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 September 12, 2014
“Hitting is timing; pitching is upsetting timing” (baseball adage)

"Hitting is timing; pitching is upsetting timing” is a baseball adage usually credited to pitcher Warren Spahn (1921-2003). “The secret of hitting is proper timing, and the secret of pitching is throwing that timing off” was said by Spahn in 1962. “Hitting is timing; pitching is destroying timing” was said by Spahn in 1981.

The expression is an old one. “As the secret of hitting Is timing, it follows that the secret of pitching is breaking up the batter’s timing” was said by baseball coach Fred Mitchell (1878-1970) in 1929. “Hitting is timing. Pitching is knocking the hitter’s timing off” was said by baseball pitcher Dutch Leonard (1909-1983) in 1953. “Hitting is timing the ball and pitching is untiming the hitters” was said by baseball pitcher Tommy Byrne (1919-2007) in 1955.


Google News Archive
6 July 1929, Pueblo (CO) Indicator, “Fred Mitchell Booster of ANy Brainy Pitcher,” pg. 3, col. 6:
“As the secret of hitting Is timing, it follows that the secret of pitching is breaking up the batter’s timing.”
(Fred Mitchell, Harvard baseball coach.—ed.)

9 April 1953, Evening World-Herald (Omaha, NE), “Speaking of Sports” by Robert Phipps, pg. 36, col. 2:
George (Kissell—ed.) put it even better than that the other day. “You know hitting is timing,” he told big Bob Heins. “Well, pitching is off-timing. You get those three speeds on your fast ball and two with teh curve and you’ll win games.”

Google News Archive
16 July 1953, Spirit of Jefferson Farmer’s Advocate (Charles Town, WV), “The Wolff’s Den” by Bob Wolff, pg. 1-B, col. 4:
“Hitting is timing. Pitching is knocking the hitter’s timing off.”
(Chicago Cubs pitcher Dutch Leonard.—ed.)

Google News Archive
10 August 1955, Victoria (TX) Advocate, “Sports Lines” by John Lyons, pg. 12, col. 4:
Hitting is timing the ball and pitching is untiming the hitters.
(Baseball pitcher Tommy Byrne.—ed.)

24 April 1962, Thomasville (GA) Times-Enterprise, “Sports Beat” with Bill Baab, pg. 6, col. 1:
“This business of pitching is a science, all right, but it also is a guessing game,” Spahn said. “It’s a perpetual battle between the pitcher and the hitter. The secret of hitting is proper timing, and the secret of pitching is throwing that timing off.”

12 August 1981, Morning Advocate (Baton Rouge, LA), “In second life, Spahn still belongs on field” by Thomas Boswell (Washington Post), pg. 6-E, col. 3:
When Spahn speaks on pitching, there’s an economy of expression that bespeaks volumes of experience condensed to a phrase. “Hitting is timing; pitching is destroying timing,” he says.

Google Books
Sportswit
By Lee Green
New York, NY: Ballantine Books
1986, ©1984
Pg. 48:
WARREN SPAHN Milwaukee Braves pitcher:
“Hitting is timing. Pitching is upsetting timing.”

Google News Archive
20 February 2001, Kentucky New Era (Hopkinsville, KY), “1951 baseball season spoiled by Giants’ cheating” by George Will, pg. A4, col. 2:
It is axiomatic: Hitting is timing, pitching is upsetting timing.

Twitter
Ervin Santana
‏@ErvinSantana_54
Hitting is timing. Pitching is upsetting timing.
#WarrenSpahn
10:45 AM - 8 Sep 2014

Bleacher Report
As Clayton Kershaw Paints His Masterpiece, Can the NL MVP Award Be Far Behind?
By Scott Miller , National MLB Columnist Sep 12, 2014
(...)
As the old saying goes, hitting is timing and pitching is disrupting that timing.

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CitySports/Games • Friday, September 12, 2014 • Permalink