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There were only 188 balks called in the majors leagues - 101 in the AL - this season, less than jalf the 1989 total and just one fifth the total called in 1988. A total of 407 balks were called in 1989, and a record 924 were called in 1988 when umpires cracked down at the urging of the then-NL president A. Bartlett Giamatti. AL umpires called 558 in 1988 and 168 last year. NL umpires called 366 balks in 1988, 239 last season and 87 this year.

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