Baseball is the sport with the most colourful history and lore of any sport. It is also blessed with the most delightful culture of slang words. If you're going to play for the Vancouver Mounties, you've got to learn to walk and talk like a baseball player.
As Yogi Berra always said, "In baseball, you don't know nothin'." He also was known to say, "You can't hit and think at the same time," which is true. This is the same guy who, when someone asked him what time it was, said, "You mean now?" Ah, Yogi... who when asked about a popular New York Restaurant, said, "That place is so crowded nobody goes there anymore." When asked for his hat size in spring training, he said, "Don't ask me now; wait 'till I get in shape." It was Yogi who said, "Ninety-percent of this game is mental, and the other half's physical." He also said, "It ain't over 'til it's over," the classic baseball saying. By the way, parents are encouraged to learn at least a few words from the list. there won't be a test, but if, when talking to the coaches, you can slip in one or two of these words, the coaches will likely take what you say half seriously, as long as you're not looking to start a rhubarb or throw is a charlie. Thanks to Doug Lang for putting together a starting lineup of terms.
For a more complete list of terms, have a look around for Paul Dickson's The Dickson Baseball Dictionary originally published by Facts on File in 1989.
Alley - The section of the outfield
between the outfielders. Also referred to as the "gap."
The Horn - from pre
Panama Canal days, when ships used to go the
long way to the West Coast, "Around The Horn" of South America; so in baseball, having it around
the bases after an out is still called this.
Ball - a ball hit
hard but right at a fielder, as in right atom.
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
Bang Play - A play
in which the baserunner hits the bag a split-second before the ball arrives or
Gods - Former
baseball greats in Heaven that often manipulate the outcome of a Baseball game.
As much as we all think the games are won and lost on the Diamond. The Baseball
Gods have strange powers and all teams that win need a little help from them.
Pitcher and catcher considerd as a single unit, coined from the military sense
of the term artillery battery. It also suggests a play on words, as it's
activities center on the battery.
Bottle - To contain an opponent; to bottle
a game is to win or make certain of winning it. Such as when the Mounties
scored 12 runs in one inning against the West Richmond Royals on May
cheer - When the
crowd boos. Originating from the hostile New York crowds at Yankee stadium.
Bullpen - Believed to have originated in the
Carolina League. In Durham, N.C., they had a bull painted on the fence advertising
tobacco, and relief pitchers (who used to warm up behind the outfielders) would
be said to be in the Bullpen.
Corn - In old-time
grocery stores, they'd stack the cans in a high pyramid and when you wanted a
can, the storekeeper would use a stick to tip the top can into your arms. So an
easy pop-fly catch is known as a can of corn.
Seat - To be in the
catbird seat is to be in first place.
Looking - When a
batter is called out on strikes.
Charlie - A curveball
Cheese - A good fastball, with holes in it,
hard to connect with squarely. Dennis Eckersley (baseball's original save
master) called himself the "Cheese Master".
Music - A fastball
thrown high and inside, close to a batter's chin.
Coffee - When a
player is called up from AA to AAA for a game, he's said to have come up for a
cup of coffee.
- The area behind
the outfield fence, as in "he hit that ball downtown".
Ball - A ball
scuffed by emery board. Tom House had a scar on his catching hand. When he was
asked what it was, he said it's the scar left by the crazy glue he used to
attach the emery board to his hand before every start. A scuff on a baseball
caused it to move more, by increasing the aerodynamic drag on that part of the
Fireman - A relief pitcher, especially one
who comes in to pitch with runners on base and gets his team out of the innng.
Rope - A sharply
hit line drive
Ass - A high pop
fly, as in "high and stinky," an easy out.
Beard - The flap
that hangs from a catcher's mask to deflect balls that are going for his
Ball - A fat pitch
that the batter hits for a homerun.
Ball - Whitey Ford
of the Yankees (most world series wins in history) had a concotion of
"gunk" which he put under his crotch when he pitched. Umpires will
check everywhere except under a pitcher's crotch, is the theory. He'd put gunk
on one side of the ball to increase its sink and tail. He kept this gunk in a
roll-on deodorant can. Yogi Berra, Fords teammate, was famous for using other
player's deodorant. Mickey Mantle put Whitey's "deodorant" outside
the shower room one night. Yogi rolled Whitey's gunk on. Yogi's real hairy. The
gunk included some very sticky substances. Yogi's arms got stuck to his sides.
The team trainor had to use a razor to cut Yogi's arms free from his body.
Hoover- An infielder who sucks up everything hit near him.
Hose - A players arm, espeacially if he
has a good one that shoots the ball out like a blast of water ( fire hose ).
Corner - Third
base, because of the many lasers hit that way
- this is a real
beauty... it doesn't mean anything, it's just something to say to make noise
until you think of something better to say. Can be used in variation with Haw
Now, as in "Haw Now, Haw Now, Hum Babe, Hum Babe, Haw Now,
Hombibbie". See "Bull Durham" for some great examples of guy's
practicing the art of the hum babe.
Cream Cone - A
catch made with the ball half out of the top of the glove, so it looks like a
scoop of ice cream.
Ivory - A rookie, as in a precious and
Matador - A fielder who jumps to the side of
a ball at the last moment.(OLE!)
bags - old worn
baseballs used in batting practice.
Mustard - A real zesty fastball, a pitch
with lots of velocity and movement
Ofer - going hitless during a game, as in
"He was ofer today," or 0-for-5
Peas - What a good fastball looks like to
a batter, the size of a pea.
Lee Fastball - Old
slang for a fastball that isn't fast, as in "Is that all there is?,"
which is a song that Peggy Lee made famous.
Pickle - A run down, a Hot Box, "he
got himself in a pickle".
Draw - The
Tournament schedule that everyone is eager to get but no one is ever happy
Casey - To strike
- A baseball term
derived from a mother goose story "Tortoise and the Hare" meaning a
Rabbit is a fast runner, and a turtle is a slow runner.
Radio - A fastball, so fast that the
batter could hear it, but could't see it.
Rhubarb - An argument, usually between an
umpire and a coach over a bad call.
Ribbie - An RBI, Run-Batted-In.
the Pine - Sitting
on the bench, as in "if a pitcher insists on walking batters to set the
table, he can expect to ride the pine.
Rock - To commit a rock is to make a
boneheaded play mentally, as in throwing to the wrong base.
Ruthian - With great power, in reference to
the King of Swat, Babe Ruth.
Single - a roller
that somehow finds its way between two infielders.
the Table - Means
loading the bases
Smoke - A good fastball, where smoke rises
from the catchers mitt.
- A Player who
throws with his left arm. In baseball's early days, most parks were laid out
with home plate on the west side of the field. The lefthanded pitcher's arm
would thus be facing the south side of the field. Does that make righthanders
Spot - The part of
the bat just a few inches from the barrell.
Setter - Batter
whose job is to get on base for other hitters to drive him in. Usually a
leadoff or No. 2 hitter.
Garden - The
Outfield, as in "any winning team needs three good gardeners".
Charlie - A very
- The area of the
strikezone where a batter is most apt to drive the ball a long way, i.e.
waist-high on the inside half of the plate.
Wheels - A player's legs or footspeed, if
he has wheels he's a speed merchant (Rabbit).
Welcome to the home of the Vancouver Mounties Baseball Club.
Home of the 2009 and 2011 Bantam AAA League Champions.
Home of the 2010 and 2012 Bantam AAA Provincial Champions.
Home of the 2008 and 2011 Western Canadian Silver Medalists.
Home of the 2012 Canadian National Silver Medalists