Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Baseball Jargon

On Wikipedia encyclopedia there is all sorts of baseball related information. I came across a section titled baseball jargon. It's set up from A to Z.

Some of the words have interesting reasoning for their existence so I thought I'd share some of them.

In alphabetical order:

banjo hitter- lacks power. Comes from twanging sound of the bat at contact, like that of a banjo.

blowser (pronounced blo-zer) A closer who seems to get more blown saves than saves.

bush league- play that is of minor league or unprofessional quality. The "bushes" or the "sticks" are small towns where minor league teams may operate.

bench jockey- a player, coach or manager with the talent of annoying and or distracting opposition players and umpires from his team's dugout with verbal repartee. Especially useful against those with rabbit ears.

can of corn- Supposedly comes from a general store clerk reaching up and dropping a can from a high shelf. Mike Zolk, from Frankford High School in Philadelphia, PA, coined the phrase in a 1936 game at North East High.

crackerjack- a player or team with power and whom are exceptionally skilled. Even though the picture on a box of Cracker Jacks is that of a sailor, it's the kind of snack one eats at a ballgame.

daisy cutter or worm burner- old-fashioned term for hard hit grounder, close enough to the grass to theoretically be able to lop the tops off any daisies that might be growing on the field.
worm burner is a hard hit grounder that "burns" the ground when the ball rolls on it.

duck snort- a softly hit ball that goes over the infielders and lands in the outfield for a hit. Originally called a duck fart because it was assumed that a duck's feathers would make its farts as soft (or quiet) as the hit. Changed to a snort for use in polite company. (Political correctness begins in baseball terminology.)

Lawrence Welk- A 1-2-3 double play. (And a 1 and a 2 and a 3.)

Olympic Rings- when a batter strikes out five(5) times. Also referred to as a Platinum Sombrero.

Pearl- slang for a baseball. Unlike the way Mike Krukow uses it. He uses it to describe any pitch that reaches textbook perfection in his eyes. Subsequently, Krukow usually follows his over-usage of the word pearl with his signature, "grab some pine, meat!!"

rabbit ears- indicates a participant in the game who hears things perhaps too well for his own good.

Strike zone- an imaginary box used to call strikes (two dimensional plane to the front of the plate and perpendicular to the playing surface.) Another way of describing what the strike zone is the Rule book definition: is that area over home plate, the upper limit of which is a horizontal line at the midpoint between the top of the uniform pants, and the lower level is a line at the hollow beneath the kneecap.

The strike zone shall be determined from the batter's stance as the batter is prepared to swing at a pitched ball.

Formal definition of the upper limit of the strike zone is sometimes reduced to "the letters," also known as the "nipple line." (Taking the anatomical comparisons further, the ever-earthy Ted "Splendid Splinter" Williams used to describe certain good pitches to hit as being "at cock level.")

toolsie- a player with a lot of tools who hasn't yet developed into a mature player. See potential. (Former center for the Atlanta Falcons, Jeff VanNote, defined potential as: haven't made it yet.)

twirler- old-fashioned term for a pitcher.

kevin marquez