Harlond Clift

Harlond Benton (Darkie) Clift (August 12, 1912 – April 27, 1992), born in El Reno, Oklahoma, was a third baseman for the St. Louis Browns from 1934 to 1943 and Washington Senators from 1943 to 1945.

In 12 seasons, he played in 1,582 games, had 5,730 at bats, 1,070 runs, 1,558 hits, 309 doubles, 62 triples, 178 home runs, 829 RBI, 69 stolen bases, 1,070 walks, 2,525 total bases, 53 sacrifice hits, a .272 batting average, .390 on-base percentage, and .441 slugging percentage.

Clift was one of the first power-hitting third basemen, posting his offensive numbers at a time when players at that position were more valued for their fielding. However, Clift was also regarded as a superb fielder. In the 1937 season, he set single-season records of 50 double plays and 405 assists that stood until 1971.

Clift was traded to the Washington Senators in 1943.

A serious case of the mumps and a horse-riding injury hampered Clift's play late in his career.

Clift died in Yakima, Washington, at the age of 79.

By Dean Hanley

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