Dave (June 29, 2003). "Baseball owes David Clyde a job". Times Herald-Record (Middletown, NY: Dow Jones Local Media Group). Retrieved June 25, 2010.
- Career statistics and player information from Baseball-Reference, or Baseball-Reference (Minors)
- The Ballplayers - David Clyde | BaseballLibrary.com
|First overall pick in the MLB Entry Draft