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  • Writer's pictureJoe Pace

New England Sports 366, #82: Jack Clark


The 1970s and 80s were a time of feared one-dimensional sluggers in Major League Baseball. Kingman, Luzinski, Rice, Deer, Baylor, Stargell, Schmidt, etc. Jack the Ripper was almost one of these, a guy who always seemed on the verge of hitting 40 jacks but instead only hitting more than 30 once, in 1987 with the Cardinals. He put up 229 round-trippers in 13 seasons with San Francisco and St. Louis, leaving behind a scorched earth trail of feuds with better-regarded teammates like Ozzie Smith and Tony Gwynn.


Jack Clark was kind of a jerk.


In 1991 he showed up in Boston after brief stays with the Padres and Yankees, and there was the hope he would provide some power in a lineup that had lost mainstays Rice and Evans in recent years. In his 221 games with Boston over a year and a half he provided 220 strikeouts plus a lot of pop - pop flies, that is (pictured) to go with only 33 homers.


Clark was never the answer he promised to be for any of his teams. Even the Cardinals, who went to the World Series with him in the lineup in 1985 and 1987, got screwed in the end by his lackluster fielding and laggardly returns from frequent injuries. He was actually a good fit for those early-90s Sox, come to think of it, with not-so-Hall of Fame teammates Clemens and Boggs.

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