Jack Clark (baseball)
|Right fielder / First baseman / Designated hitter|
November 10, 1955 |
New Brighton, Pennsylvania
|Batted: Right||Threw: Right|
|September 12, 1975 for the San Francisco Giants|
|Last MLB appearance|
|August 28, 1992 for the Boston Red Sox|
|Runs batted in||1,180|
|Career highlights and awards|
Jack Anthony Clark (born November 10, 1955), also known as "Jack the Ripper," is a former Major League Baseball player. From 1975 through 1992, Clark played for the San Francisco Giants (1975–84), St. Louis Cardinals (1985–87), New York Yankees (1988), San Diego Padres (1989–90) and Boston Red Sox (1991–92). He batted and threw right-handed.
Clark started his major league career with the San Francisco Giants in 1975 as a right fielder and the youngest player in 1975 (19). He won the first Willie Mac Award in 1980 for his spirit and leadership. Clark frequently complained about the cold and windy condition at Candlestick Park, the Giants' home park. He had a rift with manager Frank Robinson, and some members of the Giants front office thought Clark took too long to recover from injuries.
On February 1, 1985, Clark was traded to the St. Louis Cardinals for shortstop José Uribe, pitcher Dave LaPoint, and first basemen-outfielders David Green and Gary Rajsich. He switched to first base to reduce risk of injury. His three- run home run against the Los Angeles Dodgers in game 6 of the 1985 NLCS was the pennant-clinching hit for the Cardinals. Clark's fielding, never his specialty, played a pivotal role in the 1985 World Series. Umpire Don Denkinger's notorious controversial call in Game 6 came from Clark's throw to Todd Worrell at first. Clark would later misplay a foul popup that, while not ruled an error, should have been caught. Darrell Porter later admitted that he called off Clark but hesitated at the last minute when he thought Clark had called for the catch, which Clark had not. This opened the door for the Kansas City Royals to score two runs in the bottom of the 9th to win Game 6, and go on to capture the World Series in Game 7 the following night.
In 1987, despite a rift with St. Louis All-Star shortstop Ozzie Smith, Clark had his best season. He hit .286 with 35 home runs, 106 RBI, and led the league in on-base percentage (.459) and slugging percentage (.597). He accomplished all this despite missing 31 games due to nagging injuries and finished 3rd in the MVP vote. Clark again led the Cardinals to the World Series that year, although an ankle injury limited him to one at-bat in the postseason.
Clark signed a two-year contract with the New York Yankees prior to the 1988 season. He was primarily a designated hitter (DH), because of the presence of Don Mattingly at first base. Clark enjoyed playing for manager Billy Martin, but he didn't get along with Martin's successor, Lou Piniella. At the end of the season, he requested a trade.
Clark was traded to the San Diego Padres with Pat Clements for Lance McCullers, Jimmy Jones, and Stan Jefferson. Regarding his time in the American League, he said, "I hate that damn league. Every game lasts 3 1/2 to 4 hours. No wonder the fans are bored over there." He played for the Padres for two seasons. In 1990, he feuded with All-Star teammate Tony Gwynn, who was widely respected by his peers and known as one the most dedicated players in baseball. Clark called him selfish and stated that Gwynn should be swinging with runners in scoring position instead of bunting and protecting his batting average. "No one bothers Tony Gwynn because he wins batting titles, but the Padres finish fourth or fifth every year," he said. Joe Carter, who played for the Padres in 1990, said, "It just involved one great guy, and that's Tony Gwynn, and anything they want to say about Tony Gwynn is going to be news. It got all blown out of proportion." Gwynn countered, "I've been doing the same things my whole career, playing the same way. Now, why is it an issue? Because Jack Clark says it is."
Clark returned to the American League in 1991, signing with the Boston Red Sox for three years over the Padres offer of only one. He called Padres manager Greg Riddoch "a bad, bad man, and he's sneaky. He's a snake. Well, not just a snake, but a s-s-s-n-n-n-a-ke." Clark said of the San Diego fans: "Everything that they should cheer for they'd boo for, and everything they should boo for they'd cheer for ... Tony, he's perfect for them. He just plays the whole thing up, and the town is so stupid that they can't see." Gwynn responded with his own criticism of Clark: "Let's talk about him walking 104 times, being a No. 4 hitter. Let's talk about his not flying on team flights. Let's talk about him getting booted out of games on a called strike three." Clark served primarily as Boston's DH. He was waived by Boston in February 1993 and was signed by the Montreal Expos during 1993 spring training. He was released later that year and never made an official at bat with the Expos. He retired shortly after. A four-time All-Star, Clark also won the Silver Slugger Award in 1985 and 1987.
Clark is second all-time with 18 extra-inning home runs.
Clark was driven into bankruptcy in 1992 by his appetite for luxury cars. According to his bankruptcy filing, he owned 18 luxury automobiles, including a $700,000 Ferrari and a Rolls Royce. Clark was trying to pay 17 car notes simultaneously, and whenever he got bored with a car he would get rid of it and just buy another one. He ended up losing his 2.4 million-dollar home and his drag-racing business because of his extravagant spending habits. Despite one of the most publicized bankruptcies in baseball, Clark reportedly got back on his feet in the late 1990s.
See also 
- List of top 300 Major League Baseball home run hitters
- List of Major League Baseball players with 1000 runs
- List of Major League Baseball players with 1000 RBI
- Shaughnessy, Dan (April 14, 1991). "Wait till this year For Jack Clark, there are only a few baseball Octobers left. Is this the man who can take the Red Sox all the way?". The Boston Globe. Retrieved June 6, 2012.(subscription required)
- Martinez, Michael (September 5, 1988). "Miserable Week For the Yankees". The New York Times.
- Martinez, Michael (September 21, 1988). "Steinbrenner Is Willing to Trade Clark". The New York Times.
- Chass, Murray (October 25, 1988). "Yankees Trade Clark to the Padres". The New York Times.
- Naiman, Joe; Porter, David (2003). The San Diego Padres Encyclopedia. Sports Publishing LLC. p. 126. ISBN 9781582610580. Retrieved June 4, 2012.
- Kurkjian, Tim (March 11, 1991). "Beginning Again". Sports Illustrated. Archived from the original on June 4, 2012.
- Fainaru, Steve (April 11, 1991). "Clark is ready to make a powerful statement". The Boston Globe. Retrieved June 6, 2012.(subscription required)
- Boswell, Thomas (June 30, 1991). "Season just perfect for true fans of baseball". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved June 6, 2012.(subscription required)
- Cafardo, Nick; Fainaru, Steve (March 15, 1991). "Kiecker looks impressive again". The Boston Globe. Retrieved June 6, 2012.(subscription required)
- "Gwynn says he'll play with Padres, Clark". Chicago Sun-Times. October 11, 1990. Retrieved June6, 2012.(subscription required)
- Stone, Larry (September 19, 2010). "Cardinals bear the wrath of Jack the Ripper". The Seattle Times. Retrieved June 7, 2012.(subscription required)
- Nightengale, Bob (March 5, 1991). "Gwynn Rips Clark, Cites 'Jealousy'". Sun Sentinel. Archived from the original on June 7, 2012.
- "Mets get confirmation of bone spurs in Viola's elbow". Chicago Sun-Times. March 5, 1991. Retrieved June 6, 2012.(subscription required)
- Madden, Bill (June 6, 2009). "Where are they now? It's been a rough road for ex-Yankee Jack Clark". Daily News.
- Former Big-League Star Clark Rebuilds After Bankruptcy
- Career statistics and player information from Baseball-Reference, or Fangraphs, or The Baseball Cube, or Baseball-Reference (Minors)
- Baseball Evolution Hall of Fame - Player Profile
- NY Times article "Jack Clark Files for Bankruptcy"
|National League Player of the Month
|Los Angeles Dodgers Hitting Coach