David Clyde: A Fleeting Star
ARLINGTON, TEXAS •
JUNE 27, 1973 – Texas Rangers had their biggest crowd of the season on this date in 1973 to watch an 18-year old pitcher make his major league debut.
David Clyde graduated from
High School just a few weeks earlier. The last time he pitched,
Clyde was facing high school talent. On this night he was facing the Minnesota Twins.
Clyde must have felt some butterflies pitching in front of 35,698 fans because he walked the first two batters he saw, but he struck out the next three swinging.
Clyde pitched five innings, walking seven, but only giving up one hit, a home run to
Mike Adams. He struck out eight and got the win. It appeared to be the start of a promising career after high school numbers almost beyond belief. In his senior year,
Clyde went 18-0 striking out 328 batters in 148 1/3 innings, walking just 18.
Despite an auspicious major league start, David Clyde’s early success was fleeting. He spent parts of just five years in the majors, finishing with a record of 18 wins and 33 losses. He played his last major league game in 1978, just 24 years old. He bounced around the minors for a few years, giving it all up in 1982.
It was sad because
Clyde was probably taken advantage of by Rangers owner
Bob Short anxious to get fannies in the seats. David Clyde was hyped and rushed to the majors amid tremendous publicity.
Clyde has since said the issue for him, as it was for many young pitchers, wasn’t so much talent, as confidence. He had talent, but was never given the opportunity to build up major league confidence.