Clifton B. Foster
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 6' 0", Weight 180 lb.
Cliff Foster pitched in the USA and the Netherlands.
Foster was taken by the Cincinnati Reds in the 10th round of the 1990 amateur draft. He did not sign and the Reds took him in the 22nd round of the 1991 amateur draft. Again unsigned, he transferred to Oklahoma and was 6-4 with two saves and a 3.99 ERA despite 52 walks in 86 innings. He fanned 82. The Oakland Athletics took him in the 6th round of the 1992 amateur draft.
Foster was 5-4 with a 2.83 ERA for the '92 Madison Muskies and also had a 1.38 ERA in four outings for the South Oregon A's. In 1993, the right-hander posted a 10-8, 3.14 record for Madison with 146 strikeouts and 106 hits in 140 1/3 innings, but with 92 walks. He led both A's farmhands and the entire Midwest League in walks. He also led A's farmhands in strikeouts, but he was well back of the MWL leaders (LaTroy Hawkins, 179 and Chris Holt, 178). He missed 1994 with injury and gave up four runs in one inning on a rehab assignment with the 1995 AZL Athletics, his last appearance in the A's organization.
In 1997, Cliff was 4-2 with a 3.99 ERA for the independent Canton Crocodiles. He seemingly vanished from baseball for four years before resurfacing at age 30 with the 2002 Amarillo Dillas and surrendering 10 runs in 2 1/3 IP. Despite that, he was back in 2003, with the Camden Riversharks, doing a very respectable job (5-1, Sv, 2.45). He split 2004 between Camden (3-4, 2 Sv, 5.71) and the Newark Bears (3-1, 4.96).
Foster went to the Netherlands in 2005 to play for HCAW. He went 5-1 with 10 saves, a 2.14 ERA and .185 opponent average. He tied for 9th in the Hoofdklasse in wins, was third in appearances (25), was second in saves (behind Dave Draijer), was second to Rob Cordemans in opponent average, tied Jurjen van Zijl for third in winning percentage and was 7th in WHIP. In the 2005 Holland Series, he was 1-1 despite a 1.56 ERA as HCAW fell to DOOR Neptunus, 3 games to 1.
In 2006, Foster's control vanished as he had 38 walks and 11 wild pitches in 30 innings for HCAW, leading to 32 runs. He was 1-6 with two saves. He was 7th in the league in walks despite his limited workload. He also spent part of the year as the team's pitching coach. He continued to battle wildness with Almere in 2007 (22 BB in 9 IP, 0-2, Sv, 13 R) and Kinheim in 2008 (25 BB, 13 R in 10 2/3 IP, 0-2).
Foster was head coach of the Gryphons in one of the lesser Netherlands leagues in 2010, then became pitching coach for UVV in 2011.