"sign him up!"

George Thompson george.thompson at NYU.EDU
Thu Sep 8 22:17:48 UTC 2011

At baseball games, whenever someone catches a foul ball that hasn't been
slowed down by bouncing off several other spectators, we hear the cry "sign
him up!'

Here is evidence that that joke was familiar, and tiresome, in 1914.

"Attention is next called to the comedians, who are quite harmless.  When a
ball is batted into the stands, and is caught by some fan, up jumps the
original little party with the remark “sign him”. A swift kick in the shin
would act like a muffler and is most effective, leaving no muss."

Taken from a longer article in the Milwaukee Journal, February 1914; date
unspecified, found & transcribed by Dennis Pajot and posted to SABR's
 "Deadball" group.


George A. Thompson
Author of A Documentary History of "The African Theatre", Northwestern Univ.
Pr., 1998, but nothing much since then.

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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