Manchester New Hampshire’s Premier Baseball Family: Fred and Robert “Curly” Clement

Son and Father: Robert "Curly" Clement with his father Fred Clement, both of the Manchester [NH] Cardinals baseball team. Curly was a first baseman and Fred was the team manager in 1938 when this photograph was taken.

Son and Father: Robert “Curly” Clement with his father Fred Clement, both of the Manchester [NH] Cardinals baseball team. Curly was a talented ball player, and his father Fred was the team manager in 1938 when this photograph was taken. Photograph courtesy of Gail Wiley (Curly’s daughter, Fred’s granddaughter) and used with her permission.

In 1939 the Merrimack Valley Baseball League consisted of 11 baseball clubs, namely: Hillsboro, Peterboro, Milford, Merrimack, Londonderry, Derry [Merchants], Goffs Falls, Noa Club, [Manchester] Cardinals, International Shoe of Manchester, and the Bay State entry, Pepperell [MA]. The league officials included C.K. Johnson of Townsend MA, president; George W. Shattuck of Pepperell, 1st vice president; Fred Clement of Manchester NH, 2nd vice president, and Herbert C. Leach of Litchfield NH, secretary-treasurer. [Fitchburg Sentinel, Fitchburg MA, 12 May 1939, page 8].

That same year the opening games of this league including some form of pening [sic]  exercises. Manchester NH engaged a band and had a city official toss out the first ball. The first game was to be played at the “new” Derryfield Park field, considered to be one of the best diamonds in New Hampshire.

Fred Clement was born Louis Frederick Clement, son of Joseph & Judith (Forest) Clement on 18 Aug 1891 in Manchester NH.  He grew up at 275 West Hancock Street on the West Side of Manchester, attending local schools, and played baseball whenever he could.  The Manchester Historic Association shows the photograph of of the West Manchester NH Baseball Club, circa 1906.  The young man shown listed as “Clement” in the top row far left, center field probably is that of Frank (Francis Xavier) Clement, Fred’s brother. [see their genealogy below].

St. Marie's Church baseball team of 1923.  Top row, left is Fred Clement.   A row down and to the far left, is his son, a curly-headed boy, Robert "Curly" Clement.

St. Marie’s Church baseball team of 1923. Top row, left is Fred Clement. A row down and to the far left, is his son, a curly-headed boy, Robert “Curly” Clement. Photograph from Gail Wiley, used with her permission.

We know that Fred Clement played on the CSM [Church of Ste. Marie] team, because his granddaughter has shared a photograph of him taken in 1923 wearing the CSM patch. Fred is sitting in the top row of the team on the far left. His son Robert aka Curly (4 years old at the time) is sitting a row down and to his left with the curly hair under the hat. [INSERT PHOTOGRAPH].

It is family lore (but very probably true) that Fred had been offered a baseball contract to play for the Boston Braves sometime in the 1920’s, after hitting 2 home-runs over a manufacturing textile building (possibly at what is today’s Gill Stadium) during a Manchester game. His wife wouldn’t let him sign that contract. At this time Fred had a good job as a member of the Manchester Police Department, and besides his wife had children to support.  Starting baseball players often had to take a second job to make ends meet.  So Fred listened to his wife, and fostered his love of baseball by managing it, when he no longer played himself.

1938 photograph of the Manchester Cardinals baseball team. Paul Clement is top row 3rd from right, his father Fred is bottom row, far right.  Roger Raymond who lost his life in WW2 is pictured top row 4th from right.  Photograph courtesy of Gail Wiley, used with her permission.

1938 photograph of the Manchester Cardinals baseball team. Paul Clement is top row 3rd from right, his father Fred is bottom row, far right. Roger Raymond who lost his life in WW2 is pictured top row 4th from right. Photograph courtesy of Gail Wiley, used with her permission.

Fred was still managing teams in 1938 when both his son Robert, and Roger Raymond played for the Manchester Cardinals baseball team.  Robert “Curly” Clement is 3rd row from bottom, 3rd from right.  Joseph Roger Raymond (who was killed during WW2)  is 3rd row from bottom 4th from the right.  (Roger Raymond was considered one of the best first baseman to play for the Cardinals before his death). Fred Clement, manager of the team, is in the first row, far right. This team was part of the Merrimack Valley Baseball Club, in which Frank was active as one of the league’s officials.

Manchester West High School baseball team of 1937

Manchester West High School baseball team of 1937. Robert “Curly” Clement is sitting in the first row, 2nd from right. Roger Raymond is sitting same row, 3rd from right. Robert’s brother, Armand Clement,  is sitting in the first row, 1st from left. Photograph from Gail Wiley, used here with her permission.

Robert Clement, son of Frederick & Rose (Cormier) Clement, was born 19 July 1919 in Manchester, New Hampshire.  He grew up, like his father did, on the west side of the city, attending the local Catholic schools.  He was nicknamed Curly, for the obvious reason of having extremely curly hair. He, like his father, had baseball in his blood, and played for neighborhood teams. He played on the [Manchester NH] West High School baseball team, pictured here in the 1937 school yearbook, along side his brother, Armand, and friend Roger Raymond.

Robert "Curly" Clement at age 81, at his final appearance at the All Star Game for the Cape Cod Baseball League

Robert “Curly” Clement at age 81, at his final appearance at the All Star Game for the Cape Cod Baseball League

According to his daughter, Gail, Robert Clement graduated from Manchester West High School [ Class of 1938], where he played football and baseball.  He served in the US Navy with the Seabees and in the Pacific Theatre at Okinawa during WW2. In addition to Manchester NH they lived in Hyannis MA (1956-1986) and Wareham MA (1986-2003). He worked for several years as the manager of Kings Dept Store in Hyannis MA. He was a well known figure in the college baseball world for his umpire duties.

His obituary states: “He started out locally on the high school level and moved his way up through the ranks to the Cape Cod League where he participated in several NCAA Tournament games and 2 NCAA World Series Games in Omaha, Nebraska. Curly also umpired in several professional base ball games while the regular umpires were on strike.

The Cape Cod Baseball League web site reports that “in 1979 when he umpired a major league game at Fenway Park during the umpires strike, even ringing up Hall of Famer Carl Yastrzemski on an attempted steal. Clement was affectionately known as the Candy Man for settling arguments on the field with a handful of sugar -coated licorice.”

Robert “Curly” Clement’s umpiring career lasted a span of 44 years. He was inducted to the Amateur Baseball Umpires Hall of Fame and The Cape Cod Baseball Hall of Fame.”

 PARTIAL GENEALOGY OF THE CLEMENT FAMILY OF MANCHESTER NH
– Jean Clement & Anne Martin
– Pierre Clement & Catherine Jacques
– Pierre Clement & Marie Catherine Prezeau
He was born in 1670 in Taracon, Ariege, Midi-Pyrenees France, d. 11 Oct 1725 in Pointe-Claire, Quebec, Canada
– Antoine Clement & Marie Anne Bourdon
– Joseph Antoine Henri Clément dit Larivière & Marie Angelique Jamme dit Carriere
– Joseph Clément dit Larivière & Marie Amable Fortier
– Thomas Damase Clement & Rosalie Groux
– Calixte Clement & Esther Groulx

Joseph H. Clement, son of Calixte & Esther (Groulx) Clement b. 15 March 1854 in Quebec Canada, died 25 Feb 1931 in Manchester NH age 60 y; teamster; m. 3 Feb 1873 in St. Georges de Windsor, Richmond & Wolfe Co. Quebec, Canada to Judith Forest, dau of Michel & Marie Marguerite (Blais) Forest. She b. abt 1853 Canada, died 11 March 1914 in NH. At the time of his death living at 275 West Hancock Street. They are buried at Mt.Calvary Cemetery, Manchester NH. He appears to have moved to Manchester NH about 1871 when his first child was born. He worked as a teamster in a lumberyard.
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1910 US Census > NH > Hillsborough > Manchester
Joseph Clement Head M 60 Canada teamster lumber yard
Judith Clement wife F 57 Canada dressmaker, own home
Frederick Clement son M 19 NH teamster lumberyard
Henry Clement son M 17 NH shoemaker shoe shop
Yvonne Clement dau F 15 NH
John B. Champoux son-in-law M 42 Canada barber shop
Angelina Champoux dau F 34 NH
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Children of Joseph H. & Judith (Forest) Clement:
1. Louis Frederick Clement, b 18 Aug 1871 Manchester NH
2. Judith M. Clement, b. abt 1874 in Exeter NH; d. 18 October 1941 in Manchester NH; m. 20 Aug 1895 in Manchester NH to Isidore H. Ledoux, son of Jesse & Eliza Ledoux. He b. Craftsburgy VT
3. Angelina Clement, b. 20 Aug 1875 in Manchester NH, d. 22 June 1910 in Manchester NH age 34y 10m 2d; She m. John B. Champoux
4. Joseph Heledore Clement Jr., b. 7 Aug 1877 in Newmarket or Manchester NH, d. 17 March 1915 in Newburyport MA; m 7 Jan 1901 in Manchester NH to Mary Louise Biscornet, dau of Israel & Rosalie (Lamache) Biscornet.
5. George M. Clement, b abt 1880 Manchester NH; m. 5 Feb 1902 in Gardner MA to Dora St. Hilaire, dau of Napoleon J. & Georgiana (Fraiser) St. Hilaire
6. Wilfred Calixte aka Wilfred Charles Clement, b 10 Aug 1881 Manchester NH; m. 11 Oct 1909 in Baldwinville MA to Pearl Dana Stafford-Saskis, dau of Alymer Noah & Elizabeth Pearl (Dana) Stafford.
7. Charles Simeon Clement, b. abt 1883; d. 26 June 1940 in Merrimack, Hillsborough Co. NH; he m. Josephine Dussealt
8. ?Phillip Eugene Clement, b. 23 Nov 1884 Manchester NH; d. 29 Nov 1961 in Manchester NH
9. Francis Xavier “Frank” Clement, b. 18 October 1886 in Manchester NH; died 21 January 1949 at Sacred Heart Hospital in Manchester NH; residing at 29 McDuffie Street, Captain with the Manchester Fire Department; He m 28 Oct 1907 in Manchester NH to Selina Carignan, dau of William & Zelia (Lemay) Carignan; buried Mt. Calvary Cemetery, Manchester NH
10. Emelie A. Clement, b. June 1888; d. 7 December 1890, age 2y 5m 24d
11. daughter Clement, stillborn 25 December 1889 Manchester NH [birth document states 10th child]
12. + Louis Frederick Clement, b. 18 Aug 1891 in Manchester NH
13. Amedee Joseph “Henry Joseph” Clement, b 4 Aug 1893 Manchester NH; m1) 18 April 1917 in Concord NH to Judeth Elizabeth Peterson, dau of Arthur & Hannah (Oleson) Peterson. He m2d) 13 March 1920 in Keene NH to Lenna E. Nutter-Sweet, dau of Oscar A. & Emma B. (Jones) Sweet.
14. Yvonne Clement, b 4 Nov 1895 Manchester NH; d. 12 Aug 1919, age 23 at Notre Dame Hospital, Manchester NH, single

Fred & Rose Anna (?) Clement. Photograph courtesy of Gail Wiley, used here with her permission

Fred & Rose Anna (Cormier) Clement. Photograph courtesy of Gail Wiley, used here with her permission

Louis Frederick aka Frederic(k) Louis “Fred” Clement, son of Joseph & Judith (Forest) Clement b 18 Aug 1891 in Manchester NH, and d. August 1972 in Hillsborough Co. NH, age 81; policeman. He married 1st) 14 June 1916 in Manchester NH by I.H.C. Davignon, Catholic Clergyman to  Rosanna/Rose/Rosa Anna Cormier, dau of Adelard & Marie (Lacourse) Cormier. She b. abt 1892 in Cochituate MA, and died 2 January 1944 in Manchester NH. He m2d) 2 Sep 1944 in Manchester NH to Yvonne Hortance Patnaude-Poehlman, dau of John & Georgianna (Gosselin) Patnaude.
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1924 Manchester NH City Directory
Clement, Frederick L. (Rosanna) chauffeur police dept h 365 Dubuque
—————
About 1934 Robert F. Clement graduates from grammar school, possibly a Catholic one. At that time they are living on W. Hancock Street.
—————
In 1940 I find the following census of Manchester NH, residing at 275 W. Hancock Street
Frederick L. Clement 48 married b. NH, Policeman, City Govt
Rose Clement 48 wife F W 48 Mass
Robert F. Clement 20 single NH shoe worker [b abt 1920]
Armand I. Clement 19 single NH shoe worker
—————–
Children of Frederick L. & Rose (Cormier) Clement:
1. +Robert Frederick Joseph Clement, b. 19 July 1919 NH
2. Armand I. Clement, b 24 Feb 1921 in Manchester NH; died 30 Nov 2008 in Lewiston, Androscoggin, Maine; He m. 20 July 1944 in Maine to Georgette Samson. He is buried in Saint Peters Cemetery, Lewiston ME. He was a US Navy veteran of WW2, serving in the South Pacific aboard the USS Alhena AK-26. Had son Paul Clement and daughter Ruth (Clement) Agoglia.
3. Jeanette Clement; m. — Gagne, resided Manchester NH.

Robert Frederick Joseph “Curly” Clement, son of Frederick & Rose (Cormier) Clement, b. 19 July 1919, died 29 June 2006 in Rockingham Co. NH; m. 14 Sep 1940 in Nashua NH to Adrienne Mary Pinette, dau of Alexander & Dorilda (Sirois) Pinette. She was born in Fort Kent, Maine [? d. 29 June 2006 Exeter NH] He graduated from Manchester West High School [ Class of 1938], where he played football and baseball. He served in the US Navy with the Seabees and in the Pacific Theatre at Okinawa during WW2. In addition to Manchester NH they lived in Hyannis MA (1956-1986) and Wareham MA (1986-2003). He worked for several years as the manager of Kings Dept Store in Hyannis MA. He was a well known figure in the college baseball world for his umpire duties. His obituary states: “He started out locally on the high school level and moved his way up through the ranks to the Cape Cod League where he participated in several NCAA Tournament games and 2 NCAA World Series Games in Omaha, Nebraska. Curly also umpired in several professional base ball games while the regular umpires were on strike. His umpiring career lasted a span of 44 years. Mr. Clement was inducted to the Amateur Baseball Umpires Hall of Fame and The Cape Cod Baseball Hall of Fame.”
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Children of Robert F. J. and Adrienne M. (Pinette) Clement:
1. Bruce Clement, died 2002
2. Donald Clement of Exeter
3. Gail (Clement) Wiley
4. Charlene (Clement) Searcy

 

 

 

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