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`ONE FLAP DOWN' EXPLAINED.

Ten years ago, Jeffrey Leonard of the San Francisco Giants became the first player to hit home runs in four consecutive National League Championship Series games, but is better remembered for the way he ran them out: Slowly - one third-to-home trot was clocked at 8.3 seconds - with his left arm dangling in the style that became known as ``One Flap Down.'' In Lancaster this week, Leonard explained how his signature move came about:

``I actually did that a year and a half prior to the playoffs. I hit a home run against Scott Sanderson. My first-base coach was out (of the box), so I leaned over to hit his hand and I just kind of left it down all the way around (the bases). I didn't pay it no mind. The next day, Ryne Sandberg and Thad Bosley asked me, `Did you hurt your hand?' Nobody thought anything about it. I did it all the next year. Then, in the playoffs, when I hit (the first home run), my parents were sitting way up, way up - I was mad - and I came around third base and started pointing at 'em and dropped down (with his left arm). That's when there was a big thing about it. That's when I said, OK, in the rest of the games I'll drop it down. The following year, I added a little more creativity to it. I had the `sling' (his arm horizontal), the `half-cocked' (fist up at his shoulder). I was having fun by then. That's how it got started. I didn't hit that many home runs. I was going to have fun with 'em. I always knew I was going to be thrown at. I was old-school, so I didn't care, as long as they hit me from the neck down.''
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Copyright 1997, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Title Annotation:SPORTS
Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:May 25, 1997
Words:300
Previous Article:ALBERT OFFERS NO HINTS.
Next Article:DODGERS NOTEBOOK: JOBS ARE MORE SECURE.



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