Baseball Terms and Baseball Slang
Jimi Hendrix – Purple A’s
Aboard – On base. Why does Casey at the Bat comes to mind? With Flynn a-huggin‘ third.
Ace – An ace is a team’s best starting pitcher. When you think of an Ace of a staff, you may think of Bob Gibson, Greg Maddux, Clayton Kershaw. Who else? Fritz Peterson would probably not fit into that category – nor would Pasqual Perez.
Ahead in the Count – If you are pitcher, there might be no balls and two strikes or one ball and two strikes. You are in an advantageous position. If you are hitter, three balls and one strike or two balls and one strike would put you in good shape.
Air Mail – Chucked it over the head of the 3rd baseman or the catcher.
Alley— The section of the outfield between the outfielders. Also “gap.” It’s not some dark place where you got a blow job in Tijuana.
Appeal – A claim by the defense to the umpire that a rule has been violated.
Arm – It’s slang for a pitcher. “The Yankees picked up two young arms in the deal.” He’s got a helluvan arm in right field.
Assist – When a fielder touches the ball before the putout, he has assisted on the play.
At Bat – Is a time at the plate. A completed At Bat is when there is either a hit
Average – The percentage of hits to at bats.
Around the Horn– A double play going from third base to second to first.
Aspirin Tablet – A fastball that is hard to hit because of it’s velocity (or movement).
Ate Him Up – Baseball slang for a batted ball that is hard to handle for the infielder.
That’s Baseball Terminology Beginning with the Oakland A’s. Let’s Move onto the B’s.
Bagwell, Biggio and Bell – The Killer B’s
Backdoor Slider — This is a pitch that seems to be outside of the strike zone, but then breaks back over the plate. This is not mounting your chick from behind. Who would have their picture in the dictionary for this?
Backstop – Slang for a catcher.
Bad Hop – A ball might hit a rock and bounce over the fielder’s head.
Bag — A base. Why am I thinking of weed all of a sudden?
Balk – The pitcher makes a miscue with his windup with runners on base. The penalty is that the runners advance a base.
Ball – A pitch that does not enter the strike zone and is not hit by the batter.
Ball Park – Camden Yards in Baltimore is the first image that came to mind. Fenway Park, Yankee Stadium and Chase Field are examples of the grounds in which the teams play their games.
Baltimore Chop – This is not a Willie Bee or Chuck Upright Chop (insert more universal material). It’s a ground ball that hits in front of home plate (or off of it) and takes a large hop over the infielder’s head. Why Baltimore?
Bandbox— A small ballpark that favors hitters. One of my favorites, as far as a nickname goes, was The Launching Pad in Atlanta. One year, Dale Murphy, Davey Johnson and Darrell Evans, blah, blah…
Bang-Bang Play — A play in which the base runner hits the bag a split-second before the ball arrives or vice versa.
Banjo-Hitter – A hitter without a lot of power or a Punch and Judy hitter. Usually you picture a second baseman or a short stop to be a Banjo-Hitter. Fernando Gonzalez.
Base – Called Bags or Pillows. First Base, Second Base, or Third base – it’s a 15″ by 15″ square every 90′ on the baseball diamond. They are white usually covered in canvas or rubber filled with thick rubber.
Base Coaches – Retired ballplayers who stand in foul territory at first base and third base keeping players alert.
Base Hit – A batted ball that allows the runner to reach first base safely.
Bases Juiced – Men on First Base, Second Base and Third Base – The Bases Loaded.
Base Knock – Slang for a Base Hit.
Bases Loaded – Men on First Base, Second Base and Third Base – The Bases Juiced.
Base on Balls – Balls, where do we begin? Four of ’em, take first base. Four non-strikes (not Four Non-Blondes).
Base Paths – The avenue from First Base to Second Base is a Base Path. Also, going from Second Base to Third Base is another Base Path.
Baseman – A player at first base, second base or third base. These folks cover the bases.
Basket Catch — When a fielder catches a ball with his glove near or below his belt.
Bat Around – When 10 men bat in one inning. Each player makes a plate appearance. The player that led off the inning comes around to bat again.
Bat Boy – Usually a youngster that helps out with the team – taking bats off the field, giving balls to the umpire and chasing foul balls.
Batter’s Box – A rectangle outlined in chalk on either side of home place in which the batter needs to be in to begin or resume play.
Batting Practice – This is a time before the game where the players take swings to loosen up and get their timing down. The pitcher is a meatball pitcher or even a pitching machine.
Battery – The pitcher and the catcher are known as the battery.
Batting Order – The lineup. This is the way, one after the other, that the players are scheduled to bat.
BB – Abbreviation for Base on Balls, which is awarded when the pitcher throws four outside of the strike zone.
Bean Ball – A pitcher throwing at the head of the batter.
Benches Clearing – Usually this is for a fight. Someone gets agitated and starts a raucous. The benches come out to support their team. A Malay breaks loose, a donnybrook, if you will.
Behind – Opposite of ahead in the count. If the batter is ahead, then the pitcher is behind in the count – and vice versa.
Big Fly – A Home Run.
Big Leagues (The Bigs) – Major League Baseball. The Show.
Bleachers – Tiered benches or inexpensive seats in the grandstand – usually in the outfield.
Bloop – A weakly hit fly ball that drops in over the infielder’s head and in front of the outfielder.
Blown Save – When a pitcher enters the game in a Save Situation. He blows it by giving up the tying run, or even the go ahead run for the loss.
Blue – Umpire
Boot – Usually an infielder makes an error on a ground ball. He boots it – which comes from the fact that often times the ball hits his foot.
Bottom Half of the Inning – The half inning in which the home team bats. It comes from the line score in which that score is on the bottom.
Bread and Butter – This is usually the athlete’s strongest suit – like a bread and butter pitch could be his ‘out’ pitch.
Breaking Ball – A curve ball.
Breaking Up a Double Play – Usually a slide into second base where the runner makes it hard for the fielder to throw to first.
Broken Bat – When a wooden bat cracks or breaks due to swinging at at pitch.
Bronx Cheer — When the crowd boos.
Brushback — A pitch that nearly hits a batter.
Bullpen – The area where the pitchers warm up.
Bump – The pitcher’s mound.
Bunt – When a batter taps a pitched ball lightly so that he can ‘catch a fielder sleeping’ for a hit. Or, he can bunt as a sacrifice which allows a runner from first base to get to second base.
Bush — Also “bush league.” It’s where a player does something cheap or dirty.
That wraps up Baseball Lingo encompassing the B’s. Onto the C’s.
Cesar Cedeno – C’s the Day.
Cactus League – Pre-season baseball in Arizona.
Called Game – If it starts raining, it means the game can be ‘called’ which means it’s cancelled.
Called Strike – A pitch over the plate when the batter does ‘not’ swing.
Called Up – This is when a fella is in the Minor Leagues and gets called up to the Major Leagues.
Can of Corn — An easy catch by a fielder.
Cannon – For an arm
Caught Looking — When a batter is called out on strikes.
Caught Napping – Base runner is picked off
Cellar — Last place. You can also say the “basement.”
Centerfield – Not left field or right field, but in the middle of the two.
Change Up – This pitch looks like a fastball but it slower, so it’s hard to hit.
Chase – This is usually a pitch out of the strike zone, which a batter swings at – he chases it.
Cheap Run – This could happen on a bloop single, an error or two
Check Swing – Not a full swing – a half-swing.
Cheese — Also “good cheese.” Refers to a good fastball.
Choke Up – Shorten the length of the bat by moving your hands up the handle.
Chopper – Usually a high bouncing ball in the infield.
Chin Music — A pitch that is high and inside.
Circus Catch — An outstanding catch by a fielder.
Clean Up Hitter – The batter who is 4th in the lineup.
Climbing The Ladder – It’s not your summer job in college. It’s swinging a pitch that’s high – maybe even over the batter’s head.
Closer – It’s not a TV show. It’s a team’s relief pitcher who finishes the game.
Clutch – Standard transmission of delivering a base hit when it’s really needed.
Coaches – These are not players and not the manager of the team. But, these are men who teach baseball in various capacities.
Come Backer – A hit to the pitcher.
Contact Hitter – Not usually a home run hitter, but someone who doesn’t strike out much.
Corked Bat –
Curve Ball – A bender
Cut Off Man –
Cutter — A cut fastball (one with a late break to it).
Cycle — When a batter hits a single, double, triple and home run in the same game.
DiDi Gregorius – D’s
Dead Arm –
Dead Ball –
Deuces Wild –
Designated Hitter –
Dinger — A home run.
Disabled List –
Dish — Home plate.
DL – Abbreviation for Disabled List.
Doctoring The Ball – Spitting on it or putting grease on it.
Double Header –
Double Play Depth
Down – To be behind in the score or the count
Down The Pipe –
Down The Middle –
Drive In A Run –
Dug Out –
Dying Quail – A weakly hit ball that lands just over the infield, in front of the outfielder.
The E’s – With Effortless E’s.
Earned Run Average
error – a fielding mistake which is officially charged against the fielder.
Fair – a ball hit by the batter that stays within the foul lines between first and third base.
fast ball – a hard thrown pitch (sometimes as quick as 100 mph).
fighting off a pitch – a batter deliberately hitting a pitch foul to keep his at-bat alive.
Fielding Average –
fireman — A team’s closer or late-inning relief pitcher.
Five Tool Player
Full Count –
fungo — A ball hit to a fielder during practice. It’s usually hit by a coach using a “fungo bat,” which is longer and thinner than a normal bat.
The G’s –
gap — See “alley.” A ball hit here is a “gapper.”
Glove – the glove fielders (except for the first baseman and catcher) wear on their non-throwing hand to catch the ball.
Go the Route
Going Around – the umpire ruling that a hitter has failed to check his swing and a strike should be called.
Ground Ball (grounder)
Ground Rule Double
gopher ball — A pitch hit for a home run, as in “go for.”
Gunned Down –
heat — A good fastball. Also “heater.”
high and tight — Referring to a pitch that’s up in the strike zone and inside on a hitter. Also known as “up and in.”
hill — Pitcher’s mound.
Hit and run
Hitting for Average – Wade Boggs, Rod Carew
Hitting for Power – Gorman Thomas
Hitting for the Cycle –
Hold the Runner
Home Plate Umpire
homer — A home run. Other terms include: blast, dinger, dong, four-bagger, four-base knock, moon shot, tape-measure blast and tater.
hot corner — Third base.
in the hole — The batter after the on-deck hitter, not Bill Murray on Caddieshack.
Hometown Cooking – Grandma with an apron .
Hook – Image of a hook around a pitcher’s neck.
Human Rain Delay –
The I’s – Jim Eisenreich
Inside the Park Home Run
in the hole – the area in which the short stop fields.
independent – a minor league ball club which isn’t affiliated to any major league team.
infield – the area of the field inside the bases and base paths.
infield fly rule – the rule that prevents the fielding side from deliberately dropping an easy catch to then make a double-play.
infielder – a defensive player who fields in and around the infield.
innings – a game is divided into innings. Each team has nine innings in which to score runs. The visiting team hits in the “top of the inning” and the home team hits in the “bottom of the inning”.
inning ending play – any play which results in the third out, ending an innings.
inside – a pitch thrown on the side of the plate closest to the hitter.
inside the park home run – a hit which allows the runner to reach home base without actually going over the outfield wall.
intentional walk – a base on balls deliberately given up by the pitcher for tactical reasons.
I have always made a case that Baseball helped me with my learning – geography, spelling (names and pronunciation), humor, competitiveness, history, dates, statistics, ability to think, interest in something
The J’s – Jace Peterson
jam — When a hitter gets a pitch near his hands, he is “jammed.” Also when a pitcher gets himself in trouble, he is in a “jam.”
Junking a Game –
K’s Sean Casey
K – Strikeout
The L’s – El Duque
Late Movement –
Lead Off Batter –
leather — Refers to how good a player plays defensively or handles the glove. Ex: “He flashed some leather on that play.”
Left on Base –
The M’s – Auntie…
Magic Number – This reminds of Tony Betros and Bill Mazaar.
Major League –
Meatball — An easy pitch to hit, usually right down the middle of the plate.
Mendoza line — A batting average of around .200.
Middle Relief –
Minor Leagues –
Miscue – Error – This word reminds me of Bill White.
Mitt – What not to call your glove. Better to refer to a Catcher’s Mitt.
Mix Up Pitches –
moon shot — A very long, high home run.
The N’s – Enzo Hernandez
nail down — As in “nail down a victory.” Refers to a relief pitcher finishing off the game.
on the screws — When a batter hits the ball hard. Also “on the button.”
Night Cap –
No Hitter –
No No –
nubber – a mis-hit baseball which doesn’t travel very fast.
numbers – statistic
O’s – Gimme it back!
Off the Fists
Off the Hook
On Base Percentage
On His Horse
On The Ropes
One Hopper –
The P’s and Carrots
Painting the black (Painting the Corners)– When a pitcher throws the ball over the edge of the plate.
pea — A ball traveling at high speed, either batted or thrown.
pepper — Pepper is a common pre-game exercise where one player bunts brisk grounders and line drives to a group of fielders who are standing about 20 feet away. The fielders try to throw it back as quickly as possible. The batter hits the return throw. (Some ballparks ban pepper games because wild pitches could land in the stands and injure spectators).
pick — A good defensive play by an infielder on a ground ball. Also a shortened version of “pick-off.”
pickle — A rundown.
Pitcher’s Plate (Rubber) – a plate in the middle of the pitching mound with which the pitcher must be in contact whilst he pitches.
Pitcher of Record
Play at the Plate
Pop Up/Pop Fly
Punch and Judy Hitter
punchout — A strikeout.
Put Out –
Retire the Side
Retire in Order
Rubber Match – Deciding game – is the rubber game of their match
Runners on the Corners
Q’s – I didn’t do it! Don’t Q’s me.
R’s – That like one’s behind?
rhubarb — A fight or scuffle.
ribbie — Another way of saying RBI. Also “ribeye.”
rope — A hard line drive hit by a batter. Also “frozen rope.”
rubber game — The deciding game of a series.
run-down — When a baserunner gets caught between bases by the fielders.
Ruthian — With great power.
S’s – Snakes
Seeing Eye Single – A soft ground ball that finds its way between infielders for a base hit.
Sent Down – A player who has to go back to the Minor Leagues.
Set Up Man – A pitcher who usually pitches the 7th or 8th inning before the closer enters.
Seventh Inning Stretch – Harry Caray
Soestring Satch – A running catch made just above the fielder’s shoe tops.
Short Pitch –
Side Retired – Three outs which ends the inning.
Slap Hitter –
Solo Home Run –
southpaw — A left-handed pitcher.
Spray Hitter –
Split Finger Fastball
Strike Out The Side –
Suicide Squeeze –
sweet spot — The part of the bat just a few inches from the barrel.
Swing Away –
Swinging Bunt –
Swinging Strike –
T’s – A girl with a short skirt
table setter — Batter whose job is to get on base for other hitters to drive him in. Usually a leadoff or No. 2 hitter.
Take a lead
Take a Pitch
Take Something Off
Take Out Slide
tape-measure blast — An extremely long home run.
tater — A home run.
Texas Leaguer — A bloop hit that drops between an infielder and outfielder.
tools of ignorance — Catcher’s equipment.
Top Half of the Inning
Top of the Order
touch ’em all — Hitting a home run (touching all the bases).
Two Bagger –
twin killing — A double play.
U’s – What you would like to do with a girl with a short skirt
Uecker Seats – Poor quality seats – Came from…
Uncle Charlie — Curve ball.
Unearned Run –
utility player — A player who fills in at many positions.
W’s – What you would like to do with that girl a 2nd time.
Walk Off –
Warning Track Power – Jim Mason
wheelhouse — A hitter’s power zone. Usually a pitch waist-high and over the heart of the plate.
wheels — A ballplayer’s legs.
whiff — Strikeout.
Work the Count –
The Y’s – Rick Wise
yakker — Curve ball.