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Fun facts about Lloyd McClendon

By Gary Hill

A few fun facts about the Mariners’ new manager, Lloyd McClendon:

• He was once traded for Tom Seaver. On Dec. 16, 1982, the Reds traded Seaver to the Mets for McClendon and Charlie Puleo.

• He played parts of eight seasons in MLB with the Reds, Cubs and Pirates.

• Until this season, McClendon was the last Pirate to reach base in a postseason game. In Game 7 of the 1992 NLCS against the Braves, he was issued a free pass by Jeff Reardon in the top of the ninth inning. He was left stranded at second base when Jay Bell grounded out. The Braves erased a 2-0 Pittsburgh lead in the bottom of the inning as Sid Bream lumbered home to send Atlanta to the World Series.

• He was a lifetime .625 hitter in the postseason (10 for 16) including a home run in Game 6 of the 1992 NLCS against Atlanta. His teammate Barry Bonds went deep as well in that game.

• He set an NLCS record by recording eight hits in eight straight at-bats.

• McClendon never faced the Mariners as a player.

• The right-handed hitter was a career .206 hitter with 14 home runs against righties while slugging 21 homers and hitting .262 against lefties.

• Dennis Rasmussen, Tom Glavine and Sid Fernandez were the three pitchers he took deep more than once in his career.

• He played for Pete Rose, Tommy Helms, Don Zimmer and Jim Leyland in his MLB career.

• McClendon appeared in left field (138 games), right field (131), first base (101), catcher (50) and third base (9) in the majors.

• He was a standout baseball player at Valparaiso University and entered the school’s Hall of Fame in the class of 1997-98.

• His son Bo McClendon was drafted in the 39th round of the 2010 MLB draft out of Valparaiso and spent two years in professional baseball.

• He shares the hometown of Gary, Ind., with the Jackson 5. Dan Plesac, Ron Kittle and LaTroy Hawkins were other big leaguers from Gary.

• He led his hometown to the Little League World Series in 1971. He pitched a shutout, homered five times in five at-bats and was walked 10 times in the Series.

• He was chosen with the first pick in the eighth round of the 1980 draft by the Mets. He was selected 18 picks ahead of a 19-year-old high-school shortstop named Eric Davis (Cincinnati).

• He was teammates with current Athletics general manager Billy Beane with the Little Falls Mets in 1980 and the Lynchburg Mets in 1981.

• He was also teammates with current Mariners pitching coach Carl Willis in the Reds organization.

• McClendon managed the Pirates from 2001-2005 and compiled a 336-446 record.

• The most games he won in a season at the helm was 75 in 2003.

• Not coincidentally, here is a list of pitchers who started at least 10 games for the Pirates between 2001 and 2005:

Kip Wells, 121 starts
Josh Fogg, 119
Kris Benson, 63
Jimmy Anderson, 59
David Williams, 58
Oliver Perez, 55
Ryan Vogelsong, 33
Todd Ritchie, 33
Mark Redmond, 30
Jeff D’Amico, 29
Joe Beimel, 23
Salomon Torres, 21
Jeff Suppan, 21
Brian Meadows, 18
Bronson Arroyo, 17
Zach Duke, 14
Jason Schmidt, 14
Tony McKnight, 12
Omar Olivares, 12

• The Pirates’ 2002 spring training featured a classic reaction from Derek Bell when he learned he was in a battle for the starting job in right field:

“If it ain’t settled with me out there, then they can trade me,” Bell said. “I ain’t going out there to hurt myself in spring training battling for a job. If it is (open), then I’m going into Operation Shutdown.”

It should be noted that Bell hit .173 with five home runs the previous year with the Pirates. Bell never played in the Majors again after the “Operation Shutdown” proclamation.

• McClendon famously stole first base after an argument with an umpire in 2001.

• McClendon spent eight seasons on the Tigers’ coaching staff. He served as the Tigers’ bullpen coach in 2006 and was the hitting coach from 2007-2013.

• The Tigers scored 5,511 runs while McClendon was their hitting coach, which trailed only Texas (5,681), the New York Yankees (5,852) and Boston (5,864).

• Miguel Cabrera slashed .327/.407/.588 with 227 home runs and 737 RBIs in 4,054 plate appearances from 2008-2013.

• McClendon becomes just the fifth African-American manager to guide more than one team. He joins Frank Robinson (four teams), Dusty Baker (three), Jerry Manuel (two) and Hal McRae (two).