Not so Sweet Lou
One play can live in infamy and it is often not the fault of the player – sometimes it is. A ball bouncing off Jose Canseco for a home run, but Boston had a player kick a ball for a home run. Now that is a difficult task, but not for Lou Clinton.
Clinton’s moment of shame came in 1960 when the Indians Vic Power hits a shot off the top of the fence at Municipal Stadium. The ball then hits Clinton on his foot and Clinton either kicks it (that is the best story) or it bounces over the fence for a home run – never touching the ground.
Clinton posted a career dWAR of -2.1 and spent five seasons with the Red Sox. As a hitter, Clinton never materialized except for one hot streak in 1962 that boosted his season average to .294. The next season it was back to normal at .232, but with 22 home runs. Clinton’s right-handed bat never really produced as projected – a typical Red Sox tale of so many.
Clinton’s home in the outfield was generally in right field, but he was replacing Jackie Jensen, who had retired, and JJ was one of the best defensively. From my memories, Clinton had a strong-arm – maybe above average, but his ability to charge a base hit often negated that. When you look at all the great right fielders Boston has had Clinton just stands out as rather pedestrian.