One of the best pitchers to ever play for Clemson was Flint Rhem. Rhem starred for the Tigers in 1922 and 1923 and later became a pitcher for the St. Louis Cardinals. Rhem, who left Clemson after his junior year to sign with the Cardinals, had a very impressive junior season at Clemson that caught the eye of famous baseball scout Branch Rickey. In 1923, Rhem had a 7-2-1 record and completed nine games. He had a total of 136 strikeouts for a 15.1 per game average. He also had two one-hit games that season and gave up only 40 hits all year, or 4.4 hits per game. In a game against Furman on April 30, 1923, Rhem had 21 strikeouts and gave up only five hits in 13 innings with the game ending in a 3-3 tie. He gave up only six runs the entire year and had a 0.57 ERA. He pitched four shutouts that season. Both his ERA and his strikeouts per game average are still school records. Rhem’s 136 strikeouts in a single season are still one of the best in school history. Rhem played for St. Louis from 1924-28, then again from 1930-32 and in 1934 and 1936. He also played for the Philadelphia Phillies in 1932 and 1933 and the Boston Braves from 1934-35. He helped the Cardinals win the 1926, 1931, and 1934 World Series and the 1928 and 1930 National League Pennants. In 1926, Rhem had a 20-7 record for the Cardinals. In 12 seasons in the big leagues, he had a 105–97 record with a 4.20 ERA and over 1,500 strikeouts. He was 20-7 with a 3.21 ERA with the Cardinals in 1926, his best season. He once pitched a no-hitter (in 1924, one year before his rookie season in the Majors) while playing for the Fort Smith (AR) minor league team. He struck out 16 batters in the game and made it in “Ripley’s Believe It or Not” by not allowing a ball to be hit out of the infield. Flint Rhem was born in Rhems, S.C. not far from Georgetown, on January 24, 1901. Flint was named after New York shipbuilder Charles Flint, who was a lifelong friend of his father. He died on July 30, 1969 at the age of 68.
January 22, 2022
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