The 100 Greatest Angels: #52 Clyde Wright

#52 - Clyde Wright, RHP

Career Stats

When the Angels faced the Yankees in the 2005 ALDS, former Angel pitcher Clyde Wright was asked who he was rooting for, a tough question considering his son, Jaret, was a pitcher of the Yankees. "The Angels" he responded.

Beat that Andy Messersmith.

Rob McMillin of the 6-4-2 L.A. Baseball Blog has the story of what went wright...

Clyde Wright's first game in the majors was the kind that causes lots of false hope: four-hitting the Twins in a 8-1 complete game victory on the road on June 15, 1966, Wright picked up four strikeouts on the night. Drafted only the year before from Carson-Newman College in Jefferson City, Tennessee in the sixth round, Clyde Wright zipped through the lower minors prior to his debut, one manager Bill Rigney called "the best start in the majors I've ever seen". GM Fred Haney called him "a left handed Don Sutton," who also collected a pair of hits and an RBI to boot.

The glow faded two years later, as Wright failed to pick up a win for nearly a month, then banged out three straight, and no more for the rest of the year. In 1969, the Angels waived him, but went unclaimed anyway. Jim Fregosi talked him into playing winter ball, where he learned a screwball/changeup that turned him around. In 1970, he won 11 of his first 16 decisions, garnering an All Star appearance (he was the losing pitcher) and an AL Comeback Player of the Year award. Pitching 54 games with nine or more innings, he was remarkably durable.

After three more years in which he slowly sank below league average, his Angel career ended on October 23, 1973, following an 11-19 season when he was traded to the Brewers for a handful of players -- most notably catcher Ellie Rodriguez -- none of whom stuck with the club long enough to make much of an impression. "I love Anaheim and I'm going to keep my home here," Wright said. "... Given a choice, I'd rather stay but this is part of baseball. I have to accept it no matter how much I may dislike it." Wright stayed in the majors for two more years, posting poor numbers with Milwaukee and Texas before hanging up his spikes.

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