Fred Clarke was one of the greatest players in the National League during the “dead ball” era. In his first game for Louisville in June 1894 he went 5 for 5 at the plate (still a MLB record for hits in a debut). The lefty-hitting outfielder would go on to play for 21 seasons with the Louisville Colonels (1894-1899), and the Pittsburgh Pirates (1900-1915). During his career he compiled a .312 lifetime avg., (topping the .300 mark eleven times) totaled 2678 hits, 220 triples (7th all-time), and was known as a terrific defensive leftfielder. In his 19 years as a player/manager he would pilot the Pirates to 4 NL pennants (1901, 02, & 03) and a World Series Championship in 1909. He held the mark for lifetime managerial wins with 1602 until John McGraw broke his record in 1918. He was elected to Cooperstown in 1945 via of the Old-Timer’s Committee.
June 1, 2016