Robert Clem, called “the most prolific hitter in city league history” by Georgia newspapers in the late 1950s began impressing the coaches early in his career. The Atlanta native attended Bass High School where he lettered in football and baseball for four years. He made All-State in football and was named to the North/South All-Star baseball team where he earned MVP honors. His 1957 batting average of .610 still holds the top spot in the city Atlanta.
After a brief season on the football team at Georgia Tech, Bob joined the Seminoles. His impact was immediate, batting .461 as a sophomore in 1958. His talent at the plate was noticed on a national scale as he was named to the District 3 All-Star team. Clem also became the youngest player named to the 30-man All-America squad in 1959 that made him only the second All-American in Seminole history behind Dick Howser who received the honor in 1957 and ’58. Before leaving Florida State, the 6’1″ second baseman broke the records for the most triples and doubles in a season and led his team in hits, total bases, stolen bases, runs batted in and batting average. He is still listed in the Seminole record book for the highest single-season batting average.
On May 24, 1960, Bob signed a contract with the Baltimore Orioles, but after just four seasons in Baltimore, Clem saw his career cut short. While playing centerfield, Clem hit the fence going after a fly ball and injured his arm. Though his time in the pros was not as long as he liked, Clem did have the opportunity to hit a three-run homer off a famous major league pitcher named Satchell Paige.