Horace Clarke was born on Friday, June 2, 1939, in Frederiksted, Virgin Islands. Clarke was 25 years old when he broke into the big leagues on May 13, 1965, with the New York Yankees. His biographical data, year-by-year hitting stats, fielding stats, pitching stats (where applicable), career totals, uniform numbers, salary data and miscellaneous items-of-interest are presented by Baseball Almanac on this comprehensive Horace Clarke baseball stats page.
"Horace Clarke isn't like any other ballplayer, not that I can see. He took the criticism of the early years in pained silence. He didn't tear up the sports pages that were so critical of him. He didn't curse at the nagging fans. 'Sure I would feel bad when I saw in the papers that the Yankees can never win the pennant with that guy at second base,' Horace Clarke will tell you. 'But why get mad. I figure that's his opinion, and he's entitled to it. I must have been able to do something. Don't tell me a ballplayer can fool a manager for seven years.' There is no bigger fan of Horace Clarke than Ralph Houk . You've of the ballplayers' ballplayer? Clarke is the manager's ballplayer. He leads them in other things; in stolen bases, in assists, in total chances, but not in quotable quotes. His Virgin Island English is impeccable. He simply is a quiet man. As the ballplayers put it, 'He wouldn't say spit if he had a mouthful.' 'He has never caused me any trouble,' says Ralph Houk . 'In fact, he's so little trouble, I find myself wondering if I shouldn't talk to him to let him see that you know he's around.' One time, he gave the front office a bit of a headache. He held out for $1 million. Not in cash. A lawyer friend of his suggested the Yankees might make it possible for him to obtain a $1 million loan from a bank, so that he might make a large construction deal in St. Croix. They compromised. They gave him a salary of $35,000.'" - Staff Writer Dick Young in The Daily News (08/18/1972, The Hoss That Nobody Bets , Page 107)
Horace 'Hoss' Clarke Autograph on a 1973 Topps Baseball Card (#198)
Horace Clarke Pitching Stats
|-||-||Did Not Pitch||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-|
Horace Clarke Hitting Stats
Horace Clarke Fielding Stats
Horace Clarke Miscellaneous Stats
|Baserunning Statistics||Other Positions||Common Hitting Ratios||Common Pitching Ratios|
Horace Clarke Miscellaneous Items of Interest
|Team [Click for Roster]||Uniform Numbers||Salary||All-Star||World Series|
|1965 New York Yankees||20||Undetermined||-||-|
|1966 New York Yankees||20||Undetermined||-||-|
|1967 New York Yankees||20||Undetermined||-||-|
|1968 New York Yankees||20||Undetermined||-||-|
|1969 New York Yankees||20||$37,000.00||-||-|
|1970 New York Yankees||20||$32,000.00||-||-|
|1971 New York Yankees||20||$35,000.00||-||-|
|1972 New York Yankees||20||$39,000.00||-||-|
|1973 New York Yankees||20||$42,500.00||-||-|
|1974 New York Yankees||20||Undetermined||-||-|
|1974 San Diego Padres||7||Undetermined||-||-|
|Horace Clarke Stats by Baseball Almanac|
Horace Meredith Clarke was a Major League Baseball player with the New York Yankees (1965-1974) and San Diego Padres (1974). When Clarke made his big league debut on May 13, 1965 , against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park , he singled off Dave Morehead in his first at-bat.
Horace Clarke was the fourth ballplayer from the Virgin Islands to play Major League Baseball (the first switch hitter). Those who preceded him were Elmo Plaskett (1962), Al McBean (1961), and Joe Christopher (1959).
Horace Clarke Rookie Card | 1966 Topps Baseball Card (#547 | Checklist ) | Baseball Almanac Collection
What is the Horace Clarke Era? How did it become known as the Horace Clarke Era? Was Horace upset with the term? An essay in The Love of Baseball: Essays by Lifelong Fans (Chris Arvidson, McFarland Publishing, 09/15/2017, Page 52) described it best:
It was 1970 and I was seven years old. The Dodgers and Giants were long gone from New York. The Yankees last played in the World Series when I was two, and the last player from their glory years, Mickey Mantle , retired before the 1969 season. The Miracle Mets were the defending World Series champions and owned the city.
Most of the other kids in the neighborhood had become Mets fans. It may be that I was born in the Bronx or that I have always been a natural contrarian, but I became a Yankees fan. A Yankees fan in the midst of what would be known as the Horace Clarke Era.
Horace Clarke was the regular second baseman for the Yankees from 1967 to 1974, coming up to the Major League club in 1965 and replacing Bobby Richardson as the Yankees starting second baseman two years later. Clarke was not a bad player, having a career batting average of .256 with 27 home runs, 304 RBIs and 151 stole bases. His stats are comparable to Bobby Richardson's , who was the Yankee's second baseman during the previous decade, but the Yankees did not make the playoffs once during Clarke's tenure. Richardson played in seven World Series . Luckily for me, I only had to endure the last five years of the Horace Clarke Era.
I do know whether to feel sorry for Horace Clarke for having one of the worst stretches of Yankees ' history named after him. Otherwise, he would have been forgotten in baseball history.
Unfortunately for Horace Clark, he was not surrounded by the likes of Mickey Mantle , Roger Maris , Tony Kubek and Whitey Ford like Bobby Richardson was. The 1970 Yankees ' lineup was not a a powerhouse. But even 46 years later, I still remember the names of each of the starting players from that nondescript team surrounding Horace Clarke. Danny Cater , Gene Michael , Jerry Kenney , Roy White , Bobby Murcer , Curt Blefary and a rookie, Thurman Munson , could never be called a Murderer's Row. The starting pitchers Mel Stottlemyre , Fritz Peterson , Stan Bahnsen and Mike Kekich compromised a decent staff but did not come close to the Orioles starters of that era, which included Mike Cuellar , Dave McNally and Jim Palmer . Unfortunately, that mediocre 1970 team may have been the best Yankee's team of the Horace Clarke Era.
Horace Clarke spoke with Baseball Almanac and said, "I loved being a Yankee. I was proud of it too. I played there at a really difficult time, but it was a real blast. I was a child from St. Croix playing Major League Baseball in New York City. A magnificent city.
"I really don't mind the term. I guess I should be proud of it as well. I was never a great player, and I never got used to the attacks, but I also never retaliated, and never would, I was a happy man. I'm a happy man now, you are my friend, and you called to talk to me, to hear my stories and my memories."
Did you know that Horace Clarke broke up three no-hitters — in the ninth inning — during his career? The unfortunate pitchers on Clarke's resume are Jim Rooker ( June 4th ), Sonny Siebert ( June 19th ), and Joe Niekro ( July 2nd ). Why isn't the year listed? Because all three spoilers occurred in 1970! Do you know what big league catcher has also broken up three no-hit bids in the ninth frame? [ Answer ]