The Baseball Guru OMI: FORGOTTEN PLAYERS: Part Two: Nig Clark by Herb Rogoff Home Page

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Anybody can throw a runner out stealing…..I like to pick ‘em off first base while they’re  hanging around down there counting their money”  Nig Clarke


When Nig Clarke died in 1941 it was duly noted that he had been an average ballplayer who hadn’t really made waves while playing Major League ball.

Ah, but that was in the Majors! While in the Minors though he accomplished something that has never been equaled since. His claim to fame is ranked as the second greatest feat in the history of the Minors. The first being Ron Neccai’s perfect game in which he struck out every batter he faced……..27 men went down that day. Nig Clarke, on June 15th 1902, while playing with Corsicana of the Texas League and not known as a power hitter, smacked eight homeruns in a 51 to 3 rout as Corsicana destroyed Texarkana. All in all Corsicana hit a total of 21 homeruns and Clarke was one of three players to go eight for eight. He also is credited for having 24 runs batted in that game.

In those days when everyone playing in the game was pretty much from America, he was one of the first players to have extended time in the Majors from Canada. He did last in the Majors for a total of eight years and in all that time onlly hit six homeruns. The eight in that one game were mostly hit around the vicinity of about 20 feet. The original park they were to play in that day burned down so they used a much smaller high school field.

In the majors he did have some moments in baseball history. He caught the fourth perfect game (Addie Joss). He is credited for championing the use of shin guards for catchers (the creation of Roger Peckinpaugh).

He was born John Justin Clarke. Where did the “NIG” come from? Well, it was a different time then, and since he was dark complected and had a swarthy looking face………

Perhaps he would have lasted longer in the Majors but constant arm problems cut his career to a total of 506 games. He was known as a fine defensive catcher and when healthy a threat to runners on base.

Because of the injuries he was traded quite often. The Cleveland Indians, Detroit, the St Louis Browns, Philadelphia Phillies, and the Pittsburgh Pirates

Hi lifetime statistics in the Major Leagues include a batting average of ..254, six homeruns, and a paltry 127 runs batted in…….but so what… many people can claim they hit eight homeruns in one game?

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