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: