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 22, 2019
“A leadoff walk always scores” (baseball adage)

A leadoff walk is a bad way for a pitcher to start an inning. “A leadoff walk always scores” is a baseball adage of unknown authorship.

“We have a rule around here that says a leadoff walk will always score and we believe it” was printed in the Fremont (NE) Tribune on June 20, 1997. “‘You give up a leadoff walk, they always score,’ (Somerset manager Sparky—ed.) Lyle said” was printed in The Courier-News (Bridgewater, NJ) on June 1, 1999.

This comment, about Hollywood writer and baseball commentator Ken Levine, was posted on the newsgroup rec.sport.baseball on June 27, 2000:

“I always stand by Levine’s Law (after Ken Levine, creator of the TV show ‘Cheers’ and former broadcaster for the Orioles and Mariners): ‘A lead-off walk will always come around to score unless it doesn’t.’”


20 June 1997, Fremont (NE) Tribune, “Hermanson wins pitchers duel with Fittje” by Mike Kluck, pg. B1, col. 6:
“Without a leadoff runner you take the game away. We have a rule around here that says a leadoff walk will always score and we believe it.”
(Spoken by Waterloo-Valley juniors coach Tim Litton.—ed.)

1 June 1999, The Courier-News (Bridgewater, NJ), “Patriots manager to throw it away” by Geoff Mosher, pg. C-1, col. 7:
“You give up a leadoff walk, they always score,” (Somerset manager Sparky—ed.) Lyle said.

Google Groups: rec.sport.baseball
Base-Out Run Value Table for 1999/2000?
John Craven
6/27/00
I always stand by Levine’s Law (after Ken Levine, creator of the TV show “Cheers” and former broadcaster for the Orioles and Mariners):

“A lead-off walk will always come around to score unless it doesn’t.”

Google Groups: rec.sport.baseball
Base-Out Run Value Table for 1999/2000?
Walter Cook
6/27/00
Voros,
I’m probably just reading this system wrong, but shouldn’t a leadoff walk simply be equal to .9724 (1 man on, 0 outs), which would probably qualify as “almost always scoring?”
(...)
> True sports broadcasters know a leadoff walk “almost always scores”.

DVD talk
MLB Saturday August 19, 2006 (~180 Days Until Pitchers and Catchers Report Edition)
Rogue588
08-19-06, 02:49 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mad Dawg
Who’d have thought walks could hurt?


Well, according to McCarver, the leadoff walk always scores..

Google Groups: alt.sports.baseball.bos-redsox
Shea Hillenbrand, Part 3247
Dave Bismo
8/11/07
(...)
It’s sabermetrics as advocated by Bill James in the 1970s, before his disciples distorted the definition. 

Someone throws out a statement that sounds definitive (i.e. Whitey Herzog’s “Ozzie Smith saves a run a game with his fielding” or Tim McCarver’s recent “A leadoff walk always scores.").

Twitter
twayward
@twayward
corollary to adage that leadoff walk always scores: unless it’s the 2009 new york #mets
11:26 PM - 10 Aug 2009

Twitter
Ben Maller
@benmaller
Dodger Talk host Ken Levine’s Law: A leadoff walk always scores, unless it doesn’t.
10:14 PM - 1 Sep 2009

Twitter
David Archer
@arcthrower
Baseball wisdom I have learned this weekend: Speed slows the game down and a lead off walk almost always scores. #worldseries
10:23 PM - 1 Nov 2009

Twitter
Kristi Dosh
@SportsBizMiss
Replying to @BizballMaury
@BizballMaury my all-time favorite: “When you walk the leadoff man he always scores...except when he doesn’t.”
11:36 PM - 10 Apr 2010

Twitter
Bruce Foote
@BruceFoote4
In a close game a leadoff walk always scores #MLB
6:09 PM - 21 Apr 2011

Cybermetric
WEDNESDAY, JULY 6, 2011
Is AROD In Serious Decline This Year?
(...)
Another example of this is Hawk Harrelson on the game today talking about how the leadoff walk always scores. But no one on national TV or a super station like WGN ever mentions the work of Retrosheet head Dave Smith who showed that leadoff walks only score about as often as leadoff singles. See Leadoff walks.
POSTED BY CYRIL MORONG AT 12:45 PM

...by Ken Levine
Wednesday, September 21, 2011
My Open Letter to Seattle
(...)
COMMENTS
Brent said...
(...)
Someday you really do have to write another baseball book, and of course the title must be “The leadoff walk always scores… unless it doesn’t.”
9/21/2011 9:53 AM

Twitter
V
@lilacvrp
Whenever you walk the leadoff batter...he always scores
9:13 PM - 27 Oct 2011

Twitter
Pacific U. Athletics
@goboxers
Boxers live @KenLevine adage that leadoff walk always comes around to score (unless it doesn’t). Pacific & @WUBearcats tied 1-1, end 5th.
7:35 PM - 29 Mar 2013

Twitter
Mark Clifford
@mclifford_24
The leadoff man that walks in the bottom of the ninth almost always scores.
9:49 PM - 2 Mar 2018

Twitter
305MixBreed
@WillieMcLovin
I’ve been told my whole life
“A lead off walk always scores...”
9:35 PM - 20 Oct 2018

The Register-Herald (Beckley, WV)
Lady Cavs eliminated in Vienna
By Tyler Jackson The Register-Herald
(...)
In the first game, the age old adage about leadoff walks proved to be true, and ultimately the difference.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CitySports/Games • Wednesday, May 22, 2019 • Permalink