Did you happen to catch USA Today’s coverage of historic Clemens Field in Hannibal?

In his own words, national baseball columnist Bob Nightengale shares the legend of Hall of Famer (and Hannibal native) Jack Beckley who played in the bigs from 1888 to 1907--an era when statistics were certainly a far cry from the sabremetrics we know today. The lack of concrete historical data led to an ongoing dispute over Beckley’s accurate lifetime batting average.

Elected to the Hall of Fame by the Veterans’ Committee in 1971, Beckley is credited with a lifetime .309 batting average on his official HOF plaque. However other records suggest that he swung for a slightly lower (albeit still respectable) .308 average throughout his career.

Paying homage to its hometown hero, Clemens Field unveiled the “Jack Beckley .308 Gate” on Tuesday (3/08) at precisely 3:08 pm.

“This new entrance to Clemens Field will provide the fans an opportunity to see, up close, the Beckley monument, as well as other plaques for notable former players like Stan Musial, George Brett, Red Schoendienst, Bob Gibson and others”, said Bob Hemond, Cavemen co-owner.

To read Nightengale’s coverage of the Clemens Field additions (and the historical discrepancies from which they were derived), CLICK HERE.