nightcap (baseball)

Benjamin Zimmer bgzimmer at RCI.RUTGERS.EDU
Thu Dec 2 22:03:55 UTC 2004

OED3 has a first cite of 1939 for "nightcap" referring to the second game
of a double-header.  I find the attributive usage back to 1910 and the
standalone usage back to 1913.

Washington Post, Aug 10, 1910, p. 4
The nightcap exhibition was one of the greatest pitchers' battles of the
year here, both Harkness and Walker pitching sensational ball, the weather
conditions taken into consideration.

New York Times, Sep 4, 1910, p. C7
In the curtain-raiser two crack colored teams will be pitted against each
other, and in the nightcap portion of the bill Jack Warner's all-star
Manhattans, with Adrian of Utica in the box, will hook up with Ernie
Lindemann's Ridgewoods.

New York Times, Sep 28, 1910, p. 9
The Reds took the curtain raiser, 4 to 2, and the Giants captured the
nightcap number by a similar score.

New York Times, Oct 12, 1910, p. 10
Beck, Fletcher, Gowdy and Wilson were in the places of regulars in the
curtain raiser, and Shafer joined the list in the nightcap number.

New York Times, Jun 25, 1911, p. C6
The score of the getaway session was 11 to 6, and the nightcap number was
still more one-sided, going to the Yankees, 9 to 2.

New York Times, Sep 2, 1911, p. 5
The Superbas captured the getaway session by the score of 8 to 5 and the
Rustlers came back strong enough to grab the nightcap number, 4 to 2.

Atlanta Constitution, Jun 5, 1913, p. 8
Charleston and Columbus divided a double-header here today, the Sea Gulls
winning the initial game, 1 to 0, and losing the nightcap by a score of 3
to 1.

Washington Post, Aug 23, 1913, p. 6
Paddy Bauman and Veach each had three hits in the nightcap.

Washington Post, Aug 31, 1913, p. 3
First Baseman Myers, of the Braves, stole three bases on Catcher Miller,
of the Cardinals, in the nightcap.

--Ben Zimmer

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