Needed: Favorite Baseball Lingo

Photo by Courtney Perry

Next week, Little League season begins again. This will be my fourth year coaching my son, Tanner, and his teammates. The other coaches and I end every practice and game teaching the boys one new term or phrase of baseball lingo — you know, “battery,” “frozen rope,” “can o’ corn,” that type of thing.

So, as you can imagine, after four years I’m trying to avoid too many repeats. So I send it out to you readers:

What is your favorite baseball lingo, and what does it mean?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Joseph-Carson/827047747 Joseph Carson

    Dickson Baseball Dictionary third edition – has hundreds of terms as “advance,” “aboard,’ “abroad,” “action pitch” etc

  • http://www.facebook.com/BigRev Terry Clees

    “cheese” the high fastball that looks good but is largely unhitable

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=4709389 Brad Smith

    Dying Quail: A weak bloop hit that drops just in front
    of the outfielder’s reach (also referred to as a Texas leaguer, a
    blooper or a bleeder.)

    • chad

      i like to call those “duck farts.”

  • http://www.facebook.com/alanbentrup Alan Bentrup
    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/tonyjones/ Tony Jones

      Yeah, that’s the list I’ve used in the past. I’m looking for more, like “Dying Quail” below.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1366653277 Mike Wood

    Pickle, southpaw, Texas Leaguer, around the horn

  • http://www.facebook.com/david.stambaugh.710 David Stambaugh

    wow – little league – coaching – Tanner – any chance your son was named after the kid in Bad News Bears? You can always pull a Coach Buttermaker and yell this at the opposing coach – “An intentional walk with the bases empty? This is baseball, not backgammon!” Good luck this season!
    Toby Whitewood

  • Larry Barber

    Favorite baseball saying? “Yankees lose (again)”

  • tcoyer

    can o’corn-a fly ball that (should be) easily caught. slash bunt-when a batter shows bunt but pulls back at the last second to slash at the ball, hoping to catch the third basemen off guard

  • John D’Elia

    “On the Schneide” for being in a slump. “Rope” for a line-drive. “Shake off” as in rejecting a catcher’s pitch call (always a pisser for me as a catcher). The hand motions a pitcher makes when warming up, signalling a fastball, curve, or off-speed pitch. All the rest of mine are about fights: brouhaha, donnybrook, etc.

  • http://twitter.com/benyamen Ben Kramer

    My favorite has to be the “slap single” made famous by Ichiro. It’s that “I’m already leaning to run to 1st, and just toss my bat out like a limp noodle to contact the ball” move. There’s nothing less athletic looking in the game, but it’s effective.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ebt-K9FBXOw

  • http://www.facebook.com/steveyunfat Stephen Cohen

    “Worm-burner” for a hot grounder. Also, any quote from “The Sandlot.”

  • http://twitter.com/josh_tandy Josh Tandy

    Hat Trick: Three strikeouts in one game
    Golden Sombreo: Four Strikeouts in a game

    Not sure how PC it is, but there you go

  • http://cantleaveunsaid.wordpress.com/ Dave Buerstetta

    Responding to this makes me realize my head is so filled with “Hawkisms” I can barely come up with a good one. (Ken “Hawk” Harrelson is the atrociously bad play-by-play guy for the White Sox. Seriously, he’s Tim McCarver-bad. In fact, those two make up my personal version of hell: baseball 24/7 with only McCarver & Hawk to announce it. [shudder!])

    How about “a hustle double”? As in, a hit that should be a single but is turned into a double by running hard from the start, catching the outfielder napping.

    I’m sure you’ve done these by now, but “sweet spot” for the barrel of the bat and “got good wood on it” for a hit from that sweet spot.

    Or, one that preteen boys are almost certain to like: “cup check” for a ground ball that, you know, bounces up on a guy [gulp]. Also works for pitches in the dirt or foul balls that tag the catcher, er, *there.*

  • BradC

    Hot Corner – third base
    Rally Cap – baseball cap inside out to prompt rally
    Knock the Cover Off – hard hit
    Good Leather – great play
    Good Wood – good hit
    Belly Itcher – Pitcher – Kids love this one as you know
    Chin Music – inside, high fastball
    Fungo Time – fielding practice
    Shagging Flys – Outfield practice
    Round Tripper – Homerun
    Church – game over
    have fun – I love little league baseball!

  • Jason Micheli

    Tony, I can only imagine the colorful opinions you might have about A) First Things and B) David Bentley Hart (my hero) but as a baseball fan he has no theological peer. Thought you might like this if you hadn’t seen it before: http://www.firstthings.com/article/2010/07/a-perfect-game

  • Wendy Johnson

    With two ballplayers in the house I can honestly tell you our most oft repeated phrase is ‘There’s no crying in baseball.’ Luke says his is ‘going yard.’

  • Sven2547

    Not lingo, more of a proverb:
    “He who controls the inside (of the strike zone) controls the world.”

  • Zach Lind

    Texas Leaguer – when a weak pop fly falls between infielders and outfielders.

    Eephus pitch – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zGHvD2kZwgY

    Grab some pine – nice thing to say after a strikeout. ;)

    in his kitchen – when inside pitch jams a batter close to the handle of the bat.

    • chad

      another one for “grab some pine” i frequently hear is, “Throw him a chair,” when the hitter has 2 strikes.

  • http://twitter.com/Andrew_Marin Andrew Marin

    One of my coaches in college always used to yell “P” whenever a batter smoked a line drive somewhere (whether it was a hit or an out), or hit a towering homer. When I asked him what “P” stood for, he said it meant “you pissed on that ball” – which is supposed to mean great contact. However, for your son’s team (and age), you could always say “P” stands for “Power.”

    • chad

      yes, we also referred to this asa “P Rod” quite a bit.

  • chad

    this post made my day.
    “Jump Ship” – hit a home run
    “Little Bingo” or “Drive it to the Green” – Looking for a base hit; sort of old school, rarely hear this anymore
    “Ducks on the pond” – runners on base
    “Seeing eye single” – a base hit that barely makes it through the infield. as in, it would normally have been an out, but it was hit in the one spot that no one could get it.
    “Get me over curveball” – curveball thrown slow and sort of guided as to throw it for a strike
    “Tweener” hop – referring to the groundball that is not a big hop, a short hope, but is in between. usually it follows a big hop and shoots at the fielder making it very difficult to field.

    this is fun to think about. love the idea of sharing these with young ballplayers.


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