(Photos Uploaded By Alan Cutts)
Today’s photos are from the 1938 baseball season. These are the oldest pictures I have of the baseball program, but this first picture is of an incredibly good quality considering the time frame which it was taken.
I’m not 100% sure which building the team is posing in front of, but I assume the old YMCA building between Tillman Hall and College Avenue (where Holzendorff Hall is located today).
Another thing that strikes me about these pictures is the young men and their faces. These boys, around the age of 20, are about to have their lives changed. Most of these young men will be embroiled in War War II just 3 years after this picture was taken.
It is also striking to me that if any of these young men survived the war and are still alive today, they would be around 95 years old today.
The 1938 team would finish a disappointing 6-12 on the season. The early years of Tiger baseball, however, had some highlights for the individuals and teams.
In 1922, Flint Rhem, one of the Tigers’ greatest players of the 20th century, played in his first season at Clemson. He played in the 1922-24 seasons and later went on to play 12 Major League seasons with the Saint Louis Cardinals, Philadelphia Phillies, and Boston Braves. He had a 105-97 career record with a 4.20 ERA and over 1,500 strikeouts. He was 20-7 with a 3.21 ERA with the Cardinals in 1926 in his best season. He once pitched a no-hitter (in 1924, one year before his rookie season in the Majors) while playing for the Fort Smith (AR) minor league team. He struck out 16 batters in the game and made it in “Ripley’s Believe It or Not” by not allowing a ball to be hit out of the infield.
Clemson’s 1931 season was cut short due to an outbreak of meningitis on campus in April. Clemson finished 6-2.
In 1943, Frank Howard, Clemson’s career leader in football wins (165), coached the baseball team for one season, compiling a 12-3 record. His career record is still the second best of any coach in Tiger history. There have only been five different baseball head coaches since his brief stint.
And in 1947, Clemson participated in the NCAA Tournament for the first time. The Tigers advanced to the NCAA Eastern Finals and lost to eventual finalist Yale (and first baseman George H. W. Bush) on June 20 at New Haven, CT.
(Note: If you have old pictures dating before 1990 that are Clemson related and you would like to share them, send them to me in an email with as much information about the picture as you can give and I will use it for a future “Clemson Historic Picture Of The Day”).
Scott Rhymer can be reached at Scottrhymer.firstname.lastname@example.org
Credit to clemsontigers.com