Understanding Baseball’s Unique Words and Phrases

Unique Words
BOSTON, MA - JUNE 09: The bat boy holds baseballs during a game between the Boston Red Sox and the Tampa Bay Rays at Fenway Park on June 9, 2019 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)

Understanding Baseball’s Unique Words and Phrases

Which sport is your favorite? While many would say soccer, it’s no secret that for Americans, baseball holds its own place, a place no other sport can take.

No sport around the world does not have a unique vocabulary. Baseball is one of the most popular games in the world, and for more than 150 years, commentators and players have been developing Lexicon for this sport. It can be confusing for fans who do not know anything about sports lingo. However, here is a list that will help you understand Baseball’s unique words and phrases.

#1. Ace

If you are a lover of Poker, then you know what ace means but now forget about your table games and focus on baseball. Ace in baseball means the number one pitcher in the field. He is the player that will get the ball during a big game or the World Series.

#2. Battery

Battery, batterymen or batterymates are terms that are used in baseball to mean a pitcher-catcher combo. The battery is used to foil their opposition’s batters. Two of the best batterymen were on the 1950 New York Yankees – pitcher Whitey Ford and catcher Yogi Berra. The two went on to win many World Series together.

#3. Bullpen

The term bullpen is used in rodeos whereby a bull waits to throw off a cowboy. However, in baseball, the term means a place where pitchers rest their heels. For instance, when the ace is giving up too many runs, the coach will signal the bullpen for the other pitchers to ready themselves to get in the game.

#4. Can of corn

This is one of the oldest phrases in baseball history. It usually means an outfielder is making an easy catch. The phrase can be traced back in the 19th century. It is believed that the origin comes from grocery store owners who used to use a stick to poke a can of vegetables which was high on the shelf. They would catch the can on the hands or a stretched apron.

#5. Cheese

Cheese refers to a fastball that has been thrown on a strike zone. The term can also be used in a derogatory manner to mean a fastball that is not hot enough. Likewise, cheese that is not good can be termed as cheese on the knees.

#6. Chin Music

Chin music has had a couple of meanings over the last centuries. For instance, during the nineteenth century, it used to mean heckling from fans. However, after WWII the definition changed to say a brushback by a pitcher to intimidate batter. A brushback can intimidate or frighten a batter to get off the plate for the next pitch. However, too much chin music can force an umpire to eject a pitcher.

#7. Choke Up

Choke up is a term that is used when a batter slides his hands higher on a bat. They do this so that they can swing faster when they are on the plate.


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