Baseball Lingo

Ace -- A team's best starting pitcher.
Alley-- The section of the outfield between the outfielders. Also "gap."
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.
Backdoor slider -- A pitch that appears to be out of the strike zone, but then breaks back over the plate.
Bag -- A base.
Baltimore chop -- 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 hitters.
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 crowd boos.
Brushback -- A pitch that nearly hits a batter.
Bush -- Also "bush league." An amateur play or behavior.
Can of corn -- An easy catch by a fielder.
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 good fastball.
Chin music -- A pitch that is high and inside.
Circus catch -- An outstanding catch by a fielder.
Closer -- A team's relief pitcher who finishes the game.
Crackerjack - Term used to describe a first-rate or spectacular player or team.
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.
Dinger -- 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 pitcher.
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. 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 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.''
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.
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).
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."
Leather -- 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."
Painting the black -- 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."
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 the game.
Punchout -- A strikeout.
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 "ribeye."
Right down Broadway - A pitch that is delivered in the middle of the strike zone.
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.
Set-up man -- 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 pitcher.
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 home run.
Tater -- A home run.
Texas Leaguer -- A bloop hit that drops between an infielder and outfielder.
Tools of ignorance -- Catcher's equipment.
Touch 'em all -- Hitting a home run (touching all the bases).
Twin killing -- A double play.
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.
Wheels -- 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.

Copyright ) 1999-2002 CyberSlugger.  All rights reserved.   Patent Pending.
Revised: October 14, 2002

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