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 August 09, 2014
“The last three outs are different” (baseball adage)

"The final/last three outs are different (from the previous 24 outs)” is a baseball adage. The three outs in the ninth inning could be the end of a game. Unlike the beginning of the game, relief pitchers and pinch hitters and pinch runners are often used. “‘The last three outs are different, the most difficult,’ La Russa said” was cited in 2008 and spoken by St. Louis Cardinals manager Tony La Russa. Detroit Tigers manager Jim Leyland also used the adage.

It’s not known who originated the saying.


11 May 2008, Walla Walla (WA) Union-Bulletin, “Cards yank Isringhausen from closer’s role” (AP), pg. B5, col. 5:
Both Isringhausen, who is 23rd on the career saves list, and La Russa think he’ll return to the closer’s role once he has time to refocus.

“The last three outs are different, the most difficult,” La Russa said. “It takes a special guy to do that. It’s true that he’s that guy, but we’ve just got to do what it takes to get him right.”

Riverfront Times (St. Louis MO)
The Case for Kyle McClellan as the Cards Closer
By Aaron Schafer Mon., Jul. 28 2008 at 6:15 PM
(...)
I realize that conventional baseball wisdom states that the last three outs are different from the other twenty four, but I don’t really buy into that a whole lot. The ninth inning is tough, yes, but so are all of the others. I like having my best reliever at the end of the game simply because the closer you get to the end of the game, the higher the chance that any mistakes turn into losses. You lose the lead in the seventh inning, there are still a couple of innings left to come back. You lose it in the ninth, you’re pretty much screwed.

PaulLebowitz.com
April 12, 2011
Those Last Three Outs
Tony La Russa, when scoffing at the suggestion that “anyone” can close games has said something to the tune of, “those last three outs are different”.

It’s not something that can be equated by stats or stuff. Closing is a mental endeavor more than anything else. It helps to have a power fastball like Goose Gossage; a bat-destroying cutter like Mariano Rivera; or a split-finger fastball like Bruce Sutter, but what all three of these pitchers and the other great closers of past and present have had is that they’ve been able to handle the mental and physical stresses of the job.

PinstripesPlus.com
GreatFatness
Posted: 6/25/2012 12:10 PM
RE: State of the Yankees 2012 Edition
(...)
October is “different”.  Just like “the last three outs are different”.  And we know this because crusty old baseball guys say so.  No need for facts to get in the way.

Twitter
Matthew B. Mowery
‏@matthewbmowery
Leyland on Coke filling in as closer in 9th: “Those last three outs are different outs. People learn that every day in this game.” #Tigers
9:53 PM - 19 Jun 2012

MLive (Michigan)
While Detroit Tigers fans ponder big names on trade market, Dave Dombrowski searches for right deal
By Chris Iott |
on July 18, 2013 at 9:02 AM, updated July 18, 2013 at 10:30 AM
(...)
Tigers manager Jim Leyland often talks about how the final three outs are different, how facing a save situation can sometimes make an otherwise steady relief pitcher shake in his baseball spikes. But even though those final three outs are a bit different, the key is finding someone to pitch the ninth who doesn’t feel it.

Macomb Daily News (MI)
Given other options, how long can Tigers continue to go to Joe?
By Matthew B. Mowery
POSTED: 08/09/14, 5:58 PM EDT
As the old adage in baseball goes, those last three outs are different than any others in the rest of the game.

Problem for the Tigers is, those last three outs seem to be the same from year to year: Moderately terrifying.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CitySports/Games • Saturday, August 09, 2014 • Permalink