Tony Gwynn Interview Part 5: Being a "Punch and Judy" hitter

via babylonbaroque.files.wordpress.com

Tony Gwynn has always referred to himself as a "Punch and Judy" hitter or a "Judy".  It's a title he's proud of.  I know it's baseball slang for a singles hitter, but I wanted to know more.

A hitter with very little power. Akin to banjo hitter. The first use of the term is attributed to former L.A. Dodgers manager Walter Alston who, when asked about a home run by Giants' slugger Willie McCovey, said: "When he belts a home run, he does it with such authority it seems like an act of God. You can't cry about it. He's not a Punch and Judy belter."

I've always wondered how a 16th Century Puppet show relates to baseball.  Did the puppets hit each other really softly?  I asked Gwynn if he knew the origins of the slang term.  You can listen to the audio of his answer below:


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