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Donn Clendenon Autographs, Memorabilia & Collectibles

Born: July 15, 1935 in Neosho, Missouri
Died: September 17, 2005 in Sioux Falls, South Dakota
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Donn Clendenon
This article was written by Ed Hoyt and is presented in part, courtesy of the Society for American Baseball Research

His big brother in college was Martin Luther King Jr.

Somehow, it’s appropriate to begin with that fact when discussing Donn Clendenon. During his college years at Morehouse College, one of the most pivotal players in Mets history was mentored by the greatest and most pivotal African American of the 20th century. The big brother tradition for “Morehouse men” typically assigned juniors and seniors to incoming freshmen, but the King family knew the Clendenons well, and the future legend Martin Jr.—though he had already graduated from “The ’House,” continued his studies at Crozer Theological Seminary, and received his ordination—volunteered for the duty.

If Ed Charles’s remarkable baseball life was set in motion by being present as history was made by Jackie Robinson, you’d figure it would be hard for a teammate to have a bigger claim at being touched by greatness, but there you have it. As the Nobel laureate King would go on to almost define the civil-rights movement which culminated in many of the cultural upheavals of the 1960s, his protégé’s modest contribution to that era would be as the final piece of the puzzle of the storied championship baseball team that capped the decade and captured the nation’s imagination, a year after the murder of his mentor threatened to tear the nation apart.

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