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 April 24, 2014
“You can’t give a major league team four outs” (baseball adage)

"You can’t give a major league team four outs (in an inning and expect to win)” is an old baseball adage. There are three outs in an inning. However, sometimes a player makes an error when it could have been an out to end the inning. This allows the other team “four outs”—that is, at least one extra batter.

“It’s axiomatic that you can’t give a ball club four outs in an inning and expect to win” was cited in print in 1934.


4 October 1934, Cleveland (OH) Plain Dealer, “Dean, Tired, Beat Jittery Tigers, 8-3” by Gordon Cobbledick, pg. 18, col. 1:
It’s axiomatic that you can’t give a ball club four outs in an inning and expect to win. The Tigers gave the Cardinals five.

28 February 1961, Boston (MA) Evening American, “Better Defense Seen by Higgins” by Larry Claflin, pg. 36, col. 1:
“Our pitchers didn’t get much help. After all, you can’t give four outs an inning and get away with it.”
(Boston Red Sox manager Mike Higgins.—ed.)

8 March 1961, Boston (MA) Daily Record, “Sox Plan Accent on Speed to Offset Loss of Ted” by Norman Miller (UPI), pg. 38, col. 2:
“We missed double plays from the second base side. You can’t give a team four outs in an inning.”
(Boston Red Sox manager Mike Higgins.—ed.)

Google Books
Baseball’s Greatest All-Star Games
By Howard Liss
New York, NY: D. McKay Co.
1979
Pg. 14:
“With a lineup like the American League had, you just can’t give them four outs and get away with it,” McKechnie said.

Google Books
Season Ticket
By Roger Angell
Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin
1988
Pg. ?:
SPRING 1985
(BILL RIGNEY (FORMER INFIELDER, New York Giants; former manager, Giants, Angels, Twins): “Sometimes you should remind yourself that all the things we have in this game—hits and runs and stolen bases and home runs—the thing we have the most of is outs. So it’s important to be able to catch the ball out there and then know what to do with it. You can’t give a major-league team four outs in an inning and expect to win.”

Twitter
Barry M. Bloom
‏@Boomskie
And once again the old adage is true for the @Dodgers: You can’t give a Major League team four outs.
12:44 AM - 23 Apr 2014

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CitySports/Games • Thursday, April 24, 2014 • Permalink