Stefanie Caruthers writes that her great-uncle, Clarence Orme (above), played baseball for the Kansas City Giants in the 1930s. Born on April 3, 1899, in Chamois, Missouri, Clarence Charles Orme moved to Kansas City, Kansas, in 1917, and lived in the area for the rest of his life, working much of the time as a butcher in meatpacking plants. He was a “lanky,” 6’6” infielder, nicknamed “Clarence Longshot,” and when he played baseball, Stefanie says, he was sometimes paid with live chickens.
Here’s an article from 1933 about his play with the Kansas City Giants:
He passed away in 1968, and until now knowledge of his baseball career seems to have survived only in his family. A lot has been lost. We don’t know exactly how long or how much he played, or all the teams he played for, although presumably most or all of them were in the Kansas City area. But we can identify a few possible traces of Clarence Orme’s life in baseball.
For example, it could be that, much earlier in his life, he played for the Kansas City Monarchs.
During a three-game series with the Cuban Stars in June, 1920, the Monarchs, in just their second month of league play ever, were still juggling their lineup and trying out (and discarding) players left and right. Edgar Washington was still playing first base for them, and Bullet Rogan and Dobie Moore were yet to join the team. With their regular third baseman, Carroll Mothell, injured, on June 6 the Monarchs brought in a guy named “Armes” to hold down the hot corner against José Leblanc and the Cubans.
Leblanc struck out eight with his spitter, Armes went hitless and committed three errors, and the Cubans came out on top, 5 to 3.
(Kansas City Times, June 7, 1920)
The next day “Armes” switched positions with one of the team’s stars, George Carr, the new guy going to second and Carr taking over third. Armes still couldn't get a hit, and he was replaced in the middle of the game by a pitcher, Zack Foreman, but he managed to avoid any damaging bobbles in the field. he The Monarchs still fell short, 6 to 2.
Although it’s still “Armes” in the box score, in the game story we get a reference to “Ornes, a local player, being sent to second.”
(Kansas City Journal, June 8, 1920)
After a rainout on June 8, the two clubs managed to play off the third game on June 9. Ornes (as he appears now in the box score) got a third chance, still failing to get a hit, but (as analysis of the box score shows) drawing two walks and scoring a run. The Monarchs pounded the Cubans 11 to 5.
Researching the 1920 Negro National League years ago, at first I thought this was the Cuban infielder Joaquín Arumí (who also appears in some Cuban sources as Arumís). But Arumí doesn’t appear for the Monarchs until July, and besides there’s the remark in the KC Journal that “Ornes” was a “local player.” In the Seamheads DB, he currently appears as Ornes (no first name).
Stefanie thinks that “Ornes”/”Armes” is definitely her uncle, and I agree that Clarence Orme is certainly the best candidate we’ve got.
Also: there was a player named “Clarence Ora” with the Cleveland Cubs in 1932, about whom nothing is known. Since Clarence Orme was still active the following season in Kansas City, he would seem to be a possibility here as well.