Baseball Slang Terms

Slang Terms

Used In Baseball


Some Baseball Slang Terms Explained

Read below to find out what these baseball slang terms mean.

At 'em ball -- A ball hit right at a defensive player.
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.

Bases drunk -- Bases loaded.

Bazooka -- Strong throwing arm. "He's got a bazooka."

Big show -- The major leagues.

Bush league -- Lesser minor-league teams in small cities or

Catch napping -- To surprise a less than alert runner with the
result that he is picked off or suddenly caught between bases.

Chin music -- A beanball or knockdown pitch that passes close to
the batter's jaw.

Circus catch -- A spectacular catch, suggesting the moves of a
circus acrobat.

Crackerjack -- Term used to describe a first-rate or spectacular
player or team.

Curtain call -- The practice of a player coming out of the dugout
to acknowledge the call of the fans, usually after a home run.

Deuce -- The curveball, usually signaled from a catcher to a
pitcher by holding down two fingers.

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.

Free pass -- Base on balls.

Friendly confines -- Descriptive of many home ballparks, but most
often used to describe Wrigley Field.

Glass arm -- A sore throwing or pitching arm.

Golden Sombrero -- A batter who strikes out four times in the
same game is said to wear the golden sombrero.

Goose egg -- A zero on the scoreboard.

Gopher ball -- A pitch destined to be hit for a home run; one
that will "go for" a run.

Guess hitter -- Batter who tries to anticipate or out-guess the
pitcher based on the situation at hand.

"Hit 'em 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

Hot stove league -- Term for the gab, gossip and debate that
takes place during the winter months when baseball is idle.

Iron glove -- Sloppy fielding; prone to errors.

Lollipop -- A soft pitch or weak throw.

Mendoza line -- Figurative boundary in the batting averages
between those batters hitting above and below .215, Mario
Mendoza's career average.

Picasso -- A control pitcher; one who paints the black.

Platter -- Home plate.

Play by the book -- To play in accord with the conventional
wisdom of the game.

Pow wow -- A meeting on the playing field, usually involving
several players and a coach who has come on to the field to talk

Punch-and-Judy -- Said of a hitter who tends to hit well-placed
but weakly-hit balls for singles. The first reference was made by
former Los Angeles Dodgers manager Walter Alston when asked about
a home run by Willie McCovey of the San Francisco Giants. "When
he belts a home run, he does it with such authority it seems like
an act of God. You can't cry about it. He's not a Punch and Judy

Rhubarb -- A ruckus with the umpires; confusion; a fight between

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 comes
right to a defensive player.

Shoestring catch -- A catch made by a running fielder just before
the ball hits the ground.

Texas Leaguer -- A poorly hit ball that loops meekly over the
infield and lands for a hit.

Tools of ignorance -- The catcher's paraphernalia: shinguards,
chest protector, helmet, mask and glove.

Twin killing -- Double play.

Warning track power -- The ability of a batter with enough
strength to hit a ball to the warning track, but not enough to
hit a home run.

Whiff -- For a pitcher to strike out a batter.

Whitewash -- To shut out a team.

Worm burner -- Batted ball that moves across the ground hard and

See Also:  Baseball Slang Terms Explained

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