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Nig Clarke

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Nig Clarke
NClarke
Batted: Left Threw: Right
MLB Debut
April 26, 1905 for the Detroit Tigers
Final game
April 24, 1920 for the Pittsburgh Pirates
Career Statistics
AVG     .254
HR     6
RBI     127
Teams
*Detroit Tigers (1905)
*Cleveland Naps (1905-1910)
*St. Louis Browns (1911)
*Philadelphia Phillies (1919)
*Pittsburgh Pirates (1920)
Career Highlights and Awards
*Clarke hit 8 home runs in a Texas League Baseball game on June 15, 1902 (disputed)
*Caught a perfect game from Addie Joss in October 1908

Jay Justin "Nig" Clarke (born December 15, 1882 in Amherstburg, Ontario - died June 15, 1949 in River Rouge, Michigan) is a former professional baseball player in Major League Baseball. He is best known for, in 1902 playing for Texas League's Corsicana Oil Citys, going 8 for 8 with 8 home runs. The success there did not turn into success in the MLB, as in his nine-year career he hit a measly 6 home runs and drove in 127 runs. Fittingly, Clarke would die on the 47th anniversary of his historic eight-homer game.

Eight-Home run gameEdit

On June 15, 1902, while playing for the Corsicana Oil Citys of the Texas League, Clarke allegedly hit 8 home runs against the Texarkana Casketmakers in a game that Corsicana won by the remarkable score of 51-3. The home runs were said to be helped by the stadium they played in that day, due to the fact that Corsicana's blue laws forbade Sunday baseball in Oil City Park, the regular home of Corsicana. The game was played in nearby Ennis, in a facility that years later Clarke estimated was only 210 feet to right field. At the time, it was considered the #2 most famous feat in Minor League Baseball history.

DisputeEdit

Almost immediately, the home run total was subject to controversy. In a newspaper account, repeated in a column by The Dallas Morning News' Frank Tolbert in 1965, Corsicana manager and first baseman Mike O'Connor was alleged to have made the totals much larger than they were. The official account reads:

"The official scorer lost his head, but the foxy manager of the Oil City boys has discovered a tabulated record which goes as the official figures. He realizes the benefits in swelling batting averages ..."

Perfect gameEdit

Clarke's other claim to fame was as the catcher of a perfect game on October 2, 1908 for Addie Joss. It was just the fourth perfect game in major league history.

The NicknameEdit

In the first half of the 20th Century, before the game was integrated, ball players with a dark complexion were sometimes nicknamed "Nig." [1] [2] In addition to Clarke, the following other major league players bore the nickname: Johnny Beazley (1941-49), Howard Berry (1921-22), Bobby Bragan (1940-48), Nig Cuppy (1892-1901), Nig Fuller (1902), Johnny Grabowski (1923-31), Nig Lipscomb (1937), Charlie Niebergall (1921-24), Nig Perrine (1907), and Frank Smith (1904-15).

Career StatisticsEdit

Season G AB H Avg. HR RBI
1905 overall4513027.208110
1905 Cleveland Naps591.11101
1905 Detroit Tigers373.42911
1905 Cleveland Naps3711423.20208
1906 Cleveland Naps5717964.358121
1907 Cleveland Naps120390105.269333
1908 Cleveland Naps9729070.241127
1909 Cleveland Naps5516445.274014
1910 Cleveland Naps21589.15502
1911 St. Louis Browns8225655.210018
1919 Philadelphia Phillies266215.24202
1920 Pittsburgh Pirates370.00000
Career statistics 5061536390.2546127

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