Clarence Kraft


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    Clarence Otto Kraft was a Major League Baseball player. He played in three games for the Boston Braves in 1914, but only appeared once in the field (at first base). He went 1-for-3 at the plate with one strikeout.

    His greater claims to fame came later, in the minor leagues. The first came immediately after his major league career ended. The Braves had acquired Kraft from the Brooklyn Robins, and returned Kraft to them in July. Brooklyn tried to send Kraft to the minor leagues, but Kraft sought the protection of the newly-formed Fraternity of Professional Baseball Players of America, which under the terms of a new agreement with the major league teams would allow Kraft to tender his services to higher-classed minor league teams. Under this clause, Kraft signed with the Class AA Newark Indians. However, the National Commission ruled that the rule could not be applied retroactively, and that Kraft’s rights belonged to the Class A Nashville Volunteers. Kraft refused to report to the Volunteers, however, and the dispute was only settled when Robins owner Charles Ebbets paid Nashville $2,500 to rescind their claim on Kraft.

    Later, playing for the Fort Worth Panthers, Kraft led the Texas League in home runs three straight times, from 1922 through 1924. In 1924, he hit 55 home runs and drove in 196 runs for the Panthers while batting .349. That season, he set several league records that stand to this day, including most runs scored (150), extra base hits (96), total bases (414) and RBI. Following the season, he announced his retirement and opened an auto dealership. He later served as a judge for Tarrant County before his death in 1958

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