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Josh Clarke

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Joshua Baldwin Clarke
(Pepper)

  • Bats Left, Throws Right
  • Height 5' 10", Weight 180 lb.

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"Josh Clarke a Find: Charley Nichols is particularly pleased with the showing made by Josh Clarke, the '04 pride of Des Moines. The lad is chuckful of ginger and tabasco and besides is slapping the horsehide out at a Lajoie rate. Clarke is a rattling good fielder and is pulling down many a drive that is labelled for the fence. He has more than a family resemblance to his brother . . . and runs the bags with much of the same dash and abandon." - Sporting Life of March 18, 1905, talking about Josh Clarke's performance for Cardinals' manager Kid Nichols during spring training

Josh Clarke played 5 seasons in the big leagues, spread out from 1898 to 1911. He never was in the majors for two seasons in a row (except briefly in 1909).

However, he was an above average hitter who had most of his at-bats during the dead-ball era. When he played for the St. Louis Cardinals in 1905, he hit .257 on a team that hit .248. Although he appeared in only 50 games, he was third on the team in home runs.

In 1908, with the Cleveland Naps, he hit .242 on a team that hit .239, and he had by far the most walks on the team although his power was below average. He also added 37 stolen bases.

In 1911, with the Boston Rustlers of the National League, his batting average was below average but he made up for it with an on-base percentage and a slugging percentage that were above the team averages.

He spent most of his career as a left fielder, where his defensive stats were average. However, he had a reputation as a speedster and stole bases.

Transaction information shows that when he came to the big leagues or left them, he was usually coming from or going to the American Association. He played for the Toledo Mud Hens in 1905-1907, and also played for St. Paul and Columbus. Altogether he played at least 16 seasons in the minors and managed for six.

"In (each of) four games Josh Clarke got five hits, and six times he made three hits in a single game." - Sporting Life of November 23, 1907, talking about Josh's performance with Toledo

The brother of Hall of Famer Fred Clarke, Josh made his major league debut at age 19 with the Louisville Colonels in 1898, when Fred Clarke was a young player-manager there. However, while Fred went on to manage for many years, Josh was only on the team that one year. When Josh was a rookie, it was Honus Wagner's second season.

Sporting Life of March 21, 1908 stated that Josh had over the winter cleared ten acres of timber on his 160-acre Dakota farm, sometimes working when it was 40 degrees below zero.

Both Josh and Fred had long lives, living into the 1960s.

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