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THE INSIDE TRACK

Now You Know

March 25, 1997|HOUSTON MITCHELL

* The greatest game for any batter could very well have happened on June 15, 1902. According to the book "The Sporting News' Baseball," Jay Clarke, playing for Corsicana in the Texas League, hit eight home run's in Corsicana's 51-3 victory over Texarkana. Clarke finished the day eight-for-eight with 25 RBIs.

Overall, Corsicana hit 21 homers in the game, and seven players had at least five hits. The game was played on a small, nonleague field because the regular field was flooded.

Some telegraphers transmitting the results apparently cannot believe the score and transmited it as 5-3.

Clarke went on the play in the major leagues for nine years. A catcher, Clarke finished with a career average of .254, with six homers.

* The hand signals umpires use today to indicate balls and strikes started in 1886. Outfielder William "Dummy" Hoy, a deaf-mute, began playing that season for Oshkosh. To enable him to understand umpires calls, a system of hand signals was introduced.

The umpires lift their right arms for strikes, and their left arm for balls.

Before Hoy came along, umpires would just shout out the count for the pitcher to hear.

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