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Viral Video: High school pitcher wins game using clever trick

Kids playing baseball. (Unsplash)
June 21, 2024

While most baseball fans are watching major league games, one high school pitcher from New Jersey went viral for a “hidden ball” trick.

A Saturday night game in April between Delsea Regional High and Audubon High School was a tight match before George Starr, pitcher for Delsea, made his play. In the now-viral clip shared by Jersey Sports Zone to X, not even the sportscaster is certain if the throw was genuine.

As Starr tags the base runner, the commentator exclaims, “We were all fooled! The game is over!”

The clip was quickly picked up by ESPN and Sportscaster Top 10 Plays. Joe Smith, head coach for Delsea since 2002, told the Philadelphia Inquirer the trick has been a long-standing play practiced by the team.

“We work on it a lot. This is the third time we were actually trying it in six games,” Smith said of using the hidden ball trick play. “We tried it twice before the season and it didn’t work. We just felt like with those last two hits that anything can happen with this weather; it was ridiculously windy. We just said, ‘Let’s try it.'”

In the play, Starr appears to attempt a pick-off to second base. Infielders teammates convincingly dive for the throw, encouraging the runner to step off base. Before anyone could realize what had occurred, Starr tags the runner, and the game is called, resulting in a win for Delsea.

Starr takes training for baseball seriously, frequently sharing videos and clips of practice to his X account. In one video, he demonstrates an impressive 88.1 on a Trackman as he practices his pitch.

Delsea Regional High joined the ranks of baseball history with the successful play. Bill Coughlin of the Detroit Tigers is the reported king of the hidden ball trick. Coughlin famously executed the hidden ball trick in Game 2 of the 1907 World Series. Coughlin managed to fool his opponents, making this trick the only recorded hidden ball trick to ever occur during a World Series game.