A Fleeting Star
ARLINGTON, TEXAS - The 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 Houston's Westchester High School just a few weeks earlier. The last time he pitched, he was facing high school talent. On this night David Clyde was facing the Minnesota Twins.
He 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 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 1979 at the age of 24. Clyde bounced around the minors for a few years, giving it all up in 1982.
David Clyde wasn't the first presumed star whose glow faded too soon, but it was sad because many believe Clyde was hyped and rushed to the majors amid tremendous publicity to get fannies in the seats. He has since said the issue for him wasn't so much talent, as confidence. He had talent, but was never given the opportunity to build up major league confidence.
"Sports of the Times; The mismanaged carerr of David Clyde" by David Anderson, The New York Times, June 23, 2003
June 27, 1973 box score/play-by-play
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