Clinton Daniel Gladden III (born July 7, 1957) is an American former Major League Baseball player and current radio broadcaster. He was the starting left fielder with the Minnesota Twins' two World Series Championship teams in 1987 and 1991.
Gladden in 1987
|Left fielder / Center fielder|
|Born: July 7, 1957|
San Jose, California
|September 5, 1983, for the San Francisco Giants|
|Last MLB appearance|
|October 3, 1993, for the Detroit Tigers|
|Runs batted in||446|
|Career highlights and awards|
Known as "The Dazzle Man", he attended California State University, Fresno and was signed by the San Francisco Giants as an amateur free agent in 1979. He made his debut with the Giants in 1983, and in 1984 he batted .351 with 31 stolen bases as the Giants' center fielder.
In 1987, Gladden was traded to the Minnesota Twins, and won a World Series championship with them in his first year. In Game 1, he hit the first grand slam in a World Series game in 17 years. He would earn another World Series ring with the Twins in 1991, when they beat the Atlanta Braves in what is sometimes called the greatest World Series ever played. In the intense and memorable Game 7 of the 1991 Series, Gladden stretched a bloop hit into a double before scoring the winning run on Gene Larkin's single off of Atlanta's Alejandro Peña, in the bottom of the 10th inning.
After the 1991 season, Gladden signed as a free agent with the Detroit Tigers, and played with them until 1993. He spent 1994 in Japan playing for the Yomiuri Giants, winning a Japan Series championship. Because of the 1994-95 MLBPA strike, Gladden's championship with the kyojin is regarded by some fans as a world championship, and he retired from the game as a player on top as a three-time world champion with the distinction of having won championships in two continents (as does teammate Hideki Matsui, who won the World Series in 2009 with the New York Yankees), and returned to the Twins as a scout (spring training, 1995), then the Colorado Rockies (advance, 1996–1998). He spent 1999 as a roving instructor for the San Francisco Giants.
In an 11-year major league career covering 1,196 games, Gladden hit .270 (1215-for-4501) with 663 runs, 74 home runs, 446 RBI, and 222 stolen bases. In the 1987 and 1991 post-season with the Minnesota Twins, in 24 games he batted .279 (29-for-104), scoring 17 runs, with one home run, 15 RBI and 7 stolen bases.
In 2000, Gladden became the color commentator on the Twins' radio network broadcast, most notably on WCCO-AM through 2006 and on the Twins Radio Network and its Metro Affiliate KSTP starting in 2007. He worked alongside Frick award-winning commentator Herb Carneal and the Twins' play-by-play man, John Gordon; Carneal died on April 1, 2007, leaving Gladden to deliver color commentary full-time.
Gladden is an avid owner and rider of Harley Davidson motorcycles and sometimes takes time off to ride and attend famous bike rallies.
Gladden currently lives with his wife and two daughters in Eden Prairie, Minnesota.
Gladden's daughter Ashley married the son of his former Twins teammate Gary Gaetti.