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Clippard's pitching prowess helped him golf

Nationals righty balanced time on the links with baseball in high school

Tyler Clippard, P, Nationals
Hometown: Lexington, Ky.

Clippard was a good enough pitcher during his time at J.W. Mitchell High that the Yankees made him their ninth-round pick in the 2003 First-Year Player Draft despite a shortened senior season. His falls, though, were spent away from the diamond and on the links.

With an 18-hole average of 76, Clippard was one of the better scholastic golfers in the area, even helping Mitchell to a district title his senior year. During one match, he was in the same foursome as LPGA pro Brittany Lincicome.

"His long arms, whip, very fluid -- he could hit a ball far," said his old coach, Scott Williams. "I think the focus and the concentration [of pitching], setting up for a tee shot, or any shot, probably crossed over."

Clippard's parents, Bob and Debbie, moved the family from Kentucky to Florida when Tyler was young, and that's where he played on Palm Harbor teams that were a perennial Little League power in its district.

Tim Healey is an associate reporter for
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