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Newspaper Page Text
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FANNED WHILE'NOT AT PLATE; "NIG" CLARKE'S
By Billy Evans.
"Nig" Clarke enjoys the unique
'distinction of being the only
jriajor league player who was ever
struck out without reaching the
batters' box. y v
" The play happened in 1908 at
" Detroit, Clarke then being a
catcher for Cleveland.
Detroit and Cleveland were
playing a double header. Both
had a chance for the pennant.
Cleveland had taken the first
game and Addie Joss was select
ed ta work the second.
It was getting dark and it
'didn't seem that .Detroit would
x have a chance to beat Joss. His
terrific speed on .so dark a day
would be hard to hit, they fig
ured. Immediately, the Tigers began
to loaf, while the Naps tried to
hurry the game. Then, through
a break in luck, the Tigers scored
fchree runs, and naturally anxious
'to get in the . five innings and
maka game of it.
The Naps started to loafin
hopes of so delaying the game
that thfe umpire would call it, on
account of darkness, "before the
completion of five innings.
Clarke was the first man up in
he first of the fifth. He took his
time going from the catcher's
box to the bench, removed
his shin guards and otherpar
aphernalia in a leisurely manner,
and then started to. select his bat
Tim Hurst made an attempt to
hurry Clarke, but in. vain. "Nig"
insisted he couldn't find his "bat.
Tim decided on drastic measures.
He ordered the Detroit twirl er to
pitch. Tim declared the first de
livery a ystrikei Then he gazed
in the direction of the, Cleveland
bench. Clarke was still sorting
over the bats. Thenext delivery
was called a ball. . Again Tim
glanced Napward, hoping his ac
tion would cause Cfarke to hurry.
Still nothing doing. '
The next offering was pro
nounced a strike, making the
count two strikes and one ball. A
look out of the corner pi his eye
revealed to Tim that Clarke was
anchored. Desiring to play out
the string, Hurst called the next
two deliveries balls, -making the
count stand three to two, every
thing depending on the -next ball.
At this stage Tim turned and
saw Clarke 10 feet from the
plate. A base on balls, would
further delay proceedings. The
next ball appeared high for a
strike, and Clarke started to jog
to first base, but heard Tim de
clare strike three.
Clarke came back -to protest,
cwhen Tim in his characteristic I
way remarked: "Justin, I never
saw you use such good judgment.,
at the plate, but I really can't uh-
derstand how you missed that
last strike." Justin was floored.
The strike-out was so recorded in
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