BOB CLITES

2023 NOMINEE – BASEBALL & BASKETBALL

Mapletown High School

  • Clites was part of one of the most incredibly pitched games in Washington-Greene County and WPIAL history May 21, 1970, when he and Beth-Center’s Dick Swinchock squared off.
  • The result was a 2-1 Bulldogs’ victory, which clinched a share of the section championship for them and eliminated the Maples from post-season contention. Swinchock, a lefty, struck out 25 batters in 11 innings — finishing with a two-hitter. Clites, a right-hander, also pitched 11 innings and struck out 18. He had one of the two Maples’ hits — a double. Clites did surrender nine hits — two by Swinchock — to a potent Beth-Center lineup.
  • Clites was picked in the 39th round of the MLB draft by the Pittsburgh Pirates. It was a draft that produced two starters for the Pirates’ 1979 World Series championship team — Dave Parker and Ed Ott.
  • Without a doubt, Clites made his mark as a baseball player, getting drafted and pitching in four minor-league seasons. Injuries caught up with him as he attempted a comeback after pitching the 1970 and 1971 seasons and then being in the armed forces from 1972-1974. In 1975 and ’76, he worked almost exclusively as a starter, going a combined 5-5. His final two games pitched for Class A Salem, were shutouts. The arm injury just became too much to overcome.
  • Clites was much more than a baseball player, though. He was a dominant basketball player and led Mapletown to consecutive 21-2 seasons in 1968-69 and 1969-70. As a junior, Clites set a record in the Laurel Highland Basketball Boosters Tournament by making 21-of-21 free throws in a game.

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