Baseball in Wartime

Baseball's Greatest Sacrifice


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Mel Clark

 

Date and Place of Birth: July 7, 1926 Letart, West Virginia
Baseball Experience: Major League
Position:
Outfield
Rank:
Unknown
Military Unit: US Navy

Area Served: Pacific Theater of Operations

Melvin E “Mel” Clark was born on July 7, 1926 in Letart, West Virginia. From 1944 to February 6, 1946, he served with the Navy and was on a destroyer in the Pacific. Clark – assigned to a landing craft - saw action at Iwo Jima, the Philippines and New Guinea.

After his discharge he attended Ohio University and signed with the Philadelphia Phillies in 1947, being assigned to Appleton of the Wisconsin State League. The 21-year-old batted .347 his rookie year and matched that mark exactly with Baton Rouge of the Evangeline League in 1948. 

He spent 1949 and 1950 with Utica of the Eastern League and after a strong season with Schenectady of the Eastern League in 1951 he made his major league debut with the Philadelphia Phillies on September 11. He appeared in 10 games before the season was over and batted .323.

Clark spent the next three years as a back-up outfielder with the Phillies playing a career-high 83 games in 1954. He spent most of 1955 with Syracuse of the International League and was traded to the Washington Senators in July 1956. Without playing a game for Washington, Clark was sold to the Tigers in December and he played five games in Detroit to end his major league career in 1957.

Thanks to John Wickline for help with this biography.

Created May 28, 2008.

Copyright © 2008 Gary Bedingfield (Baseball in Wartime). All Rights Reserved.