MEMPHIS, Tenn. – Memphis Redbirds manager Stubby Clapp has been named the St. Louis Cardinals first base coach after two record-setting seasons as skipper in The Bluff City, where he previously starred as a player in the early 2000s.
Clapp joins a Cardinals staff helmed by 2015-16 Redbirds manager Mike Shildt that also includes 2012-14 Redbirds skipper Pop Warner as third base coach, 2008-18 hitting coach Mark Budaska as assistant hitting coach, and 2013-17 pitching coach Bryan Eversgerd as bullpen coach.
In two seasons as Memphis manager, Clapp went 174-107 (.619), and the team won the 2017 and 2018 Pacific Coast League Championships and the 2018 Triple-A National Championship. The 174 wins between two regular seasons were the most in a two-year span by Memphis clubs since 1933-34.
For his successes, Clapp was named PCL Manager of the Year in both seasons he managed at AutoZone Park, becoming just the third PCL manager on record to win the award in consecutive seasons. With Memphis’ ninth win of the 2018 season, he became the fastest manager in both franchise history and in the 116-year history of the PCL to reach 100 wins, needing just 151 games.
The Redbirds’ pitching staff set the franchise record for best ERA in both seasons Clapp managed, culminating with a 3.54 mark in 2018 after putting together a 3.77 team ERA in 2017. Both totals led the PCL.
Clapp and the Redbirds succeeded despite massive turnover each season, including 60-plus players on the roster each year, 36 Triple-A debuts, and 18 players being promoted to the Cardinals at some point during 2018 and 22 in 2017. Additionally, the Redbirds won in 2018 despite its entire Opening Day rotation of John Gant, Dakota Hudson, Austin Gomber, Jack Flaherty, and Daniel Poncedeleon finishing the season on St. Louis’ roster.
Clapp returned to Memphis on November 30, 2016 to become the seventh manager in Redbirds history, succeeding Shildt, who was promoted to quality control coach in St. Louis. Clapp’s history in Memphis dates back to the early days of the Redbirds, as he played 425 games from 1999-2002 and still holds the franchise’s career records for triples (19) and walks (222). He ranks second in runs scored (258) and third in games played, doubles (87), extra-base hits (128) and total hits (418).
He was a member of the Redbirds’ first Pacific Coast League championship team in 2000, where he hit three home runs and drove in 11 runs with a .404 on-base percentage during the playoffs. Clapp also recorded the first hit in AutoZone Park history earlier that season, with a single to center field.
Clapp reached the major leagues in 2001 with the Cardinals, where he appeared in 23 games and hit .200 with two doubles. In all, Clapp played over 1,000 minor league games during his career and boasted a .274 lifetime batting average with 55 triples, 115 stolen bases and played six different positions.