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Robert Alton Cluck (born January 10, 1946 in San Diego, California) is a former minor league baseball pitcher who later went on to become a scout, a minor league manager and a pitching coach at the major and minor league levels.

Minor league playing career

Cluck began his playing career in 1967 with the Salt Lake City Giants of the San Francisco Giants organization. In 21 games, he went 3-2 with a 4.20 ERA.

From 1968 to 1971, Cluck played in the Pittsburgh Pirates farm system. In 1968, he pitched for the Clinton Pilots and Salem Rebels, going a combined 2-2 with a 1.61 ERA in five games started. In 1969, he pitched for the Rebels, going 10-4 with a 2.25 ERA in 20 games (18 starts). He spent the 1970 season with the Waterbury Pirates, going 5-3 with a 3.10 ERA in 22 games (eight starts). With Waterbury again in 1971, he went 2-3 with a 3.80 ERA in 30 games (three starts).

He played in the Houston Astros organization from 1972 to 1975. For the Oklahoma City 89ers in 1972, he went 3-2 with a 3.34 ERA in 46 relief appearances. In 1973, he pitched for the Denver Bears, going 6-3 with a 3.82 ERA in 38 relief appearances. He split the 1974 season between two teams - the Cedar Rapids Astros and the Bears - going a combined 1-3 with a 2.10 ERA in 24 games. He played his final season in 1975, for the Dubuque Packers. In his lone appearance that season, he pitched one inning of perfect baseball.[1]

Coaching and managing

Cluck managed the Dubuque Packers in 1975 and for part of the 1976 season. In 1975, he led them to a record of 58-67, which placed the team seventh in the standings. He was also the manager in 1976. He was the Director of Instruction for the Houston Astros from 1977-1981. He became the Director of Player Development for the San Diego Padres from 1982 to 1983. From 1984 to 1985, he managed the Las Vegas Stars, going 71-65 and 65-79 in those seasons, respectively. He led the team to a third place finish in 1984, which earned them a spot in the playoffs - however, they lost in the first round. In 1985, he led the team to a tenth place finish.

From 1990 to 1993, he served as the pitching coach for the Houston Astros, and from 1996 to 1998 he served as the pitching coach for the Oakland AthleticsHe is the only coach in Major League history to be nominated for the Branch Rickey Award for community service. He served as a Major League Scout for the Montreal Expos, and then he was the pitching coach for the Detroit Tigers from 2003 to 2005. He was a baseball consultant for the San Diego Padres system from 2006-2009, and retired from baseball in 2010. He lives in La Mesa, California with his wife Teri or 42 years. He has written ten books on baseball including his record breaking "Play Better Baseball".[2]

References

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