Note: This page is for catcher Bob Clarke who played in three decades; for his contemporary who was an umpire, click here.
Robert Alfred Clarke
(Eggie, Kike, Cayuka)
frequently listed as Bob Clark
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 5' 10", Weight 175 lb.
- Debut 1923
- Final Game 1948
- Born January 8, 1903 in Richmond, VA USA
- Died January, 1971 in Newark, NJ USA
Bob Clarke was a catcher in the Negro Leagues for 24 years. Noted primarily for his defense, he hit well at times.
Clarke debuted with the Baltimore Black Sox in 1923, hitting .191 as a starter. He backed up Neal Pullen in 1924 and remained on the bench in 1925. Splitting catching duties with Julio Rojo in 1926, he hit .252. He batted .368 for a career year in 1927; the 21-year-old would have been 5th in the Eastern Colored League in average had he qualified. He hit .343 in 1928 and again would have been 5th if he qualified. His other years with Baltimore were worse - he was down to .237 in 1929, .253 in 1930 and .194 in 1931, then was back on the bench in 1932.
Robert moved to the New York Black Yankees in 1933 and hit .273 back in a starting role. He hit only .093 in 1934 and .056 in 1936, when he was also a part-time manager for the club. The veteran rebounded to .250 in 1937 and .280 in 1938, but fell to .184 in 1939 and .103 in a back-up role in 1940. He surprisingly was picked for the East team in the 1940 East-West Game, replacing Cy Perkins behind the plate late in a 11-0 rout; he did not bat.
Clarke finished his career with the Baltimore Elite Giants. He hit .159 as a backup to Roy Campanella in 1941 and remained behind Campy in 1942. When Campanella jumped to the Mexican League partway into 1943, Clarke became a starter for the first time in four years and hit .254. He batted .273 in 1944 at age 40. Campanella returned in 1945 and Clarke was back on the pine. When Campy signed with the Brooklyn Dodgers, the 42-year-old got one last turn as a regular, hitting .178 in 1946.
- NNL All-Star (1940)
Year-By-Year Managerial Record
|1936||New York Black Yankees||Negro National League||22-16||2nd||New York Black Yankees|
|1937||New York Black Yankees||Negro National League||23-32||4th||New York Black Yankees|
- The Complete Book of Baseball's Negro Leagues by John Holway
- The Biographical Encyclopedia of the Negro Baseball Leagues by James Riley
- Black Baseball's National Showcase by Larry Lester