David Clyde returns to ballpark where he made Texas Rangers history 50 years ago

David Clyde returns to ballpark where he made Texas Rangers history 50 years ago

HOUSTON (CBSNewsTexas.com) - When the Texas Rangers host the Detroit Tigers Tuesday night, they will celebrate the 50th anniversary of one of the greatest moments in franchise history.

On June 27, 1973, 18-year-old pitching phenom David Clyde—the No. 1 overall pick in the 1973 MLB Draft—made the jump from Houston Westchester High School directly to the major leagues. 

Just three weeks after pitching in the Texas high school state tournament, Clyde made his big league debut in front of 35,698 fans. It was the first sellout in Rangers club history. 

Clyde gave up just one hit and struck out eight batters in five innings on the mound, earning the win as the Rangers beat the Minnesota Twins, 4-3.

However, the dream start to Clyde's career quickly turned into a nightmare. While Rangers owner Bob Short used the young pitcher to draw fans to the ballpark, most baseball experts agree the prudent move would have been to allow Clyde to gain experience in the minor leagues.

As things turned out, Clyde only pitched two years with the Rangers before being sent to the minor leagues for three years. He eventually made it back to the majors with Cleveland for two seasons before a second shoulder surgery ended his baseball career at age 26. 

Now, a 68-year old grandfather who had shoulder replacement surgery last month, Clyde takes an emotional look back with Bill Jones and CBS Sports Photojournalist Bill Ellis at that day, 50 years ago at Arlington Stadium. You can watch the full interview below.

David Clyde, the No. 1 pick in the 1973 MLB Draft reflects on his time with the Texas Rangers by CBS TEXAS on YouTube
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