Sam L. Clemens

Sam L. Clemens was born a poor, black child. Hailing from Jackson, Mississippi, he left home and headed to the west coast on his 18th birthday. After earning a living from a variety of jobs, he settled in as a sports journalist working as a freelance reporter. Spending the majority of that time in the Pacific Coast Hockey League, he was approached by the Vancouver Canucks owner Mel Smith where Mel asked Clemens if he had any interest in becoming a scout for the owner, having what Mel described as "an inherent ability to quickly and accurately judge any person and their ability to succeed." Sam also helped in the creation of the iconic "Johhny Canuck" logo, billed as the "younger cousin to Uncle Sam", that we still see in use today with the NHL Vancouver franchise.

Having an affinity for guns and women, Clemens was a frequenter of Las Vegas and eventually built his estate in the neighboring desert of Baker. While covering a National District Attorneys' Drug Conference in Las Vegas, he encountered what would eventually end up being a lifelong friend in Raoul Duke. Duke and Clemens ran amok in Vegas, and across the countryside for that matter, while kindling their love for baseball… And drinking. And drugs.

After amassing a small fortune in ways that are still not fully clear to the federal government, Clemens set out to buy and incorporate an expansion franchise in the MLB. This was the first of many heated and loathing encounters with then MLB commissioner Bowie Kuhn. Kuhn was not amused by Sam's often ill-tempered rants that frequently found himself at the forefront of Sam's beratings, the most infamous being in defense of Tiger's pitcher Denny McLain, and particularly did not like the fact that Sam, Denny and Raoul Duke often were very public in their disdain for the commissioner. Sam to this day claims that the gun found on Denny was his.

Eventually Sam was awarded his franchise, the Bakersfield Colt.45's. After reaching the finals in their first year, Clemens and the team were banned from Major League Baseball after Kuhn found evidence that Sam repeatedly "motivated" his players by firing live ammo at them and require they "dance like the no-talent pansies they are". The .45's were replaced by the Houston Astros the next year.

With the aforementioned issues and coupled with his ties to Raoul Duke, Denny McLain, Curt Flood, gambling, drinking and what Kuhn called a "general disregard for rules, authority and any type of social convention", Clemens was black listed from MLB and any of their partners. There are still 3 open litigation cases in Sam's name against Kuhn.

With his franchise still poised to compete at any level, he enlisted some help from other black listed baseball figures (Stud Cantrell and Rockwell Porter, to name a couple) in order to create his own league of baseball miscreants where he and fellow out-laws wouldn't come under such scrutiny…

And the Wild West Baseball League was born.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License