Sure Thing, David Clyde
Bob Short owned the
Texas Rangers in 1973. The team was a flop in
the Lone Star State two years after moving from
Washington D.C as the Rangers failed to attract
more than 9,000 to a game all season.
That June, the franchise used its No. 1 overall
pick in the amateur draft on David Clyde, an 18-year-old
Texas phenom with a sizzling fastball and name
recognition. In his final high school season,
Clyde had nearly been unhittable. He went 18-0,
allowing only three earned runs in 148 innings.
He was given a $125,000 signing bonus, setting
a record for the largest bonus given to a draft
pick. The money heaped more pressure on the ill-prepared
Short saw an opportunity to stir interest in
his floundering franchise by throwing Clyde into
the Rangers' starting rotation instead of starting
him in the Minor Leagues, which was customary.
It worked perfectly.
The excitement that the homegrown prospect generated
led to the first sold out game at Arlington Stadium.
Clyde was on the mound in a Rangers uniform on
June 27, 1973, in front of a crowd of 35,698,
only 20 days after pitching Westchester High School
to the state finals.
Clyde walked the first two Minnesota batters
that he faced that day before blowing away Bob
Darwin, George Mitterwald and Joe Lis on swinging
third strikes to end his first inning in the big
leagues. The crowd gave him a standing ovation,
and he earned the win in five innings of work.
But, the promise of what he could have achieved
was never realized. Clyde finished his rookie
year going 4-8 with a 5.01 earned-run average.
Known for hanging out with some heavy drinking
veterans on the Rangers, he compiled an 18-33
record in 84 starts in the Majors.
This home jersey was worn by Clyde during his
memorable rookie year.