A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from May 01, 2015
“A walk is as good as a hit” (baseball adage)

"A walk is as good as a hit” is a baseball adage that encourages a batter not to swing at bad pitches. If the bases are empty, a walk is as good as a hit. However, if it’s the bottom of the ninth and the winning run is on third base, a walk (to help load the bases) does not advance the runner; it simply sets up a potential out at other bases.

“A base on balls is as good as a hit” was cited in print in 1893 and “a walk is as good as a hit” was cited in 1913.


LA84.org
26 August 1893, Sporting Life, “Cincinnati Chips” by Paul Chamberlain, pg. 12, col. 2:
Control is essential when games are to be won, and a base on balls is as good as a hit.

10 October 1894, Cleveland (OH) Leader, “Base Ball,” pg. 2, col. 5:
Certainly a base on balls is as good as a hit, and cannot be rated as a fielding error.

18 July 1898, Cleveland (OH) Leader, pg. 6, col. 2:
One frequently hears a coacher cry, “Wait it out; a base on balls is as good as a hit.”

30 October 1913, San Francisco (CA) Chronicle, “Work Starts on the Seals’ New Home at Lone Mountain” by Fred A. Purner, pg. 10, col. 5:
“Perhaps I will acquire the habit of walking, and, you know, a walk is as good as a hit.”
(San Francisco Seals second baseman Jerry Downs, on his employment as a floor walker.—ed.)

25 June 1914, Miami (FL) Herald, “Miller’s Great Pitching Put Seminoles on Top,” pg. 5, col. 3:
And it was then that the old saying that a walk is as good as a hit, was proven true, for he later scored.

2 September 1921, Tucson (AZ) Citizen, “In the Sporting World,” pg. 5, col. 1:
The Babe doesn’t always get a chance to knock out a four-ply blow, for he is so greatly favored that bases on balls are nothing unusual in his young life, and the wise birds tell us that a walk is as good as a hit.

22 December 1933, San Francisco (CA) Chronicle, “Statisticians In Full Bloom At This Time” by John Lardner, pg. 17, col. 6:
After several minutes of tedious labor the pitcher sees him trotting off to first. and recalls the ancient ivory adage: “A walk is as good as a hit.”

Google Books
The Dickson Baseball Dictionary
By Paul Dickson
New York, NY: W. W. Norton & Company, Inc.
2009
Pg. 919:
“walk is as good as a hit, a” A colloquialism urging a batter to get on base by not swinging at bad pitches. In reality, a walk is as good as a hit when the batter comes to the plate with the bases empty, but a walk may not be as good as a hit when a base hit advances a runner two bases.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CitySports/Games • Friday, May 01, 2015 • Permalink