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Pearce Chiles

Biography

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Pearce Nuget Chiles, nicknamed "What's The Use", was an American professional baseball player who played as both an outfielder and infielder in the Major Leagues from 1899-1900 for the Philadelphia Phillies. During his time with the Phillies as a 3rd base coach, he became infamous for his role in a stealing signs. Among others, Cincinnati Reds shortstop Tommy Corcoran noticed that Chiles' leg twitched, but only the Baker Bowl and only when he stood in the same omnipresent puddle which seemed to persist even when it didn’t rain. On Sept. 17, 1900, Corcoran ran to where Chiles was standing and kicked his cleats in the dirt until he found a wooden box with protruding wires mess of wires. Through this device, someone in the stadium was stealing opponents’ pitch signs and signaling Chiles via electrical pulses from the box. Chiles then verbally fed the pitch to the batter. Upon discovery, the umpire made Chiles change places, but no further penalties or fines were ever assessed.
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