CAN-AM Hall of Fame
YEAR OF INDUCTION: 2012
Richard Keith “Stubby” Clapp played eleven seasons of professional baseball in the 1990s and the first decade of the 2000s.
Clapp was born on February 24, 1973 in Windsor.
Clapp attended Kennedy Collegiate before graduating from Riverside Secondary School.
He was product of the Windsor Selects baseball program in Windsor, Ontario, Canada.
He earned a scholarship to Texas Tech University after playing two seasons at Paris Junior College in Paris, Texas.
In 1996, the St. Louis Cardinals selected Clapp in the 36th round of the Major League Baseball Amateur Draft. He went on to play 11 seasons of professional baseball, seven at the AA or AAA level.
Clapp finally reached the Major League level in 2001, when he spent the season with the Cardinals. He managed five hits, including two doubles, in 23 Major League games. In St. Louis, Clapp played under the Hall of Fame manager Tony La Russa and alongside Mark McGuire and Albert Pujols.
Clapp is particularly well remembered in Memphis, where he enjoyed a four-year stint with the AAA Redbirds and became known as the “Mayor of Memphis.” In 2007, the team retired his number-10 jersey. It was the first ever so honoured by the team.
Clapp’s jersey #10 was the first number ever retired by the Memphis Redbirds. This is commemorated by a painted “10” on the wall above the Redbirds’ bullpen at AutoZone Park. He is second all-time for the Memphis Redbirds for games played (425) and hits (418).
Clapp also played at the AAA level in the Atlanta Braves (2003) and Toronto Blue Jays (2004) organizations. In 990 minor league games, he recorded 964 hits, 49 home runs, 399 RBI, and a .275 batting average.
Clapp played for Canada at the 1999 Pan American Games in Winnipeg. He memorably contributed a walk-off bases-loaded single in the 11th inning of a quarterfinal against a heavily favoured American team. Clapp and Canada eventually won bronze.
Clapp also represented his country in 1991 World Junior Championships, 2004 and ’08 Summer Olympics, and ’06 and ’09 World Baseball Classics.
At the time of his induction in 2012, Clapp had been a coach and manager in the Houston Astros’ Minor League system for five years.
He later moved to the Toronto Blue Jays organization.
Clapp began his coaching career as a hitting coach for the Lexington Legends, the Houston Astros “A” ball team in the South Atlantic League. He came out of retirement to represent Canada at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, and was named to the roster for the 2009 World Baseball Classic.
In November 2010, Clapp became the hitting coach for the Corpus Christi Hooks, Houston’s Double-A affiliate.
Clapp managed the Tri-City ValleyCats, a Single-A affiliate of the Houston Astros, during the 2011 and 2012 seasons.
In January 2013, Clapp was hired as the hitting coach for the Dunedin Blue Jays, Toronto’s Advanced-A affiliate. On December 19, 2014, the New Hampshire Fisher Cats announced that he would be their new hitting coach.
Clapp was third base coach for the gold medal-winning Canada national baseball team at the 2015 Pan American Games in July 2015.
On November 30, 2016, the Cardinals named Clapp manager of the Memphis Redbirds. During the 2017 season, Memphis celebrated Clapp’s backflipping antics by hosting a bobblehead night featuring Clapp performing his signature move in bobblehead form.
On the field, Clapp led the Redbirds to win the 2017 American Conference Southern Division title and was selected as the 2017 PCL Manager of the Year.
The Redbirds became the 2017 PCL champions after defeating the El Paso Chihuahuas in five games in the league championship final. Baseball America named Clapp their Minor League Manager of the Year for 2017, becoming the first Cardinals minor league manager to win the award.
In 2018, Clapp again managed Memphis to the PCL title, defeating the Fresno Grizzlies in 4 games. The Redbirds went on to defeat the International League champion Durham Bulls in the AAA Championship Game. Clapp was also named the 2018 PCL Manager of the Year, making him just the third manager in PCL history to win the award in consecutive seasons.
On October 29, 2018, the St. Louis Cardinals announced Clapp will be their first base coach for the 2019 season.