Jack Clements

  • Card series: Beginnings: 1880's
  • City: Philadelphia
  • Team: Quakers
  • League: National League

John Clements (1864-1941) was known best for being a left-handed catcher and, by far, the most durable and enduring southpaw ever to play the position in the majors. Jack caught four times as many games (1,073) as any other port-sider in history and was the last to catch regularly in the major leagues. Jack played 17 seasons and is credited as the first receiver to wear a chest protector. His .394 BA in 1895 is highest ever at his position and he was among the top four in batting average three times. He was also the first big leaguer to catch 1,000 games. Clements’ power was such that, upon retirement, he was the all-time leader for catchers in single-season and career home runs. Jack came up with the Union Association’s Philadelphia Keystones in that league’s sole season, 1884. When the team folded in August, Jack became the backstop for the National League’s Quakers (Phillies) franchise for 14 seasons before playing out his MLB career with three other teams.

  • Jack had trouble laying down the tools. In 1900, following his final year in the NL, he played for the only minor league squad of his long career, a dozen games with the Providence Clamdiggers. He hit .295

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