Ace -- A team's best starting pitcher.
Alley-- The section of the outfield between the outfielders.
Around the horn
-- A double play going
from third base to second to first.
At 'em ball - A ball hit right at a defensive player.
-- A pitch that appears to be out of the strike zone, but then breaks back over
-- A base.
-- A ground ball that hits in front of
home plate (or off of it) and takes a large hop over the infielder's head.
Bandbox -- A small ballpark that favors
Bang-bang play -- A play in which the
baserunner hits the bag a split-second before the ball arrives or vice versa.
Bases drunk - Bases loaded
Basket catch -- When a fielder catches a ball with
his glove near belt level.
Bazooka - Strong throwing arm. "He's got a bazooka"
Big Show - The major leagues
Bronx cheer -- When the
Brushback -- A pitch that nearly hits a
-- Also "bush league." An amateur play
Can of corn -- An easy catch by a
Caught looking -- When a batter is called
out on strikes.
Caught napping - To surprise a less tha alert runner with the result that
he is picked off or suddenly caught between bases.
Cellar -- Last place. Also called "basement."
Cheese -- Also "good cheese." Refers to a
Chin music -- A pitch that is high and
Circus catch -- An outstanding catch by a
Closer -- A team's relief pitcher who
finishes the game.
Crackerjack - Term used to describe a first-rate or spectacular player or
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.
Deuce - The curveball, usually signaled from the catcher to a pitcher by
holding down two fingers.
-- A home run.
Dish -- Home plate.
Dying Quail - A batted ball that drops suddenly and unexpectedly, like a
bird that has been shot on the wing.
Fence Buster - A heavy hitter
Fireman -- A team's closer or late-inning relief
Free Pass - Base on balls (walk)
Friendly Confines - Description of many home ballparks, but most often
used to describe Wrigley Field.
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.
Gap -- See "alley." A ball
hit here is a "gapper."
Glass arm - A sore throwing or pitching arm
Goose egg - A zero on the scoreboard.
Gopher ball -- A pitch hit for
a home run, as in "go for."
Guess hitter - Batter who tries to anticipate or guess what type of pitch
the pitcher will throw.
Heat -- A good fastball.
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 it where they ain't - Rallying
cry for batters through the decades since 1897, when Wee Willie Keeler hit .432.
Asked how a man of his size could put together such an average, Keeler
responded: "Simple. I keep my eyes clear and I hit 'em where they ain't.''
-- 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.
Hot Stove league - Term for gab, gossip & debate that takes place
during the winter months when baseball is idle.
In the hole
-- The batter after the on-deck hitter.
Iron Glove - Sloppy fielding (prone to errors).
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."
Refers to how good a player plays defensively or handles the glove. Ex: "He
flashed some leather on that play."
Lollipop - A soft pitch or weak throw.
Meatball -- An
easy pitch to hit, usually right down the middle of the plate.
Mendoza line -- A batting average of around .200.
Moon shot -- A very long, high home run.
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."
the black -- When a pitcher throws the ball over the edge of the plate.
Pea -- A ball traveling at high speed, either batted
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
Pick -- A good defensive play by an
infielder on a ground ball. Also a shortened version of "pick-off."
Picasso - A control pitcher, one who paints the black.
Pickle -- A rundown.
Platter - Home plate.
Play by the book - To play in accordance with the conventional wisdom of
Power Alley - A batters power zone.
Pow-wow - A meeting on the playing field, usually involving several
players & a coach who has come onto the field to talk strategy.
Pull hitter - Right-handed batter who hits the ball to the left side of
the field, Left-handed batter who hits the ball to right side of the field.
Punch & Judy - Said
of a hitter who tends to hit well-placed but weakly-hit balls for singles.
Rhubarb -- A fight or scuffle.
Ribbie -- Another way of saying RBI. Also
Right down Broadway - A pitch that is delivered in the middle of the
Room Service - Term describing a pitch or batted ball that is hit right
to a defensive player.
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.
Seeing-eye single -- A soft ground ball that finds
its way between infielders for a base hit.
-- A relief pitcher who usually enters the game in the 7th or 8th inning.
Shoestring catch -- A running catch made just above
the fielder's shoetops.
Southpaw -- A left-handed
Sweet spot -- The part of the bat just a few
inches from the barrel.
Table setter -- Batter whose
job is to get on base for other hitters to drive him in. Usually a leadoff or
No. 2 hitter.
Tape-measure blast -- An extremely long
Tater -- A home run.
Texas Leaguer -- A bloop hit that drops between an infielder
Tools of ignorance -- Catcher's
Touch 'em all -- Hitting a home run
(touching all the bases).
Twin killing -- A double
Uncle Charlie -- Curve ball.
Utility player -- A player who fills in at many positions.
Warning track power - The ability of a batter with enough strength to hit
a ball to the warning track, but not enough power to hit a home run.
Wheelhouse -- A hitter's power zone. Usually a pitch
waist-high and over the heart of the plate.
A ballplayer's legs.
Whiff -- Strikeout.
Whitewash - Not allowing the opposing team to score a run.
Worm Burner - A batted ball that moves across the field hard & fast.
Yakker -- Curve ball.