Top Ten Dodger Villains-Will Clark, A.K.A. The Thrill

Our next top ten villain is somebody who is especially vile. A loathsome worm that has wiggled the Dodgers out of many wins over the years. I would have loved to see this worm get hooked and devoured by a large fish. How many times did we see Will Clark beat the Dodgers? Many times. Too many damn times. I was a kid when Clark began his systematic torture of the Dodgers. I often prayed for his career to end. As a child, I prayed for Clark to come down with a horrible case of explosive diarrhea so he couldn’t play. We were never so lucky. So here he is the number five Dodger villain of all time

5. Will Clark a.k.a Will “the thrill” Clark

Will "The Thrill" Clark

Will “The Thrill” Clark

Not surprisingly we have quite a few Giants on this list. Clark was a longtime Giant and Dodger killer who took sick joy from making the Dodgers suffer. It was cruel. This guy could roll out of bed and get four hits. Clark originally from New Orleans was drafted by the Giants in the first round of the 1985 draft. He made his MLB debut in 1986 and spent eight seasons with the Giants. Clark was a five time all-star selection with the Giants and a gold glove and silver slugger winner.

Clark was an exceptional hitter. He ended his career with a .303 average and .384 OBP. Yes he drew walks too. As a matter of fact he averaged 77 free passes per season, and finished with 937 for his career. He could hit the ball out of the park too. He averaged 23 long balls each year, and finished with six seasons of 20+ home runs. He never hit below .280 in any given season, and had four seasons of 100+ RBI. Clark went on to play for Texas, Baltimore, and the Cardinals during his 15 year MLB career, but his best years were with the Giants.

Clark finished with 2,176 career hits, 284 home runs, and a career OPS of .880. During his early years with the Giants, Clark finished in the top five in the NL MVP balloting four times.

Clark was a great hitter in the playoffs too, averaging a .333 (39 for 117), and a .956 OPS with five home runs in his postseason career. Clark single-handedly defeated the Cubs in the 1989 NLCS earning himself the series MVP award. Clark had hit two home runs in the first game of the series. His second home run was most memorable, and painful for Cub’s fans. Clark had read the lips of catcher Joe Girardi (who was not covering his mouth with his glove) who was discussing with pitcher Greg Maddux on how to pitch him. Clark sent the inside high fastball onto waveland avenue for a grand slam. It became known as Clark’s night on Addison in the Chicago papers the next morning. Geez, poor Cubs fans. Anyways, Clark eventually drove in the series clinching runs in the eighth inning of game five with a two-run single to center. Clark batted .650 in the series.

In case you’re wondering, Clark only batted .310 (72 for 232) with seven home runs at Dodger Stadium. I say “only” in jest. Clark had a .383 OBP at Chavez Ravine. Against the Dodgers all total, Clark hit .310 (150 for 482) with a .381 OBP, and an .870 OPS. Clark had 150 hits against the Dodgers. That’s the fourth most hits he had against any opposing team. Clark belted 15 home runs against the Dodgers with 35 doubles.

The thing was if there were runners on base, you did not want to pitch to him. Clark batted .306 with RISP, and smacked 72 home runs. Clark hit 72 home runs with runners in scoring position. I mean my god, can you imagine?

The origins of his nickname are still in debate. Some people believed it was given to him in college because he was such a natural. Others believe it was originated from an interview he had where he stated that he was “thrilled” to be there, or in the majors. Let me tell you it was no thrill watching him play against the Dodgers.

The problem with Clark was that he was huge and could cover the entire plate. He was 6’2 and batted left-handed. That was the problem, there was almost no way of pitching to him. He had a long swing and could reach for balls way outside the plate, or turn on inside pitches easily. He would just poke balls the other way, and he was strong enough to muscle balls out of the park down the line. I can still remember his long sweeping lanky swing. He had such a great eye at the plate, he never swung at balls, so striking him out was very difficult. Clark struck out over 100 times in a season just twice in his entire career.

Eventually in 2007, Clark was inducted into the bay area hall of fame. He now works in the Giant’s front office. Watch the tribute video above and you’ll notice a disturbing trend. Half of the highlights in the video are against the Dodgers. Clark makes the countdown not for any one or two horrific moments, but for his constant torture of the Dodgers over many years.

Someday Clark will have that explosive bout with diarrhea that I prayed for as a child. At least that is what I hope for soon. God I hate Will Clark.

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