FRED CLARKE DIES;
Pittsburgh Player In 1900's
WINFIELD, Kas., Aug, 14 (AP) -- Fred Clarke, former playing manager of the Pitts-burgh Pirates and a member of Baseball's Hall of Fame, died in a hospital here tonight. He was 87 years old.
Led Team 16 YearsRanked among the outstand- ing left fielders in National League history, Mr. Clarke gained most of his fame during the period from 1900 to 1912 as playing manager of the Pittsburgh Pirates. He led the club for sixteen seasons alto-gether but in his last four years he rarely saw action, participating in only tweleve games.
The Pirates, under Mr. Clarke's guidance captured four league pennants, in 1901, 1902, 1903, and in 1909, when Pittsburgh also won the world series by taking four of seven games from the Detroit Tigers.
Born in Des Moines, Iowa on Oct. 3, 1872, Mr. Clarke started his Professional career with the Hastings, Neb., team in 1892. Two years later he signed with the Louisville team, then in the National League. In his debut in the majors on June 30th, 1894, he hit four singles and a triple in five times at bat.
Mr. Clarke's lifetime batting average was .315, and in eighteen seasons as a regular he batted above .300 eleven times. His biggest season was 1897, when he hit .408 in 129 games. He was also noted as a base stealer and 66 of his total of 527 were achieved in 1898.
After he had played six years with Louisville, the club was consolidated with Pittsburgh in 1899 , when the National League reduced the number of its teams from tweleve to eight. The Pirates thus acquired Mr. Clarke along with several other players including Hans Wagner and Rube Waddell. Simultaneously, Mr. Clarke was designated manager of the Pirates. He retained the post untill he retired.
Team Advanced Rapidly
Under his direction, the Pirates leaped from seventh place to, where they finished in 1899, to second position in 1900 and the next season began a three-year reign as National League champions. Mr. Clarke had his best season at bat for the Pirates in 1903, when he hit .351.
After the end of the 1910 campaign, Mr. Clarke obtained Max Carey from the South Bend club of the Central League to act as his understudy in the outfield.
In 1911, he played in 101 games and batted .324, but managed from the bench thereafter.
In June 1925 he came out of retirement and joined the Pirates again as assistant to both the late Barney Dreyfuss, president of the club, and Bill McKechnie, then manager of the team.
The Pirates won the pennant and world series in 1925, but but Mr. Clarke severed his connections with the club at the close of the 1926 season after he became the subject of dissension among the team members.
In 1937, his old teammate, Mr. Wagner, as commisioner of the National Semi-Pro Baseball Congress, placed Mr. Clarke in charge of the semi-professional national championship tourney at Wichita, Kan.
Mr. Clarke was named to the Hall of Fame in 1945. He later served as president of the Na-tional Association of Leagues for Sandlot Clubs .