David Clyde

He’s the kid pitcher who went directly from Houston’s Westchester High School to the show. Twenty days after pitching in the state finals—and two weeks after the beleaguered Texas Rangers selected him as the number one pick in the amateur draft and paid him a $65,000 bonus—eighteen-year-old David Clyde debuted on the mound of Arlington Stadium on June 27, 1973. The southpaw (above, on that day) drew the first sellout in the franchise’s history, giving up one hit in the team’s 4-3 victory over the Minnesota Twins. The excitement he created is credited with saving major league ball in North Texas, but within two years he’d thrown his arm out and was sent down to the minors. Three years later he got called up again, spending two seasons pitching for the Cleveland Indians before retiring in 1981. Now 46, Clyde lives in Tomball and owns McCauley Lumber Tomball with his father-in-law and brother-in-law. He and his wife have two sons, one daughter, and a grandson. He doesn’t play ball anymore—“Everyone wants a shot at an ex-pro, and I’m too competitive to give them a free shot,” he says—though he enjoyed watching his sons play in high school and college. Still, that brought back those old feelings: “I know what it’s like to be out there and struggling.”

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