Thursday, April 08, 2010

#229 Lou Clinton

#229 Lou Clinton
Fun facts about Lou Clinton:

-Born in Ponca City, OK, Lou signed with the Red Sox at age 17 in 1955.

-Started regularly in right field for Boston in 1960, his rookie season, but hit only .228.

-On August 9, 1960, he gave an unfortunate assist to a home run by Cleveland's Vic Power. The ball hit off the top of the fence and caromed back to Lou, who inadvertently kicked it over the wall before it touched the ground!

-After spending much of 1961 in the minors, he returned to Fenway in 1962 and was much improved. He reached career highs in average (.294), doubles (24), and triples (10 - 2nd in the A.L.). He also hit 18 homers and drove in 75.

-July 13, 1962 was a day to remember for Lou. He hit for the cycle against the Athletics and went 5-7 with a walk, four runs scored, and four RBI, culminating in a game-winning RBI single in the 15th inning! Although the teams played six extra innings, he didn't need them - he clinched the cycle with a single in the ninth.

-Finished second on the Red Sox with 22 home runs and 77 RBI in 1963, though his average plunged to .232.

-His production dropped along with his batting average the following season, and he was traded to the Angels. He stayed in L.A. for little over a year before being selected on waivers by the A's. He played a single game in Kansas City before the waiver claim was voided and he was returned to the Angels. The Indians then put in a waiver claim for him, and he lasted a full dozen games in Cleveland before being traded the following January. Makes your head spin.

-Clinton hit .220 as a reserve for the Yankees in 1966, and appeared in six games the following year before finishing his pro career at AAA San Diego. He hit .247 in parts of eight big league seasons with 65 home runs and 269 RBI.

-He moved to Wichita, KS after his retirement and owned and operated a business called Clinton Productions Corp.

-Lou passed away in 1997 at age 60.
#229 Lou Clinton (back)


  1. This is a great blog! I really appreciate you scanning the fronts and backs to these cards.

  2. Lou Clinton sounds like the name of a 60's soul revue band leader.

  3. Anyone know why he's referred to as "Lu Clinton" in a lot of places? Including his 1960 Topps card (#533)?

  4. Thanks Jeremy!

    Max - Like "Lou Clinton and the Sidecar Six"?

    Doug - Not sure. There was just an offhand reference on Baseball Reference that he was sometimes known as "Lu".

  5. Found his obituary online and his given name was Luciean, shortened to Lu.

  6. Thanks for the obit link. I know they usually go out of their way to say good stuff, but I see that it says "His 9-year career as a top hitter, led the Sox to several championships"

    Unh, no. The club never finished out of the second division, as they called it in those days, during his tenure and for a couple of those years only beat out the expansion Senators and the pathetic Athletics.

  7. OsinskiForever - Maybe they confused him with Smoky Joe Wood.

  8. I enjoyed your blog. I'm playing some stratomatic with the 1966 Yankees, this morning, and was looking for a 1966 Topps Clinton to scan in for the game picture. I'm guessing he didn't get a '66 Topps card due to the 1964 waiver odyssey.

  9. In my strat game this morning, Lou contributed a solo homer to the cause, as the '66 Yankees took a 6-4 lead into the 9th inning against 1956 Milwaukee. Alas, the Yankee bullpen couldn't hold it, as the Braves plated six in the 9th inning, capped by Joe Adcock's 3-run homer against Pedro Ramos. Ernie Johnson got the win, in relief of Warren Spahn. Ramos, in relief of starter Mel Stottlemyre, took the loss.