“Calls “em Punch and Judy Hitters” (Headline). “‘No, I don’t think about losing to them,’ Sam [Gibson] replied. ‘They’re just punch and judy hitters. I go better against a swinging ball club.’” Harry Borba, The San Francisco Examiner, July 28, 1940, p44
- NOTE: Most of the earliest uses, though the early 50s — I didn’t find a second one until 1946 — were from West Coast newspapers. (Ken Liss)
Previous earliest use (Dickson Baseball Dictionary, 3rd edition, 2009):
1ST USE. 1951. “First sacker Gordon Goldsberry, a .240 Punch-and-Judy hitter, rapped out four singles” (The Daily Review [Hayward, Calif.], Sept. 12; Merritt Clifton).