Clyde Martin began playing organized amateur
ball as early as 1932. Three years later, he traveled from
his home in Dexter, Missouri to nearby Portageville and
tried out for professional ball with the new Kitty League
Clyde batted .264 with 13 doubles, 5
triples, and 4 home runs in 78 games with the Portageville
Pirates that season. He was also named to the postseason
All-Star Team at second base.
In mid-July 1936, the Pirates traded him to
the Jackson Generals. He made an immediate impact, going
4-for-5 in his debut against his former team with two
doubles, a home run, three runs scored, and two runs batted
in! He batted .291 for both teams with 14 doubles and 40
runs batted in.
Martin was hit especially hard with an
injury jinx that plagued the 1937 Generals team. He split a
finger on his right hand attempting to field a hard-hit
ball, then broke the same hand a few days later when it was
struck by a batted ball. He returned to the lineup two weeks
Four games into his return, he was struck by
a fly ball on his split finger, resulting in a compound
fracture that required six stitches. This injury kept him on
the injured list until mid-August. Before being injured, he
had played in 216 consecutive games.
Clyde returned to Jackson on July 29, 1939
and brought along his older brother Russell
Martin. At the time, the Generals were in first place,
one game ahead of the Owensboro Oilers in the Kitty League
pennant chase. Despite hitting .329 in the last 40 games, he
couldn't keep the team from collapsing down the stretch and
dropping into fourth place at season's end.
After his professional career ended, Clyde
continued to play ball in and around his hometown of Dexter,
Missouri. His most memorable game was in 1948 when the
Holcomb Cardinals faced a major league all-star team in
Sikeston, Missouri. He got four hits off pitcher Robin
Roberts, who had just begun his 19-year Hall of Fame career
Clyde Martin was inducted into the Southeast
Missouri Amateur Baseball Hall of Fame along with former
Kitty League pitcher Gene Nichols on October 21, 1978.