ST. LOUIS (AP) â€” St. Louis Cardinals first baseman Will Clark, who provided a late-season spark in place of an injured Mark McGwire, is retiring after a 15-year career.
Clark, 36, batted .345 with 12 home runs and 42 RBIs for the Cardinals in the final two months of the season, after coming to St. Louis in a trade with Baltimore.
He lived up to his nickname of ``The Thrill'' in his first at-bat with the club, hitting a pinch-hit home run. He homered in each of his first four starts with St. Louis.
Clark hit .345 in the postseason, and his three-run, first-inning homer off Atlanta's Tom Glavine in Game 2 of the NL division series helped send St. Louis into its first NL championship series since 1996.
Clark, who started his career in San Francisco, spent eight years on the West Coast before moving onto Texas in 1994 and Baltimore in 1999. He finishes with a .303 batting average and 284 home runs.
A six-time All-Star, Clark was the MVP of the 1989 NLCS, leading the Giants to their last World Series.
A first-round selection from Mississippi State, Clark â€” known for his distinctive eye black â€” homered on his first minor and major league at-bats, on his first swing both times.