From BR Bullpen
Fred Clifford Clarke
- Bats Left, Throws Right
- Height 5' 10½", Weight 165 lb.
- Debut June 30, 1894
- Final Game September 23, 1915
- Born October 3, 1872 in Winterset, IA USA
- Died August 14, 1960 in Winfield, KS USA
 Biographical Information
"Are you going to take that?" - player-manager Fred Clarke to the young Honus Wagner, who had been knocked around on the basepaths by the 19th Century Baltimore Orioles, thus inducing Wagner the next time to blast right through fielders blocking his path
Hall of Famer Fred Clarke played 21 seasons in the majors and also managed for 19 seasons (starting at age 24). As a player his career batting average was .312, and as a manager his winning percentage was .576. Although a worthy Hall of Famer, his career was overshadowed by that of Honus Wagner, who was his teammate from 1897 until 1915. Of course, as a manager, he was very fortunate to have Wagner as a player.
Clarke was considered a tough competitor, an aggressive baserunner, and a manager who communicated a positive attitude to his players.
Clarke rarely led the league in offensive categories, partly because Wagner was doing it a lot. However, Clarke's 160 point score on the Gray Ink test shows that he was frequently in the top ten in the league. And he had staying power - in 1895 he hit .347, and sixteen years later in 1911 he hit .324.
He never led the league in batting, but he was second twice, once behind Wagner, and once (when Wagner was a rookie) behind Willie Keeler.
The most similar player to Clarke is George Van Haltren, not a Hall of Famer. However, 8 of the 10 most similar players are in the Hall, with the most similar Hall of Famer being his contemporary Jesse Burkett. Clarke, though, played more of his career in the dead-ball era than Burkett did. And Clarke was also a long-time manager with a high winning percentage and several National League titles to his credit.
He spent the majority of his playing career as a player-manager. He was skipper of the Louisville Colonels from 1897 to 1899 and moved on to the Pittsburgh Pirates from 1900 to 1915. With the Pirates he won four National League pennants and captured the 1909 World Series title. He also played and managed in the first World Series, in 1903, although he ended up on the losing side. He later returned to the Pirates as a coach in 1925 and 1926.
 Notable Achievements
- NL Slugging Percentage Leader (1903)
- NL OPS Leader (1903)
- NL Doubles Leader (1903)
- NL Triples Leader (1906)
- NL Bases on Balls Leader (1909)
- 100 Runs Scored Seasons: 5 (1897-1899, 1901 & 1902)
- 200 Hits Seasons: 2 (1897 & 1899)
- 50 Stolen Bases Seasons: 1 (1897)
- Won a World Series with the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1909
- NL Pennants: 4 (1901-1903 & 1909)
- Managed one World Series Champion with the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1909
- 100 Wins Seasons as Manager: 2 (1902 & 1909)
- Baseball Hall of Fame: Class of 1945
|Louisville Colonels Manager
|Pittsburgh Pirates Manager
 Year-By-Year Managerial Record
 Records Held
- Hits, in first game, 5, 6/30/1894
 Further Reading
- Ronald T. Waldo: Fred Clarke: A Biography of the Baseball Hall of Fame Player-Manager, McFarland, 2011. ISBN 978-0-7864-5933-9