Happy 38th birthday to former Cardinals infielder Stubby Clapp.
The 5-foot-8 overachiever only had a cup of coffee with the Birds, putting together 26 at bats in 23 games in 2001. But I can't think of any players who spent less time in St. Louis yet made such a big impact with the fans.
Redbirds rooters went wild when the 28-year-old rookie took the field during his brief stay at Busch Stadium. I guess St. Louis fans always love an underdog. And clap, a career minor leaguer known for his focus and hustle, fit the bill... Even though he hit only .200 with no homers and one RBI.
Clapp was even more popular in Memphis where he was a sparkplug type player. In tribute to his idol, Ozzie Smith, Clapp sometimes entered the field by doing a backflip. He's second on the all-time hits list and all-time games played list for the Cardinals Class AAA team and he is the only player to have his number -- 10 -- retired by Memphis.
Besides his professional career, Clapp has been a member of the Canadian Olympic baseball team. After his playing days were over, Clapp became a hitting coach in the Astros organization.