clarke frederick
Frederick C. "Fred" Clarke
  • Played and managed in first World Series
  • Totaled over 2,500 hits during 22 year career
  • Baseball Hall of Famer
  • Won four pennants while player/manager for the Pittsburg Pirates featuring other Baseball Hall of Famers Honus Wagner and Rube Waddell
Clarke, Frederick C. "Fred"
Inducted 1963

Born: October 3, 1872 – Winterset, IA

Died: August 14, 1960 – Winfield, KS.


One of the greatest left fielders in National League history, Frederick C. Clarke was also the first of major league baseball's successful "boy managers."  Clarke played for and managed the Pittsburgh Pirates for 16 seasons (1900-1915), including the first-ever World Series in 1903.  The only player to have five base hits in his major league debut, Clarke ended his 22-season playing career with 2,703 hits, 219 triples, a .315 batting average and 527 stolen bases.

Career Highlights

He batted .406 in 1897, second only to Willie Keeler's .432, the highest batting average in major league history.  Twice he stole 60 bases in a season and eight times, 30 bases.  Clarke put together a hitting streak that lasted 35 games at one time and 25 on another.  He began his professional career in 1892 in Nebraska before entering the major leagues with the Louisville Colonels in 1894.  Three years later, at 24-years of age, Clarke was named manager of the Colonels.  In 1900, he was traded to Pittsburgh where he played and managed through 1915.  In his 16 years as Pittsburgh's manager, the Pirates won four N.L. pennants (1901, '02, '03 and '09).  His Pirates participated in the first World Series against the Boston Red Sox in 1903 and his 1909 team won the World Series.

Retirement & Honors

Clarke later served as chairman of the National Baseball Congress tournament in 1937 and president of the National Association of Leagues for Sandlot Clubs. He purchased land near his boyhood home of Winfield, Kansas, in the late 1890's and after his retirement, he returned home and lived there until his death in 1960.  Clarke was inducted into Baseball Hall of Fame in 1945.