Will Clark: Still Thrilled – and Learning from His Son

I caught up with Will Clark by cell phone yesterday afternoon while he was driving his truck around Prairieville, Louisiana, a rural-ish town outside of Baton Rouge. That’s where he moved after Hurricane Katrina, leaving his hometown of New Orleans.

“We had almost no damage to our house but three blocks away our neighbors were under four feet of water,” Clark said. “We just got tired of battening down the hatches.”

Hard for me to believe – I covered Will when he was a brash rookie with the Giants – but he just celebrated his 15th wedding anniversary to Lisa, with whom he has two children, a 13-year-old son, Trey, and a seven-year-old daughter, Ella. After retiring in 2000, he spent two years as a special assistant for the St. Louis Cardinals then five with the Diamondbacks (at the invitation of his former agent and now former Diamondbacks exec Jeff Moorad).

Now, at 44, he’s back with the Giants.

Here’s what the news release says: “In his new role, the six-time All-Star first baseman will represent the organization at various in-season and off-season community events in San Francisco, including the 20th Anniversary of the 1989 Giants on Saturday, June 13. He will also attend the Giants Spring Training Camp in Scottsdale, Arizona and will visit a Giants’ minor league team each year.

When he’s not doing baseball-related work, Clark says he spends his time “trying to be Father of the Year.” He says he retired, in part, to devote himself to his son Trey, who is autistic. Trey is a bright, big-hearted kid, Will says, who has learning challenges and doesn’t quite get the whole social thing. He plays basketball and baseball and has been mainstreamed in school, but as any parent of a kid with challenges knows (I’m raising my hand here), the journey is long and often exhausting. Basic social and safety skills – saying hello, looking both ways before crossing the street – have to be taught and re-taught and taught again.

“He’s doing so much better,” Clark says. “I thought I had a lot of patience playing baseball, waiting for pitches, stuff like that. But this is a whole different kind of patience I’ve had to learn.”

Ella, on the other hand, is his rebel. “Trey’s a piece of cake,” Clark says, “and she’s hell on wheels.” As Lisa says, “Ella’s just like Will – loud, bossy and smart as a whip.”

Lisa and Will are deeply involved in Cure Autism Now and Athletes Against Autism. Lisa is co-chair of a fundraising event for Athletes Against Autism during spring training. It will be held March 6 at the Arcos Elegancia Estate in Scottsdale. Co-chairing are Tarah Byrnes, Cathy Gott, Debbie Honeycutt, Heather May, Cass Relaford, Gabrielle Shoenweis, and Janine Thalblum. Tim Lincecum will host 2K Sports competition, and there will be a fashion show featured MLB wives.

Here is the link to the fund-raising event for Athletes Against Autism, put on by the Baseball Wives Charitable Foundation:

http://www.baseballwivescharitablefoundation.com/Events.html

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17 Comments

God Bless Lisa & Will for the work that they are doing. The world is a better place because they are willing to come forward and talk about the challenges that they are facing with their son.

Julia
http://werbiefitz.mlblogs.com

This guy was as good as Giants Baseball got. He’s the reason I watched my first game that wasn’t a Giants game. So great to have him home! Wish he never would have left!

Great blog on Will Clark. He was a great Giant! He was my favorite player back then. Glad to see him back with the Giants. =)

~King of Cali
http://kingofcali.mlblogs.com/

Growing up as a Giants fan, my life was always filled with great stories of players and their “great feats of courage”. Never did I think my favorite player and I would have more than the love of the Giants in common. I was such a big fan of Will Clark that I collected everything on him-news, photos,cards, clothes, books, anything I could find. To make myself look crazier, when I got married in 1991, my future husband sent a wedding invitation with 2 baseball cards to Will Clark (at the time I was living in NJ, but was from SF). I had no idea. Will signed the 2 cards and sent them back in the response card. What a wedding present. Little did my hubby know, I had purchased two tickets to the home game for that day in case lol. The date was Sept. 14, 1991. I even listened to the game on the way to the church. He was like a big brother to me. I even have liscense plates that read 22Clark.
I was excited that Will was married and having a child. His son was born, and I gave birth to a daughter. Little did I know that I would share something other than the love of the Giants-I would share his world of Autism. His son and my daughter both have Autism. They are a year apart. I wish there was a way I could talk to him and share our 22+ year history. We share the same concerns about our children. He is able to bring attention to many thousands while I can raise awarness to hundreds without the fanfare. I actively participate in my daughter’s school, fund raising,in my community-I do the best I can. In Will Clark, I now feel like I have a well known friend on my team. I only hope someday I can share this history with him. I hope he would remember the wedding invitation-but more importantly-I would love to talk about OUR all-stars, our children. Thank you for indulging me. God Bless Will, his wife Lisa and their children. God is watching over my little girl and I am thankful for that.

i remember as a kid sitting with my dad watching the giants game and when will clark got up to bat. screaming come on will the thrill. He will be forever a great player of the giants. thank you for all that you have brought to the game.

Joan,

What goes around comes around in strange ways sometimes. In 1991 I was covering MLB for Krause Publications. That was the same year Will was the Giants’ representative to the national ALS Foundation. It was also the year I lost a brother-in-law to ALS. Will gave me a great interview about his involvement with the Foundation.

Now, 19 years later, I find myself writing to three Louisiana state senators in Baton Rouge, asking them to restore funding for for The ALS Association Louisiana-Mississippi Chapter Patient Care Support Fund, which assists patients with ALS to live in their home during the disease progression and utilize natural family supports. I thought about former Mariners 1B Pete O’Brien, who lost his father to ALS, and was kind enough to spend some quality time with my nephew after his dad passed. I also thought about Will, and his devotion to the cause way back then.

Finding my 1991 tear sheets? Not likely. So, I Googled “Will Clark, 1991 ALS, Giants,” and wound up here.

To my astonishment, I had no idea Will was from New Orleans, where I work with the Musicians Medical Clinic. Nor did I have any clue he was living in Prarieville, a stone’s throw from the state capitol. You can bet your last Silver Slugger award I’m going to mention all that in my letter to these senators. As we like to say in Cajun country, “Yeah, you right!”

Talk about a long story arc. Thanks a million!

“you gotta love him #22″

Will…You Da Man.

Dear Mr. Clark all i wont is u to give me a ball with your autographe im a 12 year old girl i dont have money to buy one on the internet but me and my grandpa are one of

Your biggest fan Natalie perez please write

I am a mom with a daughter with severe autism in San Jose and she goes to the Morgan Autism Center. I am honored to co chair our gala event this year April 6th at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View. This is a wonderful school each child has autism and they have their own aid and 1 great teacher in the classroom. The school also partners with Santa Clara University and they do a conference every year with the latest speakers talking about their expertise on autism.
I have been a fan for many years you being favorite I hope you can donate an auction item or advertise in our program or help sponsor the event. I truly am passionate about our fight to help all our kids with autism!
Thank you so much,

GO GIANTS!!!!

Jan Kasahara

Love some Will… 86′ DAWGS & 89′ Giants forever!!!

Mr.will I have one of your early 1990 career card and i would like to get your autograph to keep it s memmory in my collection for my little 20 month old boy.
I live in Fargo ND, Is it possible i can post you the card to get ur autograph.

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