Clyde Wright

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Clyde Wright
(Skeeter, Crazy Righto)

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Biographical Information[edit]

Clyde Wright began his career in spectacular fashion. In 1965 he went 7-2 for the Quad Cities Angels and posted a 1.99 ERA. In 1966 he began the year with the El Paso Sun Kings and went 9-0 with a 3.41 ERA; he was called up to the majors and threw a four-hitter against the Minnesota Twins in his first game. Overall, Wright went 24-6 in the minors, counting a Pacific Coast League trip in 1967.

Wright's best big-league season was 1970. After learning the screwball in the offseason, Clyde went 22-12 with a 2.83 ERA, third in the American League. He was an All-Star, the American League Comeback Player of the Year and threw a no-hitter against the Oakland A's.

In 1976, Wright was released by the Texas Rangers a week before the season began and signed a $50,000 contract with the Yomiuri Giants. He became just the second foreigner to join the Giants in over a decade, following Davey Johnson in 1975. In the 6th inning of a 1-1 game early in his first season in Japan, Wright was removed after the first two batters reached base. Manager Shigeo Nagashima yanked Wright, who refused to give over the baseball, then charged off the mound and fired the ball into the dugout. After leaving the field, Wright tore off his uniform, threw it into the bathtub and kicked over a garbage can. Wright was nicknamed "Crazy Righto", a name that stuck throughout his time in Japan. Fans and sportswriters called for Wright's release but Nagashima stood by his pitcher (who defended Nagashima's managing, but criticized Japanese baseball tactics). Wright argued that the move was meant to deny him a bonus if he reached a set number of wins.

In either 1976 or 1977, Wright, Roger Repoz and Charlie Manuel got into a fight with most of the East German hockey team in a Japanese club. Needless to say, the American trio did not fare well.

Wright eventually became popular by throwing balls into the stands for young fans and for his pranks in the clubhouse. Wright went 8-7 with a 3.32 ERA in his first year with Yomiuri, then followed with an 11-9, 4.24 campaign in 1977 and finally a 3-2, 4.97 year in 1978. Yomiuri owed Wright $10,000 or so at the time of his departure; Clyde says his problem was only with the front office, not the fans or players.

In 1976, Wright won Game 5 of the Japan Series and added a surprising homer, but lost Game 7 when he gave up two late homers after telling his interpreter to ask the team to remove him due to fatigue.

After he retired he battled alcoholism and opened the Clyde Wright Pitching School in Anaheim, CA, which he ran for decades. He also has spoken to Little Leagues and done other community involvement. Additionally, he has returned to Japan for some old-timers' games.

He is the father of Jaret Wright.

Sources: "Remembering Japanese Baseball" by Rob Fitts, "You Gotta Have Wa" by Robert Whiting,

Notable Achievements[edit]

  • AL All-Star (1970)
  • 1970 AL Comeback Player of the Year Award
  • 15 Wins Seasons: 3 (1970-1972)
  • 20 Wins Seasons: 1 (1970)
  • 200 Innings Pitched Seasons: 5 (1970-1974)

Related Sites[edit]