Tuesday, March 3, 2009

#55 -- Clyde Wright

Clyde Wright

Back at Billy Cowan's card, we saw the halo at the top of the Anaheim Stadium scoreboard. Now we see the next level down. Maybe a little disappointing. It's advertising gasoline and, from the color scheme, I think it's some form of the Amoco company (Correction from Andy: It's Chevron). I think we'll see this again with some of the Angels, as that spot seemed to be pretty popular for the Topps photographer.

Once upon a time, pitchers had to earn their way into the rotation. A young, up and coming pitcher would work out of the bullpen and get some spot starts along the way in order to get to a point where he would make the starting rotation in a year or two. This still happens sometimes, but a lot of guys now just move right into the rotation. Clyde made his way into the Angel rotation this way.

He had 4 years of spot starts and then was put in the rotation full time in 1970. Not much was expected because he went 1-8 4.10 in 1969. He was waived and unclaimed. He learned a screwball in a Caribbean winter league and the Angels took him back, where he went 22-12 and made the All-Star team in 1970. Ray Fosse might wish he hadn't, because Clyde threw a pitch to Jim Hickman that led to


Clyde had a good year in 1972, finishing 18-11 with a 2.98 ERA that was above the league average of 2.92. He also had a good year at the plate with 2 homers (off Dick Drago of the Royals and Dave Lemonds of the White Sox), 13 RBI and a .217 batting average. However, it was his last good year. Something happened that he stopped fooling hitters as his already so-so strikeout rate plummeted and his batting average against went up. He went 11-19 and 9-20 in 1973 and 1974 before being finished after 94 innings in 1975 with Texas.

He then had a stormy course in Japan with the venerable Yomiuri Giants for 3 years, pitching and homering in the Japan Series his first year. Unfortunately, in Game 7 he gave up the game-winning homer after telling his interpreter he was tired and needed to come out. Hopefully todays Japanese pitchers over here have heard that story and make sure their interpreters understand them.

Clyde had some tough days when his career was over. But he's on top of everything now. He has run a succesful academy in Anaheim called the Clyde Wright Pitching Academy. He also had a son, Jaret Wright, that pitches in the big leagues. Although Jaret is in Pirates' camp this spring, he's unlikely to pick up the 32 wins he needs to allow he and his father to join Mel and Todd Stottlemyre as the only father-son combinations to win 100 games each.


  1. It's Chevron. Hence the, umm, chevrons.

  2. Any card that shows the glorious Big A scoreboard is a good card!