Historic Baseball

Historic Baseball

Bringing Baseball History To Center Field

John Gibson Clarkson
Born: July 1, 1861 in Cambridge, Mass. 
Died: Feb. 4, 1909 in Belmont, Mass.
Debut: 1882  | Pos: P
Ht: 5’10” | Wt: 155 | B: R | T: R

Yrs W L G SV IP SO ERA
12 328 178 531 5 4536.1 1978 2.81

>> Visit the John Clarkson biography on Baseball Almanac for complete statistics.


One of the stars among 19th century pitchers, John Clarkson played in 12 major league seasons and compiled a 328-178 record. One of the lasting impacts he had on the game came with his success with curve balls. 

He helped to lead the Chicago White Stockings to the National League pennant in 1885 when he had 53 wins. He had two seasons in which he pitched more than 600 innings. 

Chicago sold Clarkson to Boston in 1888 for $10,000. It was the second time in two seasons that Chicago had sold a player for that amount and the general displeasure among players over the sale is said to have led to a players association in 1890.

He was the winningest pitcher in the National League when he retired. Clarkson was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1963.