TOUCHING ALL BASES: Former Terror Tommie Clark inducted into Senior Softball Hall of Fame

Jan. 13—The Clarks have made a legacy for themselves on the diamonds adorning the Golden Isles.

Former Glynn Academy outfielder Tommie Clark, has continued that tradition onto the Lone Star State, where his career recently earned him induction into the National Senior Softball Hall of Fame.

Founded in 1995 to recognize players in senior softball, the NSSHOF requires potential inductees to have gained at least eight points through individual awards earned while playing in national or world tournaments.

Clark is more than qualified with 10 All-American/All-World awards, and seven world championships as a member of the San Antonio 55's and the Texas Crush Sixties. Even now, Clark is known as one of the best defenders in Senior Softball. A true 5-tool player.

"Tommie is known for being a hard middle and home run hitter," competitor John Roach said in Clark's hall of fame bio. "He is an excellent outfielder with great speed and a very good arm. Consistently, he throws out runners at second, third, and home plate trying to advance. Tommie always strives to play his very best."

Those qualities have been true of Clark for a long time.

"When I was 6, 7-years-old, I can remember back playing at Howard Coffin Park," Clark said. "I remember playing there, I remember my team, the Indians. I remember back."

By the time Clark reached high school in 1977, baseball had taken a firm hold of yet another generation of the family.

Clark's father used to play for the Kansas City Monarchs in the Negro League of the 1950s. His uncle played for the Brunswick Redbirds.

"My cousin David Clark, he was a really good baseball player as well," Clark added. "I had to pitch against him — he was playing for Brunswick High, and I was at Glynn Academy across town.

"We always used to hit balls together. We'd literally hit tennis balls. I always threw curveballs, and I'd always get him. Then it went to high school."

Unfortunately, Clark never had the opportunity to play college baseball. He had planned to continue his athletic career right in his own backyard, but circumstances shifted.

"I was going to go play for Brunswick College, but they got rid of baseball," Clark said. "A couple of my teammates' dad was the coach and I was just going to walk on, but they did away with baseball."

But Clark couldn't stay off the diamond for long. He soon discovered softball and went onto have a successful career in the Amateur Softball Association and the United States Specialty Sports Association.

"I started in the 80s after I did a little bit of baseball and didn't really like it," Clark said. "Then I started playing softball, and I actually haven't missed a year playing softball to this day since 1982. Still playing."

Clark credits the fundamentals and being smart with his body as the secret to an athletic career spanning more than four decades.

Still, there's no denying the sport is in his blood.

Clark's son Tommy Clark Jr., played his prep baseball at Brunswick High School before being selected by the Atlanta Braves in the 1998 MLB Draft and playing three professional seasons. His grandson Eli helped Lafayette, Louisiana reach the Little League World Series in 2021.

"It just was a family thing," Clark said. "I just love the game of baseball."