John Clapp (baseball)

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John Clapp
John Clapp.jpg
Catcher
Born: (1851-07-17)July 17, 1851
Ithaca, New York
Died: December 18, 1904(1904-12-18) (aged 53)
Ithaca, New York
Batted: Right Threw: Right
MLB debut
April 26, 1872 for the Middletown Mansfields
Last MLB appearance
September 28, 1883 for the New York Gothams
Career statistics
Batting average .283
Runs batted in 275
Managerial record 174–273
Teams

As player

As manager

Career highlights and awards
  • 1878: Tied for Major League Baseball games played lead (63)
  • 1881: National League base on balls leader (35)

John Edgar Clapp (July 17, 1851 – December 18, 1904), nicknamed "Honest John", was a professional baseball player-manager whose career spanned 12 seasons, 11 of which were spent with the Major League Baseball (MLB) Middletown Mansfields (1872), Philadelphia Athletics (1873–1875), St. Louis Brown Stockings (1876–1877), Indianapolis Blues (1878), Buffalo Bisons (1879), Cincinnati Reds (1880), Cleveland Blues (1881), and New York Gothams (1883). Clapp, who predominately played as a catcher, also played as an outfielder. Over his career, Clapp compiled a career batting average of .283 with 459 runs scored, 713 hits, 92 doubles, 35 triples, 7 home runs, and 834 runs batted in (RBI). Over 1,188 games played, Clapp struck out 51 times. Although the majority of his career was spent in the major leagues, Clapp also played two seasons of minor league baseball. He made his MLB debut at the age of 21 and was listed as standing 5 feet 7 inches (170 cm) and weighing 194 pounds (88 kg).[1] His brother, Aaron Clapp, also played one season of MLB for the Troy Trojans.

Early life[edit]

John Edgar Clapp was born on July 17, 1851, in Ithaca, New York.[2]

Professional career[edit]

In 1872, Clapp began his professional career with the Middletown Mansfields of the National Association of Professional Base Ball Players (NA). Over 19 games played, Clapp batted .278 with one home run and a team-high 30 runs scored while managing the team to a 5–19 record.[3] After the team folded, Clapp joined the Philadelphia Athletics. His single home run tied him for the team-lead along with Wes Fisler, Cherokee Fisher, and Tim Murnane.[4] Next season, in 1874, Clapp led the NA in at bats per home run (55); his on-base percentage (.732) was a career-high, while the Athletics finished the season 33–22, third in the NA, under manager Dick McBride.[5] In his final year with the club, Clapp batted .264 with 77 hits and 39 RBI. His putout total was second in the NA among catchers.

In 1876, Clapp joined the St. Louis Brown Stockings of the National League (NL). He finished the year tied for the team lead in games played (64) and hits (91),[6] while he led the NL in putouts as a catcher, with 333.[7] Next season, Clapp batted a career high .318, while his on-base percentage and on-base plus slugging percentages were the second highest in his career. In the field, Clapp committed 40 errors as a catcher, second highest in the NL to Lew Brown's 49.[8] After leaving the team, Clapp joined the Indianapolis Blues, where he served as a player-manager for the 1878 season. Playing primarily in the outfield, Clapp was tied for the MLB lead in games played along with Indianapolis teammates Silver Flint, Russ McKelvy, Orator Shafer, and Ned Williamson.[9]

After his one-year stint with the Blues, Clapp joined the Buffalo Bisons. Playing in 70 games, Clapp managed the team to a 46–32 record, placing the Bisons third in the NL.[10] On June 25 of that year, Clapp ended a streak of 212 consecutive games played, serving primarily as a catcher.[11] In 1880, now playing and managing for the Cincinnati Reds, Clapp played in a total of 80 games, a career high, while leading the team to a 21–59 record.[12] He played for the Cleveland Blues in 1881, when he earned the nickname "Honest": in May, a Chicago bookmaker named James S. Woodruff offered Clapp $5,000 ($122,189.66 in 2011) to allow a passed ball with runners on base, and also wanted to be informed which games to bet on when the moves would take place.[13] Clapp reported him to the Chicago police, which led to Woodruff's arrest.[14] In 1882, after leading the NL in walks, Clapp made his minor-league debut for the New York Metropolitans of the League Alliance. In 1883, his last MLB season, Clapp played for and managed the New York Gothams for their inaugural season.[15] Clapp, then 34, spent his final professional season with the St. Paul Apostles, where he batted .180 with 11 hits and a double.[16]

After baseball[edit]

After retiring from baseball, Clapp served as a night sergeant in his hometown of Ithaca, New York.[14] He died at midnight on December 18, 1904, of apoplexy.[17] Clapp was interred at Lake View Cemetery in Ithaca.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

General
Specific
  1. ^ "John Clapp". MLB Advanced Media. Retrieved September 10, 2011. 
  2. ^ Gammons, Peter (2006). Pete Palmer, Gary Gillette, Stuart Shea, ed. The 2006 ESPN Baseball Encyclopedia. Sterling. p. 126. ISBN 1-4027-3625-8. 
  3. ^ "1872 Middletown Mansfields Batting, Pitching, & Fielding Statistics". Baseball-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved September 10, 2011. 
  4. ^ "1873 Middletown Mansfields Batting, Pitching, & Fielding Statistics". Baseball-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved September 24, 2011. 
  5. ^ "1874 Middletown Mansfields Batting, Pitching, & Fielding Statistics". Baseball-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved September 25, 2011. 
  6. ^ "1876 St. Louis Brown Stockings Batting, Pitching, & Fielding Statistics". Baseball-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved September 25, 2011. 
  7. ^ "1876 National League Fielding Leaders". Baseball-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved September 25, 2011. 
  8. ^ "1877 National League Fielding Leaders". Baseball-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved September 26, 2011. 
  9. ^ "1878 Major League Baseball Batting Leaders". Baseball-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved September 26, 2011. 
  10. ^ "1879 Buffalo Bisons Batting, Pitching, & Fielding Statistics". Baseball-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved September 27, 2011. 
  11. ^ Nemec, David (2006). The great encyclopedia of nineteenth century major league baseball. University of Alabama Press. p. 224. ISBN 978-0-8173-1499-6. 
  12. ^ "1880 Cincinnati Reds Batting, Pitching, & Fielding Statistics". Baseball-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved September 27, 2011. 
  13. ^ "Trying to Bribe a Ball-Player". The New York Times. May 28, 1881. Retrieved January 1, 2012. 
  14. ^ a b Reisler, Jim. Before They Were The Bombers: The New York Yankees' Early Years, 1903–1915. McFarland & Company. p. 58. ISBN 978-0-7864-2230-2. 
  15. ^ Fost, Dan (2010). Giants Past & Present. MBI Publishing Company. p. 56. ISBN 978-0-7603-3806-3. 
  16. ^ "1884 St. Paul Apostles". Baseball-Reference.com. Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved September 27, 2011. 
  17. ^ "Dropped Dead While Making Arrest" (PDF). The New York Times (The New York Times Company). December 19, 1904. Retrieved September 27, 2011. 

External links[edit]