Bob McClure (Negro Leagues)
Robert McClure (Big Boy)
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 6' 0" or 6' 1", Weight 185-190 lb.
- Born March 24, 1891 in Egypt, TX USA (listed as 1903 in San Antonio by Riley)
- Died September 6, 1931 in Baltimore, MD USA
Bob McClure pitched for a decade in the Negro Leagues before his life was cut short by illness. He went 62-58 and had four very good seasons plus some awful ones.
1917-1923: Early career
McClure played for a team from Beaumont, TX from 1917-1919. In 1920, he joined the Indianapolis ABCs and was 7-7 with a 3.27 RA, third-best in the Negro National League. Bob went 2-1 with a 3.71 ERA in 1921. In 1922, "Big Boy" was 0-1 with a 8.56 ERA for the ABCs.
In 1923, McClure pitched for the Cleveland Tate Stars and went 1-5 but with a 2.64 ERA; he was hindered by poor offensive support. Among qualifiers, only Huck Rile had a lower ERA that season. McClure was 2-1 with a save in the 1923-1924 California Winter League.
1924-1927: Big years in Baltimore
Bob had a huge year for the 1924 Baltimore Black Sox, going 15-4 and tying for third in the Eastern Colored League in wins. He faced the Philadelphia Athletics in an exhibition game on October 15 and got a no-decision in a 8-7 win by Baltimore.
Pitching for Royal Poincina in the Florida Hotel League in 1924-1925, he came one out away from throwing a no-hitter. Bob went 17-7 in 1925 and was third in the ECL in wins behind Nip Winters and Rats Henderson. He fell suddenly to 4-14 in 1926 but bounced back in 1927 with a 11-5 mark for Baltimore. His 2.47 RA led the ECL; Henderson was the only other hurler under 3.50.
1928-1931: Decline and death
Bob was supposed to pitch for Baltimore in 1931 but contracted pneumonia and died later in the year. His teammates from Baltimore served as pallbearers.
Sources: The Biographical Encyclopedia of the Negro Baseball Leagues by James Riley, The Complete Book of Baseball's Negro Leagues by John Holway, research by Gary Ashwill and Patrick Rock including a 3/14/24 biographical blurb in the Baltimore Afro-American