Mollie at Daddy Raised a Cardinals Fan raised some interest over baseball vocabulary. I actually checked out the Wikipedia’s List of baseball jargon a few days ago. Here are some of the one I was made aware of. Most of these terms I don’t think I have heard before but I have been known to miss out on these things before even if I had been exposed to them in the past. Some of these I had hard but didn’t know exactly what they meant.
A short downward swing intended to make the ball rebound off the home plate or the packed dirt immediately in front of the plate. The goal is to produce a bounce high enough so that, even if it can be fielded by an infielder the batter will have time to reach first for a base hit. This was a tactic of the Baltimore Orioles of the National League in the 1890s, who frequently attempted this kind of hit purposely. John McGraw is supposed to have had the earth in front of home plate intentionally compacted for this purpose. When it happens in the modern game, and so named, it is more often simply a result of poor contact that just happens to aid the batter-runner.
A batter who lacks power. A banjo hitter usually hits bloop singles, often just past the infield dirt, and would have a low slugging percentage. The name has said to come from the twanging sound of the batter’s swing like that of a banjo.
A desirable or auspicious situation. Popularized by Red Barber, longtime broadcaster for the Brooklyn Dodgers. James Thurber wrote in his short story of the same title: "[S]itting in the catbird seat" means sitting pretty, like a batter with three balls and no strikes on him. The catbird is said to seek out the highest point in a tree to sing his song, so someone in the catbird seat is high up.
A play in which a runner advances to the next base without a throw from the catcher or without any fielder attempting to cover the bag to accept a throw from the catcher. The runner then does not get credit for a stolen base because his action was not challenged in any way. This usually occurs in a game in which the score is heavily favored towards one team and a runner advancing a base will not make a large difference in the expected outcome of the game… specifically, the ninth inning with two outs, where the objective is simply to focus on the batter and induce him to make the final out.
ducks on the pond
Runners on base, especially when the bases are loaded: "Look at all the ducks on the pond!".
A batted ball that drops in front of the outfielders, often unexpectedly (like a shot bird).
An old-fashioned and funnier way of saying "numbers nut", for a fan with a near-obsessive interest in the stats or "figures" of the game. Bill James could be said to be the iconic "figger filbert".
One who strikes out four times in one game is said to have gotten the Golden Sombrero.
Good hit, no field
Said to have been the world’s shortest scouting reporting, and often quoted in reference to sluggers such as **** Stuart and Dave Kingman, who were notoriously poor fielders.
A 1-2-3 double play (and a one, ana 2, ana 3…)
A soft straight pitch with a lot of arc
Used when a player strikes out five times in a game.
The National League, so-called because it is the older of the two major leagues.
Verb, where a player(s) (usually an outfielder) positions oneself slightly away from their normal spot in the field based on a prediction of where the batter might hit the ball.
A pitcher who throws underarm.
tools of ignorance
A catcher’s gear.
A slang term used to describe a curve ball.
Upon a bunt to the left side of the infield, the 3rd baseman runs toward home to field the bunt, and the shortstop runs to third base to cover.
A hard hit ground ball that "burns" the ground.