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Allie Clark

Sport: Baseball

Born: Julne 16, 1923

Died: April 1, 2012

Town: South Amboy

Alfred Aloysius Clark was born June 16, 1923 in South Amboy. The town was a baseball hotbed in the Depression years, and Allie was the recognized as the town’s best all-around player, starring for St. Marys High—which later produced Jack McKeon and the O’Brien twins (all of whom idolized Allie as boys) along with Tom Kelly. In 1941, Allie was signed as a shortstop by the Yankees.

Allie hit well in the minors as he worked his way up to the club’s top farm team, the Newark Bears, in 1943. Midway through that season, however, he was drafted. Allie served as a battlefield medic. After his discharge in 1946, he returned to baseball, sending another year in the minors before being recalled in August 1947. He batted cleanup in his first game as a Yankee and drove in the winning run n the ninth inning. The following day, Allie smacked his first big-league homer. He hit .373, mostly as a pinch-hitter, in 24 games.

Allie commuted to Yankee Stadium from his home in Perth Amboy, often carpooling with Bobby Brown, who lived further South on the Jersey Shore. He was the last Yankee to wear Babe Ruth’s #3 before it was retired. Decades later Allie was issued #2 when he returned to the Bronx for Old-Timers Day.

The Yankees won the pennant in 1947 and Allie was a bench player in the World Series against the Brooklyn Dodgers. He saw action in three games, and pinch-hit for Yogi Berra in Game 7—the only player ever to do so. He singled home Phil Rizzuto to give his team a 4–2 lead. The Yanks won 5–2.

Allie was traded to the Cleveland Indians over the winter. He platooned with Dale Mitchell in left field and Hank Edwards in right, batting .310 with 9 homers in 81 games. The Indians won the pennant and defeated the Boston Braves in the World Series. Allie thus became the first players to win back-to-back World Series with two different AL teams.

Allie spent half of 1949 with San Diego in the Pacific Coast League and half with the Indians. Cleveland traded him to the Philadelphia A’s early in 1951, and he finished his big-league career with the White Sox in 1953. Allie hung on in the minors for five more years, mostly in the Cardinals system. He became a great fan favorite in Rochester for the Red Wings.

Allie returned to South Amboy after baseball and became an ironworker. He lived his entire life in his hometown and passed away in 2012 at the age of 88.

 

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