The Mid-Missouri Mavericks have added a former St. Louis Cardinal to the team.
Jack Clark will manage the Mavericks in 2004 and has the option to renew his contract for 2005. Clark played for five major league teams over 18 years, including three seasons with the Cardinals.
Gary Wendt, president of the Mavericks, said Clark was at the top of a short list for the job. Wendt said he was talking with Tommy Lasorda, a former manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers, when Clark’s name came up.
“He kind of came into the picture in the 11th hour,” Wendt said. “I think it is a great addition to the Mavericks and to the community. What you see is what you get with Jack.”
The Mavericks struggled in their inaugural season in Columbia, going 33-57 and finishing last in the Frontier League’s West Division, 18 games behind first–place Gateway.
Mid-Missouri went through three managers during the season. Tony Torchia started the season, but was fired July 7. Papo Davila replaced Torchia and resigned Aug. 17 for unspecified health reasons. Mark Schlosser then filled in for the rest of the season.
Clark, who was unavailable for comment, turns 48 on Nov. 10. He managed in the Frontier League in 1999, leading the River City Rascals in their inaugural season. They were 39-45 but led the league in attendance at 151,661. In 2001, the Los Angeles Dodgers hired Clark as the team’s hitting coach, and he stayed there until he was fired in August.Wendt said expectations are high for Clark.“He knows the league,” Wendt said. “He brings a lot of experience to the game. I expect Jack to put a winning team on the field next year.”
Clark played for St. Louis from 1985-87, playing in the National League Championship and World Series in 1985 and 1987. Clark is a four-time National League All-Star who led the league in walks (136) and slugging percentage (.597) in 1987.
That year, Clark set a National League record by walking in 16 consecutive games, which Barry Bonds tied in 2002. For his career Clark hit 340 home runs and had 1,180 RBIs.
Clark had a slugging percentage better than .400 every season after 1977 until he retired at the end of 1992.
He began his career Sept. 12, 1975 with the San Francisco Giants. He played for them until 1985, when he was traded to the St. Louis. Clark left St. Louis after 1987 to play for the New York Yankees in 1988.
With the Yankees, Clark tore a tendon in his calf hitting a home run in spring training and missed the start of the season. Despite the injury, he played in 150 games but batted .242.
He played for the San Diego Padres in 1989-90 and finished his playing career with the Boston Red Sox.