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. Now a Popeyes fast food restaurant on Google Maps.

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Entry from November 20, 2011
“Anything can happen in Brooklyn”

“Anything can happen it Brooklyn,” “Everything happens in Brooklyn” and “It could only happen in Brooklyn” are Brooklyn slogans inspired by the Brooklyn Dodgers baseball team. Brooklyn Dodger second baseball George Cutshaw (1887-1973), in a game at Brooklyn’s Ebbets Field against the Philadelphia Phillies on May 6, 1916, in the bottom of the eleventh inning with the score tied 2-2, hit a ball that bounced on the ground and somehow just made it into the bleachers. Under modern rules that would be a ground rule double, but the freak home run won the game for the Dodgers. It inspired the slogan that “anything can happen in Brooklyn—and usually does.”
“Anything might happen — in Brooklyn” is cited in print from at least from 1932 and “anything can happen in Brooklyn” from 1935. “Anything can happen in Brooklyn except a Yankee defeat” was written in October 1941, after the Dodgers lost the World Series to the New York Yankees. A 1954 song with lyrics by Edgar Leslie was titled “Anything Can Happen in Brooklyn.”
“It could only happen in Brooklyn” has been cited in print since at least April 1937. The movie The West Point Story (1950) includes the song “It Could Only Happen in Brooklyn,” with music by Jule Styne and lyrics by Sammy Cahn, performed by James Cagney.
“Everything happens in Brooklyn” has been cited in print since at least May 1937.
A 1938 Damon Runyon short story was titled “Nothing happens in Brooklyn.” It Happened in Brooklyn (1947) was an MGM movie musical starring Frank Sinatra and Kathryn Grayson.
Wikipedia: George Cutshaw
George William Cutshaw (July 29, 1887 in Wilmington, Illinois - August 22, 1973 in San Diego, California), is a former professional baseball player who played second base in the Major Leagues from 1912-1923. He would play for the Brooklyn Dodgers, Pittsburgh Pirates, and Detroit Tigers. He played in the 1916 World Series for Brooklyn.
Brooklyn Dodgers/Robins (1912-1917)
7 May 1916, Philadelphia (PA) Inquirer, sporting section, pg. 1, col. 3:
Cutshaw Bounced One Over
Right Field Wall and Quak-
ers Lost Tough Game, 3-2

The score remained deadlocked until Cutshaw, first up in the eleventh, took hold of one of Mayer’s offerings and rapped out the winning run. The ball struck several feet in front of the concrete wall in right and then hopped over. But for this quirk of luck, the rap would have been good for two bases at most, and there is no telling what would have been the outcome.
7 May 1916, Oregonian (Portland, OR), sec. 2, pg. 2:
Smash in Eleventh Inning Ends
Game and Defeats

BROOKLYN, May 6.—Cutshaw, first up in the 11th inning, knocked a home run over the right-field fence today and the Brooklyn Nationals defeated Philadelphia, 3 to 2.
OCLC WorldCat record
It happened in Brooklyn.
Author: Home Title Insurance Company (Brooklyn, New York, N.Y.)
Publisher: [Brooklyn, N.Y. : The Company, 1930?]
Edition/Format:  Book : English
Google Books
Volume 59
Pg. 112:
Anything might happen — in Brooklyn.
Old Fulton NY Post Cards
21 March 1935, New York (NY) Evening Post, “Hugh Bradley Says: Dizzy’s Trouble When Critz Bats Has Precedents,” pg. ?, col. 1:
After holding a 1 to 0 lead until the ninth (honestly such things can happen in Brooklyn) Dazzy had faced Critz with two men on base and two out. Under such circumstances it seemed all over but the shouting.
Google News Archive
23 December 1935, Spokane (WA) Daily Chronicle, pg. 1, col. 6:
Those who contend, on the basis of its baseball team’s frantic antics, that anything can happen in Brooklyn are going around citing this little tete-a-tete as further proof, for it was pictured at the Brooklyn zoo. Ignoring their reputations as traditional enemies, Tabby and her white rat pal share the same cup of milk.
(This was also in many other newspapers, such as the Newark, OH Advocate, 18 December 1935, pg. 1, col. 2—ed.)
Old Fulton NY Post Cards
21 April 1937, Brooklyn (NY) Daily Eagle, “Bill Terry Has Last Laugh on Revisit To Baiting Ground” by Harold Parrott, pg. 23, col. 2:
Next dugout visitor was a girl, about 21. She wanted a baseball signed by Terry.
The Giant manager was amazed by this trespassing on ground so verboten. “It could only happen in Brooklyn,” he grinned. “Do you wonder I love to play ball over here. Here, give me a brand new ball for the gal.”
23 May 1937, Lima (OH) News, “Snypp’s Sports Snacks” by Bill Snypp (Lima News Sports Editor), pg. 12, col. 1:
Everything happens in Brooklyn.
OCLC WorldCat record
Take it easy
Author: Damon Runyon
Publisher: New York : Frederick A. Stokes Co., 1938.
Edition/Format:  Book : Fiction : English
Nothing happens in Brooklyn—
Google News Archive
10 July 1938, Prescott (AZ) Evening Courier, “Sports Roundup” with Eddie Brietz (Associated Press Writer), pg. 5, col. 5:
ANYTHING CAN HAPPEN in Brooklyn and usually does.
Google News Archive
9 August 1938, Spartanburg (SC) Herald, “Other Big League Pilots Likely to Get ‘Gate” by Paul Mickelson (AP), pg. 5, col. 6:
Burleigh Grimes, Brooklyn…He’s doing a swell job but wouldn’t be surprised if he got a 10-year contract or the bounce tomorrow. Anything can happen in Brooklyn.
10 July 1939, Iola (KS) Register, “Sports Roundup” by Eddie Breitz (Associated Press Sports Writer), pg. 6, col. 4:
Anything can happen in Brooklyn and usually does.
Old Fulton NY Post Cards
3 August 1939, Utica (NY) Observer-Dispatch, “Stan Clark’s Daily Dozen,” pg. 6A, col. 2:
“Rather a queer thing came up in baseball last week that might be considered a Ripley-or-not. It has been said that anything can happen in Brooklyn. Well, apparently anything can happen to a Brooklyn team.”
27 May 1941, New York (NY) Times, “Dodgers Triumph on Three-Run Error” by Louis Effrat, pg. 31:
Everything happens in Brooklyn, it has been said, and so it seemed at yesterday’s game at Ebbets Field.
20 September 1941, New York (NY) Times, “It Could Have Happened in Brooklyn” by John Kieran, pg. 12:
DON’T accept this tale as true. But it could have happened in Brooklyn. Almost anything can happen in Brooklyn. The name of the man who came back with the story will be concealed because, on his own bland statement, he is still a mild mental case. He put the blame on contagion. He attended the Montague Street seance, or Brooklyn conference on the disposal of ticket applications for world series seats at Ebbets Field. Upon his return he sat himself in a swivel chair and rotated it slowly. He said that was the best way of coming out of a dizzy spell.
6 October 1941, New York (NY) Times, “King Keller Knocked Them Dead” by John Kieran, pf. 22:
SUCH things could happen only in Brooklyn. The Dauntless Dodgers had the Yankees licked with two out in the ninth.
It must be the Brooklyn atmosphere. Anything can happen in Brooklyn, things that nobody could dream of in advance. Like that utterly unthinkable, dastardly devastating ending to the ball game played at Ebbets Field yesterday.
7 October 1941, New York (NY) Times, “Yankees Win Series as Bonham Beats Dodgers, 3 to 1” by John Drebinger, pg. 28:
After all, Brooklyn has seen many odd happenings at Ebbets Field, so why hold it against a fellow because he added on more to the collection? In the seventh a piece of bunting in the upper left-field stand caught fire. Anything can happen in Brooklyn except a Yankee defeat.
Google News Archive
11 June 1944, Milwaukee (WI) Journal, pg. 5, col. 5:
Everything Happens in Brooklyn;
Reporter’s Suit Can Get Drunk

Oliver E. Kuechle of The Journal’s sports staff, in New York on assignment, writes a weekly letter to R. G. Lynch, sports editor.
Dear Russ:
Anything can happen in Brooklyn. I used to think this was only a gag, but now I know. I found out all about it first hand the other afternoon as I went to see “dem bums” in their own back yard for the first time.
Old Fulton NY Post Cards
16 October 1944, Utica (NY) Daily Press, “Farrell Reports in Old Timers” (AP), pg. ?, col. 5:
George Cutshaw, the former Brooklyn second sacker, operates an auto service station out in Brawley. He’s the one who made the crack “anything can happen in Brooklyn.” It was inspired the time he hit a ball to the outfield and it ran up a guy wire into the bleachers for a home run.
Google Books
Catalog of Copyright Entries:
Musical compositions, Part 3

Washington, DC: Library of Congress. Copyright Office.
Pg. 1011: 
It could only happen in Brooklyn; from Anchors Aweigh, w Sammy Cahn, m Jule Styne.
July 15, 1944.
2 September 1947, New York (NY) Times, pg. 28:
Thousands Turned Away From
Morning Game—Riot Squad
Cars Are Summoned

Despite the oft-repeated assertion that “anything can happen in Brooklyn,” the Brooklyn Baseball Club management was completely unprepared for the crowd of almost riot proportions—and inclinations—which stormed the unopened Ebbets Field gates early yesterday, bent upon seeing the morning game between the Phils and the Dodgers.
Wikipedia: It Happened in Brooklyn
It Happened in Brooklyn is a 1947 MGM musical romantic comedy film directed by Richard Whorf and starring Frank Sinatra, Kathryn Grayson, Peter Lawford, and Jimmy Durante and featuring Gloria Grahame and Marcy McGuire. It Happened in Brooklyn was Sinatra’s third film for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.
The film contains six songs written by Sammy Cahn and Jule Styne.
A post-World War II feel-good movie, the various plot-threads in It Happened in Brooklyn revolve around characters making good on their non-proletarian dreams: in Sinatra’s case to become a singer/musician rather than a shipping clerk, in Lawford’s case to break out of his extreme shyness to gain a wife and a career as a songwriter, and in Grayson’s case to break out of her schoolteaching job to star in the opera (this last is not shown coming to pass, but she presumably lives happily ever after as she is brought to England as the fiancee of the Lawford character, who is heir to a dukedom). The film’s tagline was “Happy songs! Happy stars! Happy romance!”.
Google Books
Times at Bat, a Half Century of Baseball
By Arthur Daley
New York, NY: Random House
Pg. 101:
Robbie wandered across the bridge to Brooklyn and it wasn’t too long before a new household phrase was coined, “Everything happens in Brooklyn.”
The Internet Movie Database
Soundtracks for
The West Point Story (1950)
“It Could Only Happen in Brooklyn”
Music by Jule Styne
Lyrics by Sammy Cahn
Performed by James Cagney
Danced by Virginia Mayo and James Cagney
3 June 1955, New York (NY) Times, pg. 25:
Anything can happen in Brooklyn, they say, and a group of youngsters provided some fresh and colorful evidence yesterday: Their tongues turned blue.
Google Books
Norman Vincent Peale;
Minister to millions, a biography

By Arthur Gordon
Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall
Pg. 101:
“Anything Can Happen in Brooklyn.”
7 October 1963, New York (NY) Times, pg. 37:
Food: Kosher Cookbook Is Reviewed
Recipes for 60 Chinese Dishes Are Listed in Slim Volume
Authors Employ Idiom Usedby Brooklyn Grandmothers

IN their Brooklyn Heights brownstone, Bob and Ruth Grossman recently collaborated over pots, mixing bowls and typewriter to produce “The Chinese-Kosher Cookbook.” The 81-page volume has just been published here by Paul S. Ericksson, Inc. It is $2.95 a copy.
It is assumed by many, especially those living in the borough, that anything can happen in Brooklyn. But a Jewish-Chinese cookbook?
Google Books
Opera Caravan:
Adventures of the Metropolitan on tour, 1883-1956

By Quaintance Eaton
New York, NY: Da Capo Press
1978, ©1957.
Pg. 133:
Today’s saying, “Anything can happen in Brooklyn,” which arises from the antics of its baseball team, might have applied also to the Metropolitan’s hegiras across the bridge.
Google Books
People and places, past and present

By Grace Glueck and Paul Gardner
New York, NY: H.N. Abrams
Pg. 198:
In the movies, anything can happen in Brooklyn because, in fact, everything does.
OCLC WorldCat record
It happened in Brooklyn : an oral history of growing up in the borough in the 1940s, 1950s, and 1960s
Author: Myrna Katz Frommer, Amerikan. Schriftstellerin.; Harvey Frommer
Publisher: New York [etc.] : Harcourt, Brace & Company, cop. 1993.
Edition/Format:  Book : English
Google Books
American Song
By Kenneth Bloom
New York, NY: Facts on File: Schirmer Books
Pg. 56:
Anything Can Happen in Brooklyn (L: Edgar Leslie); ...
Google Books
Big-Time Baseball:
A complete record of the national sport

By Maury Allen
New York, NY: Hart Pub. Co.
Pg. 64:
In 1916, George Cutshaw, Dodger second baseman, broke up a ballgame with a ground ball that miraculously climbed over the fence for a home run!
The Dodgers were playing the Phillies at Ebbets Field in a hard-fought, extra-inning game. With the score tied in the last half of the eleventh, Cutshaw slammed a hot grass-clipping drive into right field— a hard-hit ball worth two bases in any league.
But Cutshaw’s grounder was marked for high destiny. As the Philadelphia right-fielder charged in to field the ball off the fence, the spheroid struck the embankment, and instead of caroming off the fence, continued to roll upward — urged on by some sort of English. The ball actually climbed the fence!
Cutshaw’s smash has gone down in baseball history as the only ground ball that ever rolled outside a major-league ballpark. And in those days, a ball that cleared the fence on however many bounces was a homer, not a ground-rule double.
The things that can happen in Brooklyn!
Google Books
Mr. Deeds Goes to Yankee Stadium:
Baseball films in the Capra tradition

By Wes D. Gehring
Jefferson, NC: McFarland
Pg. 79:
(By the 1940s baseball had long had the expression, “Anything can happen in Brooklyn.”)
Discovery: Mythbusters
Posted 12-20-07 01:02 AM
I found the game I think you referrred to, but it was not a hot shot between the pitcher’s legs, but a grounder that hopped the fence for a home run. In 1916 George Cutshaw, Dodger second baseman clubbed the ball that performed this feat. They were playing the Phillies at Ebbets Field in a tight extra inning game. Cutshaw slammed a grass-clipping drive into right field, a ball worth two bases in any league. Through some kind of weird English, the ball actually climbed the right field fence, giving the game to the Dodgers. Cutshaw is the only player ever to hit a ground ball out of the park. In those days, there was no ground rules double. Any ball that made it over the fence on however many bounces was a homer, not a double. The things that could happen in Brooklyn!

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CitySports/Games • Sunday, November 20, 2011 • Permalink

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