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Bob McClure (Negro Leagues)

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Robert McClure (Big Boy)

  • Bats Right, Throws Right
  • Height 6' 0" or 6' 1", Weight 185-190 lb.

Contents

[edit] Biographical Information

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.

[edit] 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.

[edit] 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.

[edit] 1928-1931: Decline and death

McClure was 0-4 for Baltimore in 1928 and 6-7 for the 1929 Atlantic City Bacharach Giants. He went 0-3 for the Brooklyn Royal Giants in 1930.

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

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