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Ty Cline

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Tyrone Alexander Cline

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An All-American at Clemson University, then primarily a reserve outfielder and pinch-hitter during a 12-year major league career with seven clubs, Ty Cline's off-the-bench heroics helped the Cincinnati Reds clinch the 1970 National League pennant.

Cline pinch-hit for Reds' starting pitcher Gary Nolan in the top of the 10th inning in Game 1 of the 1970 National League Championship Series. He tripled off Pittsburgh Pirates' starter Dock Ellis. Pete Rose singled him in for what proved to be the winning run. The Reds went on to score two more runs and win, 3-0. Cline also scored the winning run in Game 3 of the series, after walking as a pinch hitter in the eighth inning; the final score was 3-2. The victory gave the Reds a three-game series sweep over the Pirates. Cincinnati lost the 1970 World Series to the Baltimore Orioles, 4 games to 1. Cline went 1 for 3 in the series; his one hit was a single off Orioles' reliever Moe Drabowsky.

Ty is (through 2009) the only major leaguer born in Hampton, SC. He attended high school in Charleston, SC and college in Clemson, SC. He was both a pitcher and a position player for Clemson University as well as for the U.S. team in the 1959 Pan American Games. In his first year in the minors, he was sent to the Mobile Bears and hit .311.

Cline had been signed by the Cleveland Indians in 1960, and was already up in the majors by September of that year, hitting .308 in 26 at-bats. He was 21 at the time. Mike de la Hoz was also 21, while Mike Lee was 19.

Ty was back in the minors for most of 1961, although he played 12 games in Cleveland, but he became a major league regular with the Indians in 1962, appearing in 118 games as the team's regular centerfielder. After the season he was traded as part of the deal that brought Joe Adcock to the Indians.

Cline spent three years with the Milwaukee Braves, most notably hitting .302 in 1964 (he appeared in 101 games, getting 116 at-bats). After half a season with the Chicago Cubs in 1966, the Braves got him back and he spent a lot of 1966 with the minor-league Richmond Braves where he was a teammate of Tommie Aaron.

He was sold in mid-1967 to the San Francisco Giants, for whom he appeared in 64 games that year. In 1968, the Giants gave him 291 at-bats and then the expansion Montreal Expos drafted him away. As an original Expo, Ty was in 101 games with the 1969 team, where he was the same age as fellow outfielder Mack Jones and one year younger than Manny Mota.

During the 1970 season he was traded to the Cincinnati Reds, with whom he finished out his career. With the 1970 Reds, for whom he had 78 plate appearances, he posted an OBP of .387.

Cline, who was a pitcher part of the time while in college, never pitched in the majors but he did pitch one flawless inning in the minors at the AAA level.

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