Monday, September 19, 2005

Not much mention of Donn Clendenon

When I was 10 years old, my parents bought me a copy of the Baseball Register, published by The Sporting News for five dollars. That annual book features statistics on every player on major league baseball teams' rosters.
I pored over the book, examining runs, hits, home runs, runs batted in, players' hobbies, and hometowns, and was surprised to see that one player, Pittsburgh Pirate first baseman Donn Clendenon, was born in Neosho.
In 1969, Clendenon had left Pittsburgh and was a member of the Miracle Mets team that defeated the Baltimore Orioles in five games in the World Series. Clendenon was the most valuable player in the World Series, but I don't recall any mention of it in the Daily News or the Globe at that time. It may have been there, but I read both newspapers every day and I did not see it.
I don't remember any mention of it when Clendenon was traded to the St. Louis Cardinals in the early '70s. He did not make much of an impact on the Cardinals, though I clearly remember listening to a 10-inning, 1-0 game that ended with a Clendenon home run.
When he died late last week, I saw the local newspapers carried the AP account. I was hoping someone would be able to dig up a little more about Clendenon and his family and their time in Neosho. There may not be much information available at this late date, but historically, Clendenon is the only connection I can think of between Newton County and the World Series.


Anonymous said...

Randy, the Neosho Daily News has an article on his death today.

Randy said...

I am truly happy to hear that.

Anonymous said...

Try Ralph Houk, ex-Yankee manager, played at Neosho. Interestingly, Clendenon only landed with the Mets that "miracle" year after refusing a trade to Montreal.