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The 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 teen.

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.