The following article on Army shortstop Clint Moore appeared on examiner.com on April 14, 2010, and was written by Ronald Mergenthaler.
Among the study lines of human geography, Clint Moore said of his major, “is the pattern of the world. Where we live; how and where we’re located and what we do. ” That sort of describes Moore’s status on the baseball field.
When he’s on the mound for the Army Black Knights, “I’m in control. It’s me and the catcher.” But it’s at shortstop where Moore, if not in total control of the situation, has nevertheless made his mark. It led to him being named Patriot League Rookie of the Year as a freshman in 2008; an NCAA All-American as a sophomore; and as a finalist this year for the Sullivan Award, bestowed annually on the country’s best amateur athlete. Amy Palmiero-Winter, an amputee ultramarathoner, was named the award winner Wednesday.
“When I found out I was up for the award,” Moore said, “I said, ‘Why me? What did I do that was so special?’ I’m just a college student that plays baseball.”
Perhaps. But a college student that plays any sport well at West Point usually accumulates a few extra points; one that a year ago had one of the best offensive seasons in team history qualifies even more so. He batted .395, hit 11 home runs, drove in 65 runs and had a slugging percentage of .724. His fielding percentage of .971 surely contributed to the Black Knights’ having turned a team-record 66 double plays. Prior to this season, Patriot League coaches named him the league’s top defensive infielder; cited him as one of the conference’s three best pure hitters; and the hitter they least wanted to face. His pitching has come strictly as a reliever.
“Growing up I was lucky to have had so many people, so many coaches, help me progress. My dad, too,” said Moore, a native of Greensboro, N.C. “I knew I could play short, but when I came to West Point I just went into the fall and saw what developed.”
While being recruited, Moore said, “quite a few schools came after me,” and he admits his decision to come to West Point was somewhat pragmatic.
“The Army is job security,” he said. “But something stood out with West Point. Tradition. The opportunity to do something special.”
Special can be translated a number of ways. Any graduate of the academy joins a long line of history-making figures. But there’s also the possibility of a professional baseball career that looms. For most of its history, all cadets were committed to a five-year stint in the Army upon graduation. But in recent years, Black Knight athletes who are drafted by a pro team have been permitted to fulfill their military commitments in increments that would not always conflict with a pro schedule. Yes, Moore has given it some thought.
“It’s always in the back of your mind,” he said. “You dream of that growing up, of playing college ball, and, then, maybe pro baseball. But right now I’m thinking about playing ball at West Point.”
That’s where his human geography has him at the moment. Later? Well, he’s still studying.