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1974 Topps David Clyde

I don't even know where to start when it comes to David Clyde. I was way too young to remember him actually pitching so I can't tell you stories of more than 5,000 people in the stands in Arlington just a year or two after the Senators moved there from Washington.

Most of my knowledge comes from "Seasons In Hell" written by Mike Shropshire. Who would have thought there would be a book written about the 1973-1975 Texas Rangers? Not me, but it was one of the best baseball books I have ever had the pleasure to read.

"Seasons In Hell" is exactly what it sounds like, three years with one of the worst teams run by a lousy owner. And that owner did some serious damage to a high school kid named David Clyde. You don't start an 18 year old out in the major leagues for a garbage team, you just don't!

Clyde didn't see the minor leagues until 1975 and by that time, the damage was done. He would then have arm troubles and the next thing you know, he's pitching briefly in Cleveland then retiring. But it shouldn't have been that way. It was a lousy PR move that backfired. It's possible that David Clyde could have been an ace for 10 or 15 years for Texas instead of a gate draw for one or two seasons.

So yes, I am a bit bitter although I have no personal stake in his career. I just hate to see potential go down the drain. Sure, the arm troubles could have surfaced anyway, but probably not. Overworking a teenager is probably not a good idea if you ask me, but what do I know?

Bottom line, as cool as it might have been for an 18 year old to make his major league debut weeks after leaving high school, it's not conducive to a long major league career. The saddest part might be how strong his first major league start and victory were.

Oh well, at least Bob Short drew nearly 36,000 people to that garbage stadium for one game. Well worth the career of a teenager I guess...

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