June Swoon (1955)

“Cubs riding high now but will they slump? Have had habit of ‘June swoon’ in other seasons.” (Headline). “Those crazy-quilt Chicago Cubs are riding high in third place, but are they going to swoon in June?” Oshkosh Northwestern, May 24, 1955, p14. (AP story, also in other papers.)

Previous earliest use (Dickson Baseball Dictionary, 3rd edition, 2009):
1ST USE/ETYMOLOGY. Sportswriter Art Rosenbaum, who popularized the phrase in the late 1950s and early 1960s when the Giants seemed destined for an annual fall from the top of the National League standings after quick starts, wrote (San Francisco Chronicle, June 22, 1989), “It just slipped into my typewriter, and it became an annual story. The songs of those days rhymed with June as in swoon, moon, tune and the Giants were accommodating to the phrase. They would fall dead in that month every year. It’s one of those things you write about and not think about until later.” Rosenbaum first used “June Swoon” in the summer of 1959, but according to researchers at the Tamony Collection at the Univ. of Missouri, the first printed use of the term came in Time magazine (June 17, 1957). A nonbyline story on Nellie Fox and the Chicago White Sox made just a passing reference: “The White Sox get off to a fast start, then fall into a ‘June Swoon.’” Over the years Rosenbaum has written several articles claiming to have started the Swoon craze, although he acknowledged that Bob Stevens, the Chronicle’s baseball writer at the time, may have actually coined the term.