Jay Justin Clarke
Justin Clarke was born in Amherstburg on December 15, 1882. A catcher (batting left, throwing right), he learned the position at Windsor’s Assumption College and with a semi-pro team in Adrian, Michigan. In 1902, playing for Corsicana Oil City in a Class “D” Texas League, he slugged eight home runs in a 51-3 victory over Texarkana.
Clarke got the call up to the majors in 1905, playing for the Cleveland Naps and Detroit Tigers. A year later, in Cleveland, he hit a career-high .358 in 57 games. He played three more years for the Naps and then moved on to one-year contracts with the St. Louis Browns (1911), Philadelphia Phillies (1919), and Pittsburgh Pirates (1920). In sum, Clarke played 506 games in the Majors, batting 1536 times, hitting 6 home runs, 127 rbi’s, and posting a career average of .254.
Two other things should be noted about Clarke’s remarkable career: on October 2, 1908, he caught the perfect game Addie Joss threw against the Chicago White Sox, which was only the fourth no-no in Major League history; Clarke is also credited with introducing shin guards to catcher’s protective equipment.
Clarke died in River Rouge, MI on June 15, 1949.