Thursday, December 3, 2009
1997 Bowman, Matt Clement
#207 Matt Clement
Here is another 1997 Bowman Padrograph. This one features Matt Clement, a guy I never think of as a Padre. If it wasn't from this card, I would probably be oblivious to the fact that he ever wore a Padres uniform. But, he did in fact make 67 starts for San Diego over two plus years. For some reason, I always picture him as a Cub. I think the reason for that is because of a game I saw him pitch on TV in 2002, his first season as a Cub. I was in college, so the game had to have been somewhat early in the season. But I remember it because the Cubs announcers (probably Chip Caray and Steve Stone) mentioned that he kind of looked like Abe Lincoln with a goatee instead of a beard. So to this day, when I think of Matt Clement, I think of Lincoln, too.
Matt was never a number one starter type. But, he was a great innings eater and you know that those are always in demand. The most wins he had in a season was 14 as a Cub in 2003. It was gaurenteed that he was going to strikeout at least 130 batters a year and he had a career high of 215 in '02. He had a career ERA of 4.47. Like I said, he wasn't number one starter material, but you can see why he would be in demand (although he would have been the Royals number one starter if he had played for them).
In 2006, Matt only made 12 starts for the Red Sox before having season ending shoulder surgery. He missed all of the next season rehablitating. Prior to 2008, the Cardinals signed him to a Major League contract and he was put on the disabled list before making an appearance in Spring Training. He was released by the Cards without having thrown one pitch for them. The Blue Jays signed him to minor league contract this past year. Matt failed to make the rotation out of Spring Training and retired.
According to Wikipedia, Matt is now the head basketball coach at the high school he attended.