He Knew Clark Was a Hit Before Homer : High School Coach, a Dodger Fan, Rooted for Cardinals This Time

Times Staff Writer

Principal Stu Reeder of Don Lugo High School in Chino was involved in an administrative meeting late Wednesday afternoon, so he didn't get to watch the end of the game between the Dodgers, his favorite team, and the St. Louis Cardinals.

But Athletic Director Jerry Johnson broke in to give Reeder a note saying that Jack Clark, who played at Covina Gladstone High while Reeder was the coach and led the Gladiators to the 1973 Southern Section 2-A championship, had hit a two-out, three-run homer in the ninth inning, putting the Cardinals in the World Series.

"I cheered out loud," Reeder said.

But seriously . . .

"No, really I did," Reeder insisted. "That's as much as I know now, that he hit the home run. I'm going to go home and hope my wife was taping the game."

Clark was a first-team All-Southern Section pick as a utility player in '73, when he hit .517 and had an 11-3 record as a pitcher.

"I really felt at that point (high school) that this guy was an awesome hitter," said Reeder, who retired as a coach in 1978 after 15 seasons at Gladstone. "No one could get him out. Lance Parrish (then a pitcher at Walnut High and now a catcher with the Detroit Tigers) was only a junior at the time, but he could practically throw the ball through a wall. And he couldn't even get Jack out.

"I sent him a telegram when the playoffs started. I've been a dyed-in-the-wool Dodger fan since I was 8, which is going back to the '40s. This may be the first time that I've ever rooted against the Dodgers.

"My real reaction, and this is not to put him down, is at last he did something to help them win in the playoffs. He did plenty during the regular season, but he hasn't done a whole lot in the playoffs. I couldn't be happier for him."

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