Arizona Baseball

Arizona Hall of Famer Clements played Wildcats’ first Pac-10 game in ’79, TV analyst in last game

Wes Clements played only two years for Arizona in 1979 and 1980 after transferring from El Camino (Calif.) Junior College, but he was so productive in those two years, he is in the school’s Hall of Fame (Arizona Athletics photo)

Some 45 years after Arizona All-American and Hall of Famer Wes Clements played in the Wildcats’ first game in the Pac-10 in 1979, he will serve as an analyst Saturday night during the ESPN2 broadcast of the last Pac-12 game in history — the conference tournament championship between his alma mater and USC.

Clements was also a member of Arizona’s first Pac-10 championship team in 1980, and he was at Hi Corbett Field last week broadcasting the Wildcats’ sixth and last regular-season title in the Pac-12.

 A power-hitting first baseman for Jerry Kindall’s Wildcats, Clements earned first-team All-American honors in 1980, when the Wildcats also won their second College World Series title. He was selected to the All-Pac-10 Southern Division First Team and College World Series All-Tournament Team in 1980.

He hit 14 home runs each in 1979 and 1980 and had a career batting average of .332 with 117 RBIs.

He is tied with five other Wildcats for the most home runs in a season in Pac-10/12 games with 10 in 1979.

Clements was signed by Kindall in 1979 after he played two seasons at El Camino (Calif.) Community College.

In the program’s first Pac-10 game on March 1, 1980, Arizona defeated Stanford 6-5 in front of 981 at Wildcat Field.

Clements was a defensive replacement at right field during the game and had one at-bat without a hit.

Bill Kinneberg, a standout from Douglas, won Arizona’s first Pac-10 game as a pitcher, hurling 3 2/3 innings of relief. Kinneberg went on to coach at Utah for 17 seasons before retiring following the 2021 season.

He relieved future big-leaguer Craig Lefferts in the 6-5 win over Stanford. Terry Francona had two hits and two RBIs and Clark Crist added two hits with an RBI.

Clements made a passionate speech about the Pac-12 disbanding near the end of the Pac-12 Network’s last live broadcast Friday night when Arizona defeated Stanford 6-3 in the conference tournament semifinals at Scottsdale Stadium.

“If you’re one of the athletes that played for the Pac, just understand one thing, this is never going to be taken away from you,” Clements said. “You played for the best conference in the history of college sports — the most successful conference in the history of college sports. It can never be taken away from you. Nobody … nobody … no other conference will ever do what our family of athletes, staff and crew — it’s us — (has accomplished) and nobody will ever take it away no matter how hard they try.

“I’m just going to say thank you to all who were involved allowing me to do this (broadcast the game he loves). I will say this, it’s not an SOS from the Pac-12 tonight. It’s a COC. It’s a Conference of Champions and don’t you ever forget it.”

FOLLOW @JAVIERJMORALES ON TWITTER! publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner. He is a former Arizona Daily Star beat reporter for the Arizona basketball team, including when the Wildcats won the 1996-97 NCAA title. He has also written articles for, Bleacher Report, Lindy’s Sports,, The Arizona Republic, Sporting News and Baseball America, among many other publications. He has also authored the book “The Highest Form of Living”, which is available at Amazon. He became an educator in 2016 and is presently a special education teacher at Sunnyside High School in the Sunnyside Unified School District.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
To Top