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 November 20, 2011
“The team in first on July 4th will win the pennant” (baseball adage)

"The team in first place on July 4th will win the pennant” is a baseball adage that dates to at least 1921. The baseball season is about half over by the July 4th holiday. The adage doesn’t always hold true, but teams in that position on July 4th like to repeat it.


27 July 1921, Kalamazoo (MI) Gazette, pg. 10:
Teams That Were Leading on July Fourth May Not Car-
ry Away Pennant But They Stand Good Chance of Do-
ing So Unless Hard Luck Overtakes Them Near Finish.

By GEORGE B. CHADWICK
NEW YORK, July 27.—It has not always been true that the team which was first on the Fourth of July won the championship in a major league race, although it has become a popular superstition that there is some connection between the Fourth of July and pennants.

12 June 1922, New York (NY) Times, “Comment on Current Events in Sports,” pg. 20:
The team which leads the league on July 4 wins the pennant. This has come to be a proverb in big league baseball, and, while there have been many exceptions, it has, like most maxims, its element of truth. The statement originated from the fact that Independence Day marks the height of the critical mid-season period. By this time the morning glories are fading and class is beginning to tell.

12 June 1922, Kansas City (MO) Star, pg. 11:
An Old Legend Has It That Clubs in
First Place July 4 Are Certain
to Finish Ahead of the
Field.

NEW YORK, June 12.—Playing the best ball in the major leagues, both the New York clubs stepped out last week and strengthened their lead in the major league pennant races.

It is an old baseball legend that the team in first place on July 4 is the pennant winner, and from the way both the big town teams are going it will be another “private” series in the fall.

4 July 1928, Sandusky (OH) Star Journal, pg. 6, col. 7:
Yanks and Cards Lead
Leagues, Should Win
Flags is Old “Dope”

By GEORGE KIRKSEY.
(United Press Staff Correspondent.)
NEW YORK, July 4.—An old baseball adage has it that the two clubs which lead the major league pennant races on July 4 also will be found in first place in the last day of the season.

Google Books
Spalding’s Official Base Ball Guide
Edited by John Buckingham Foster
New York, NY: American Sports Pub. Co.
1929
Pg. 49:
It came true that the team first in the race on the Fourth of July would be first in the fight for the pennant, but the St. Louis club, first on the Fourth of July and afterward pennant winner, never could sleep knowing that it had won ...

Sports Illustrated
July 04, 1955
The Question: A Baseball Axiom Is That The Team Leading The League On July 4 Goes On To Win The Pennant. Will That Hold True This Year?
Jimmy Jemail

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CitySports/Games • (0) Comments • Sunday, November 20, 2011 • Permalink