Tex Clevenger

From BR Bullpen


Truman Eugene Clevenger

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Bbiographical information[edit]

“One of my own private heroes this year is Tex Clevenger... I don’t care what the figures show. Clevenger has been our most useful pitcher and it is a pleasure for me to say so. A year ago he was a discredited pitcher who didn’t seem to have any future in the game. He bounced back big, and it took a lot of perseverance on his part and he showed us a lot to admire... It was when we were foundering for pitchers that he came through for us.” - Cookie Lavagetto, to Shirley Povich, 1957

Before the 1953 season, Tex Clevenger signed as an amateur free agent by the Boston Red Sox. In the minors, he went 16-2 for the San Jose Red Sox, good enough to earn him the 1953 California League MVP Award. He made his major league debut with the Red Sox in 1954, going 2-4, 4.79 in 23 games. He was traded to the Washington Senators after the 1955 season, which he had spent back in the minor leagues. Tex, who never had any affiliation with the state of Texas before, during or after his career, became a valuable relief/swingman weapon for the traditionally moribund Senators, leading the American League with 55 appearances in 1958 and earning 29 (retroactive) saves between 1957 and 1960.

On May 11, 1958, Clevenger was involved in a highly unusual play, getting both the assist and the putout in retiring the New York Yankees Elston Howard. Clevenger was hit by a line drive and the ball caromed off his leg into foul territory near first base. He ran to cover the bag to receive the toss from Norm Zauchin for the out, inscribed in the scorecard as 1-3-1. In 1959, Tex spun his only two career shutouts. On August 5th, he ended an 18-game Senators losing streak by shutting out the Cleveland Indians, 9-0, in the nightcap of a doubleheader.

Tex joined the Los Angeles Angels in 1961 for their maiden voyage and finished his career with parts of two seasons in the New York Yankees bullpen. He later owned Clevenger Ford, an automobile dealership in Porterville, CA where he resided. Diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease in 2008, he succumbed to complications eleven years later at 87 in 2019.

Notable Achievements[edit]

Related Sites[edit]