Patrick Reusse has been covering sports in the Twin Cities since 1968. He has been a Star Tribune sports columnist since 1988. His sportswriting credo is twofold: 1. God will provide an angle; 2. The smaller the ball, the better the writing.

Email Patrick.

Patrick Plus: Archie Clark was a two-sport Gopher

Posted by: Patrick Reusse Updated: July 6, 2014 - 9:06 AM

Archie Clark was a 6-foot-2 guard and among the best basketball players in University of Minnesota history. He arrived on campus in the fall of 1962, joining Lou Hudson and Don Yates as the first black students to receive basketball scholarships from the Gophers.

Freshmen were ineligible for varsity competition, so it was the winter of 1963-64 before there was a modern feel to what college basketball had to offer inside Williams Arena.

What’s generally overlooked with Clark’s athletic career was that he was also the center fielder for Dick Siebert’s baseball team, including as a sophomore for the national championship team of 1964.

I talked to Clark a few days ago about his dual athletic career at Minnesota and he said: “I really wanted to be a baseball player. If I had hit the way I did as a kid, I would’ve played baseball. I was pretty darn good in high school, but I couldn’t find the same swing in college.

“I know the reason for that. I spent three years in the Army and only was able to play basketball. I didn’t swing a bat from my senior year in high school until I joined the Gophers 3 ½ years later.’’

Clark chuckled through his cell phone and said: “When people mention baseball to me, I say, ‘I was a four-tool player. I could steal bases, run down the ball in center, throw, hit with a little power, but I never had the consistency as a hitter. That made basketball the sport to pursue for me.’’

The pursuit turned out well. Clark played 11 seasons in the NBA, and was a two-time All-Star.

Clark turns 73 on July 15. He lives in his hometown of Ecorse, Mich., the father of eight children, with 12 grandchildren.

“I still look back with pride at that College World Series,’’ Clark said. “We were underdogs from the first game, against Texas A&M. There’s nothing better than winning like that.’’

Lou Hudson died in April, to Archie’s great sadness. “We came in together and were roommates,’’ Clark said. “I was three years older. To me, Lou was my little brother.’’


Gophers basketball jerseys that need retirement:

Archie Clark, No. 21 (1963-66): He was a tremendous second wheel to Lou Hudson, then averaged 24.5 points per game as a senior when Hudson broke his shooting hand.

Willie Burton, No. 34 (1986-90): Clem Haskins’ first star and part of my all-time starting five for Gophers. Returned to U to get a degree, and a jersey ceremony is sure to follow.

Randy Breuer, No. 45 (1979-83): The 7-foot-2 Breuer has his name all over Gophers’ career lists. Every bit the college big man as was Kevin McHale.


Philadelphia - WP: R. Hernandez 2 FINAL
Washington - LP: D. Fister 1
Seattle - LP: R. Elias 1 FINAL
Baltimore - WP: W. Chen 2
Texas - LP: J. Williams 2 FINAL
Cleveland - WP: D. Salazar 12
Colorado - LP: F. Morales 2 FINAL
Detroit - WP: J. Verlander 4
Cincinnati - WP: M. Latos 5 FINAL
Miami - LP: J. Cosart 2
San Francisco - WP: R. Vogelsong 5 FINAL
NY Mets - LP: J. Niese 1
LA Angels - WP: M. Shoemaker 5 FINAL
Tampa Bay - LP: J. Hellickson 3
NY Yankees - LP: C. Capuano 3 FINAL
Boston - WP: A. Ranaudo 4
Minnesota - LP: C. Fien 8 FINAL
Chicago WSox - WP: J. Guerra 10
Toronto - LP: A. Loup 1 FINAL
Houston - WP: J. Veras 3
Milwaukee - WP: W. Peralta 7 FINAL
St. Louis - LP: A. Wainwright 4
Kansas City - WP: J. Guthrie 1 FINAL
Oakland - LP: S. Gray 0
Pittsburgh 9 Bottom 9th Inning
Arizona 4
Atlanta 1 Bottom 8th Inning
San Diego 9
Chicago Cubs 8 Bottom 8th Inning
Los Angeles 2
NY Giants 8/3/14 7:00 PM
Indianapolis 8/7/14 6:00 PM
NY Jets
San Francisco 8/7/14 6:30 PM
New England 8/7/14 6:30 PM
Cincinnati 8/7/14 7:00 PM
Kansas City
Seattle 8/7/14 8:00 PM
Dallas 8/7/14 9:00 PM
San Diego
Philadelphia 1 FINAL
Sporting Kansas City 1
Winnipeg 27 FINAL
Hamilton 26
Toronto 31 FINAL
Montreal 5
Brt Columbia 25 FINAL
Calgary 24
Saskatchewan 8/2/14 6:00 PM
Saskatchewan 8/7/14 7:30 PM
Edmonton 8/8/14 6:00 PM
Hamilton 8/8/14 9:00 PM
Brt Columbia
Ottawa 8/9/14 6:30 PM
Winnipeg 8/12/14 6:30 PM
Connecticut 89 FINAL
San Antonio 79
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters





question of the day

Poll: Which upcoming event are you most excited about?

Weekly Question