2022 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 end 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.
Clites scored 292 points (14.4 points per game) as a sophomore. As a junior, he tallied 330 points, averaging 15 points a game, to lead the Maples to their first WPIAL playoff appearance in 34 years. In his senior season, Clites scored 595 points, 25.9 points per game. He scored 44 points against West Greene. Clites scored 30 or more points three times that season and 20 or more points 15 times, again leading Mapletown to the post-season.