Jay Clarke

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Jay Justin Clarke

  • Bats Left, Throws Right
  • Height 5' 8", Weight 165 lb.

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Biographical information[edit]

According to the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame, which inducted him in 1996, Jay Clarke is "also often credited with introducing shin guards to the catcher’s position in professional baseball". [1] Clarke played parts of nine big league seasons, primarily with the Cleveland Naps. On October 2, 1908, he caught a perfect game thrown by Addie Joss in the heat of a tight American League pennant race, the fourth in major league history. In many sources, he is tagged with the derogatory nickname "Nig". Clarke's wife despised the nickname and publicly said that she wanted her husband to be referred to by his actual name in the papers. [2]

On June 15, 1902, Clarke was playing for the Corsicana Oil Citys in the Texas League in a game against the Texarkana Casketmakers. With the team playing away from its normal park to avoid blue laws, Clarke set the record for the most homers in a game in professional baseball. Clarke went 8 for 8 at Ennis Park that day, with each hit being a home run. Corsicana won the game, 51-3. However, several facts of this game have been disputed. If the 8 home runs are indeed real, Clarke thus hit more home runs in that single game than in 506 major league games (six).

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), Joe 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).


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