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  • "Hit This Sign!" signs

    Fellow Baseball Fever members,

    A feature of ballparks in the early part of the 20th century were the "Hit This Sign!" signs. If a batter managed to hit the sign on the full, he would receive a prize of some description.

    Could fellow members give me details of which MLB ballparks featured these signs? What sort of prizes were on offer to players for hitting the signs? Were there many examples of the sign being hit?

    Any pictures of such signs would also be appreciated.
    "You can't hit what you can't see" - Walter "Big Train" Johnson

  • #2
    Webbers sausage sign from Crosley Field, 1968
    Attached Files

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    • #3
      Ebbets Field, of course, had the famous Abe Stark sign. "Hit Sign, Win Suit." Those words may be a little hard to see in this picture.

      I will not assimilate into the Angelos Collective. Resistance is not futile.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by 1995hoo
        Ebbets Field, of course, had the famous Abe Stark sign. "Hit Sign, Win Suit." Those words may be a little hard to see in this picture.

        This was perhaps the most famous Hit This and win sign. As far as winning , there are a couple of versions of the story. Being so close to the ground it was difficult to hit the Abe Stark sign on the fly. Carl Furillo one of the best right fielders of his time patrolled in front of the sign One story says Stark used to give Furillo clothes if he stopped balls from hitting the sign, In a couple of stories I have read Furillo say he was promised a suit but never recieved it. Just last night on the Mets broadcast, Ralph Kiner was talking about the Abe Stark sign. He sai no one ever hit it, and Stark used to pay Furillo to protect his sign. I have also read that a couple of players hit the sign and were rewarded with suits. I don't know about the other members of the Brooklyn Dodger forum, but I never saw or personally heard of anyone hitting the sign.
        Lets get Eddie Basinski elected to the Polish Sports Hall of Fame.
        www.brooklyndodgermemories.com

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Elvis9045
          Webbers sausage sign from Crosley Field, 1968
          Only a Reds player could win $100 ? I guess it eas better then winning sausage, although in those days with salaries being what they were, the players might have preferred the Sausage.
          Lets get Eddie Basinski elected to the Polish Sports Hall of Fame.
          www.brooklyndodgermemories.com

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          • #6
            a little off topic but a few teams have those kind of signs today...i know on the foul poles at homerun-a-minute maid park EV1 internet (which stands for everyones) has a target at teh very top and if u hit it there u win free internet...they put it up last july for the all star game
            Houston Rockets
            playoffs:1969,75,77,79,80,81,82,85,86,87,88,89,90, 91,93,94,95,96,97,98,99,2004,05,07,08
            West Champions:81,86,94,95
            NBA Champions:94,95
            Houston Astros
            Playoffs: 1980,86,97,98,99,01,04,05
            NL west champs: 80,86
            NL central champs: 97,98,99,01
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            Houston Oilers: AFL champs 1960,61
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            Lufkin Panthers div 2 state champs 2001

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            • #7
              Didn't Shea have such a sign within the last 15 years that if you hit it, they'd paint your house?

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              • #8
                Before I-75 was put in, there use to be a laundry behind the left field fence at Crosley Field.
                A sign on the building said, "Hit this sign and win a free suit."
                Wally Post hit it eleven times.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Astros4Life
                  a little off topic but a few teams have those kind of signs today...i know on the foul poles at homerun-a-minute maid park EV1 internet (which stands for everyones) has a target at teh very top and if u hit it there u win free internet...they put it up last july for the all star game
                  Milo Hamilton does the plug for EV1 during Astros broadcasts.
                  He says if a player hits it...they win a H2 Hummer.
                  So far no one has hit it.

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                  • #10
                    Another story about Furillo has it that Abe Stark never gave him a suit until Carl had a few balls hit the sign. Abe forked over the clothes then.

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                    • #11
                      In 1988 Shea stadium had a rotating sign on the top right hand hand corner for Pergament that said it this sign and well paint your home.

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                      • #12
                        Peoria Chiefs single A team in Peoria, Illinois has a Pot-O-Gold. Deep in left field and over the berm there's a pot that sits there. Any Chief that hits a homer in that pot wins the crowd there FREE hot wings from Kellehert's Pub. Quite the giveaway if you ask me beings that they'd be giving 9,000 people free wings! Haha.

                        I can't see it happening. It'd be a one in a million shot.
                        Baseball's PURIST fan.

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                        • #13
                          Howard Clothes Sign At Pg

                          When the mets were at the polo grounds in 1962 and 1963 if a player hit the howard clothes sign out in the outfield he would get points.the player with the most points at the end of the season won a boat if i recall. and marv throneberry won it in 1962.in this photo from another thread you can see the sign down the left field line at the polo grounds.
                          Attached Files
                          LONG LIVE THE POLO GROUNDS 1891-1964
                          http://groups.yahoo.com/group/POLOGROUNDS1962

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                          • #14
                            The High Desert Mavericks (Class A, Cal League) had a car door, with no window, in right field. If I remember correctly, it was from a Plymouth, and the local agency would present a new car if a Maverick hit a ball through the open window. The odds were against this happening (it never did happen), because the wind blows out to left field about 90% of the time.

                            Bob

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by POLO GROUNDS 1957 View Post
                              When the mets were at the polo grounds in 1962 and 1963 if a player hit the howard clothes sign out in the outfield he would get points.the player with the most points at the end of the season won a boat if i recall. and marv throneberry won it in 1962.in this photo from another thread you can see the sign down the left field line at the polo grounds.
                              Howard Clothes. How apropos that the batter in the photo is Willie HOWARD Mays.

                              Bob

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