Harlond Clift

In the years 1934-43, the St. Louis Browns average season record was 62-90; in two of those seasons, they lost over 100 games. The rare good player on such a team is bound to go unrecognized. Harlond Clift was the most consistent power-hitting third baseman of his era, but was selected to the All-Star squad only once. When he hit 29 HR in 1937, it was a ML record for third basemen. He topped it the following year with 34 HR (third overall in the AL that season), and led the league’s third basemen in HR four straight years, 1936-39. In his nine full seasons with the Browns he averaged 19 homers, 31 doubles, and 104 walks, hitting .300 twice and slugging .500 three times.

He was also one of the best fielders in the league; his 50 double plays and 405 assists in 1937 were records until Graig Nettles broke them in 1971, and Clift’s 637 total chances in 1937 is still the second-best mark of this century. When he retired, his 309 double plays had broken Pie Traynor‘s career mark for third basemen.

Traded to the Senators in 1943, Clift missed the Browns’ one-shot championship the next year, and illness and injury ended his career in 1945.