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Horace Meredith Clarke (born June 2, 1940) is a former Major League Baseball player. A second baseman, he played for the New York Yankees and the San Diego Padres from 1965 to 1974.

Horace Clarke
Horace Clarke 1970.jpg
Clarke in 1970
Second baseman
Born: (1940-06-02) June 2, 1940 (age 79)
Frederiksted, St. Croix, United States Virgin Islands
Batted: Switch Threw: Right
MLB debut
May 13, 1965, for the New York Yankees
Last MLB appearance
September 15, 1974, for the San Diego Padres
MLB statistics
Batting average.256
Home runs27
Runs batted in304

He was signed by the Yankees as an amateur free agent in 1958. He made his Major League Baseball debut on May 13, 1965 against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park; he singled off Dave Morehead in his first major league at bat. In his rookie season of 1966, Clarke, sharing shortstop duties with Tom Tresh after Tony Kubek's retirement before the start of the season, batted .266 with six home runs and 28 runs batted in. In 1967, he became the Yankees' regular second baseman upon the retirement of longtime veteran Bobby Richardson. In 10 seasons, he hit .256, with 27 home runs and 304 RBIs. In the space of one month in 1970, he broke up three possible no-hitters in the ninth inning (Jim Rooker[1] on June 4, Sonny Siebert[2] on June 19 and, Joe Niekro[3] on July 2). That season, Clarke made 732 plate appearances (batting 686 times officially). As a fielder, though, the knock on Clarke was that he would not turn the double play with runners barreling in. Few ever took him out with a slide, but Clarke would hold the ball after leaping.

Clarke was sold to the San Diego Padres on May 31, 1974, for $25,000. He retired at the end of the 1974 season. After his retirement, he worked as a baseball instructor for the Virgin Islands Department of Recreation and as an assistant scout for the Kansas City Royals.

Clarke and Joe Mauer are the only hitters to break up three no-hit bids in the ninth inning.[4]

In popular cultureEdit

In the television show The Job, Horace Clarke is referred to sometimes.[how?][citation needed]

In the book The Wednesday Wars, the protagonist Holling practices with Clarke through an arrangement by Mrs. Baker. Holling also calls him, along with Joe Pepitone, "One of the best baseball players to wear pinstripes since Babe Ruth," although this may be a bit sarcastically.

As one of the most well-known faces of the Yankees' teams from 1967 to 1973, that period in Yankees' history has been referred to as "The Horace Clarke Era."[5]


  1. ^ Royals lose in 12 innings; Rooker blows no-hit game
  2. ^ Clarke spoils 2nd no-hitter
  3. ^ Clarke the spoiler ruins 3rd no-hitter
  4. ^ Short, D.J. (25 May 2014). "Joe Mauer has broken up three no-hitters in the ninth inning during his career". NBC Sports. Retrieved 15 July 2014.
  5. ^ Johnson, Dick; Stout, Glenn. Yankees Century: 100 Years of New York Yankees Baseball. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. p. 290; 315. ISBN 0-618-08527-0.