Wednesday, May 16, 2012

1974 TOPPS DAVID CLYDE

A MILLION-DOLLAR ARM
IS A TERRIBLE THING TO WASTE
MUST'VE BEEN FUN TO WATCH HIM MOW DOWN
ALL THOSE OVERMATCHED HIGH SCHOOLERS.

THE FRONT PAGE

  • The rookie card of a former phenom who suffered from the actions of a greedy owner who saw a potential cash cow instead of a potential lefty ace who needed time to develop in the minors. What might have been had he been drafted by another franchise.

THE BACK PAGE

  • As you can obviously deduce, David Clyde went straight to the majors from high school, a pretty incredible feat. His numbers really weren't that awful, all things considered. 
  • Sure did a whole lot of prep hurling. 
  • Baseball skiing? Did the Kennedys invent that, too, or only football skiing?

PHOTO PLAY

  • I can't tell if his cap is askew or the logo is off. Maybe a little of both.
  • This is Rays closer Fernando Rodney's favorite card, I'm told.

EXTRA, EXTRA

  • Nineteen days after graduating from high school and being selected No. 1 in the '73 draft, Clyde, 18, made his Rangers' debut, starting against the Twins at home on June 27. It was owner Bob Short's call, sensing Clyde would guarantee a big gate. The previous year, the Rangers averaged almost 9,000 fans per game and were averaging even fewer in '73.
  • Short got the sellout he was seeking (35,698) and Clyde picked up the victory after throwing five innings, striking out eight, walking seven and giving up only one hit. He won his second start and Short wanted Clyde to remain in the majors, even though his baseball people knew he needed time in the minors. 
  • He started 3-0 in '74 before finishing 3-9 with a 4.38 ERA.
  • Developed arm trouble in '75, when he finally was sent to the minors, staying three seasons before being traded to the Indians. 
  • He injured his rotator cuff in '79 and was out of baseball by '81. Finished 18-33 with a 4.63 ERA in five big-league seasons.
  • First-round picks taken after Clyde in '73  included Robin Yount (third) and Dave Winfield (fourth).
  • Worked to guarantee that former players between the years of  '47-'79 who didn't satisfy the four-year vesting requirement to earn a pension would receive compensation.
  • An instructor at the Houston Miracles, a faith-based baseball and softball academy.

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