“A baseball game is often lost on a slimmer margin than a foot and a yard. It’s truly been said it’s a game of inches.” Harold C. Burr. Brooklyn Daily Eagle, September 17, 1929, p24.
- NOTE: The term was used a few years earlier in football:
— “The runner must always aim to get the last possible inch, for football is a game in which inches often count for more than yards.” Robert C. Zuppke, Elmira Star-Gazette, October 26, 1925, p9
Previous earliest use (Dickson Baseball Dictionary, 3rd edition, 2009):
1ST USE. 1957. “It was a game of inches in many cases. For instance, Jim Lemon, who hit his sixth homer of the spring in the sixth, narrowly missed another in the ninth with two on. That would have won the game” (Bob Addie, The Washington Post, Apr. 1).