Fwd: Murderer's Row

Dave Wilton dave at WILTON.NET
Thu Oct 24 16:06:54 UTC 2002

> I thought that the baseball sense predated the Tombs sense by
> about fifteen years. Is that not the case, or is the assumption
> that the Tombs sense is earlier but unrecorded?
> Jesse Sheidlower

Dickson's New Baseball Dictionary gives an 1858 date for baseball use of
"murderers' row," but says the jail usage predates that and is the ultimate
origin. Only indirect citations are given. Dickson cites an April 1948
"Baseball Digest" article by Bill Bryson (either a different Bill Bryson or
a typo in the date) that refers to an 1858 newspaper article. Also a Ph.D.
dissertation by Edward J. Nichols, "An Historical Dictionary of Baseball
Terminology" (1939) refers to an 1858 clipping in Henry Chadwick's scrapbook
that uses the term.

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