Saying: The game is never over until the last man is out. (1891)

ADSGarson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM
Mon Oct 14 17:03:00 UTC 2013

The Dictionary of Modern Proverbs (2012) has an entry for: "The game
is not over until the last man is out" with a first citation in 1965.
Here are some earlier cites that may kick the proverb out of the
modern category defined by the reference.

A precursor appeared in a list of behavioral guidelines published in
the Boston Globe in 1890. Here are three items from the list titled:
"Don'ts" for Crowds and Players:

[ref] 1890 May 28, Boston Daily Globe,  "Don'ts" for Crowds and
Players, Quote Page 3 (NArch Page 13), Column 5, Boston,
Massachusetts. (NewspaperArchive)[/ref]

[Begin excerpt]
Don't roast the poor umpire when you are getting the best of it.

Don't try to throw before you get the ball.

Don't think the game is won, until the last man is out.
[End excerpt]

[ref] 1891 April 23, Boston Daily Globe, Grand Send Off: League Teams
Begin the Battle for the Pennant, Quote Page 11, Column 6, Boston,
Massachusetts. (NewspaperArchive)[/ref]

[Begin excerpt]
It looked a shade blue for Boston in the ninth, as they were not
hitting the ball and the small end of the batting order was to come
up, but the result shows that the game is never over until the last
man is out.
[End excerpt]

[ref] 1891 August 6, The Bradford Era, New York Press Comments, Quote
Page 2, Column 2, Bradford, Pennsylvania. (NewspaperArchive)[/ref]

[Begin excerpt]
New York Herald: Baseball's uncertain characteristics were beautifully
demonstrated yesterday afternoon at the Polo Ground, and the oft
repeated rule that a game is not over until the last man is out was
never so clearly proved.
[End excerpt]

[ref] 1912 February 26, Chester Times, Interesting Basketball Games
Played By Locals, Quote Page 6, Column 4, Chester, Pennsylvania.

[Begin excerpt]
Someone in the days effaced by Father Time once quoted the all-wise
saying that the game is not over till the last man is out. This is
applicable in baseball; also in basketball, for the game is not over
until the last goal has been caged.
[End excerpt]


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