An (almost) comprehensive glossary of baseball jargon with agricultural roots

baseball jargonAs the summer sun continues to hang high and extend the daylight hours needed for a farmer’s workday, the other “boys of summer” are also at it full tilt – and talking like farmers while they do it. Take a look at Kentucky Farm Bureau’s (almost) comprehensive glossary of baseball terminology that originated from – or at least sounds like it is connected to – the farm.

Bean — when the batter is hit by a pitch

Bread and butter — a player’s greatest or most reliable skill

Bullpen — area used by pitchers and catchers to warm up before entering play

Butcher — a very poor fielder

Can of corn — an easy catch by a fielder

Cheese — a good fastball

Country mile — used to describe the lengthy distance of a better’s home run or to describe the amount of time a runner was out before reaching the base

Drought — a long string of at-bats, innings or games in which a player or team fails to perform up to expectation

Ducks on the pond — runners on second or third base, but especially bases loaded

Farm team — a team or club whose role it is to provide experience and training for young players, with an expectation that successful players will move to the big leagues at some point. Each Major League Baseball team’s organization has a farm system of affiliated farm teams at different minor league baseball levels.

Fence buster — a slugger

Feed — to throw the ball carefully to another fielder in such a way that allows him to make an out

Fielder — a defensive player

Fielder’s choice — the act of a fielder, upon fielding a batted ball, choosing to try to put out a baserunner and allow the batter-runner to advance to first base. Despite reaching first base safely after hitting the ball, the batter is not credited with a hit but would be charged with an at-bat.

Get on one’s horse — when a fielder (usually an outfielder) runs extremely fast towards a hard hit ball in an effort to catch it.

Goose egg — a zero on the scoreboard

Meat — an easy out or a rookie

Meat of the order — refers to the 3, 4, 5 and sometimes 6 hitters in the lineup. Since it is the middle of the order and usually the strongest hitters

Mow them down — a pitcher who dominates the opposing hitters, allowing few if any to get on base, is said to have “mowed them down”

Mustard — a high amount of velocity on a throw or pitch

Pea — a ball traveling at high speed, either batted or thrown

Pepper — a common pre-game exercise where one player bunts brisk grounders and line drives to a group of fielders who are standing about 20 feet away. The fielders try to throw it back as quickly as possible. The batter hits the return throw.

Pickle — when a runner is caught between two bases

Pick it clean — to field a sharply hit ground ball without bobbling it

Rake — to really hit the ball hard, all over the park; when you’re raking, you’re hitting very well

Rhubarb — a fight or scuffle

Ribeye — a run batted in (RBI)

Rooster tail — a spinning ball rolling on wet grass that kicks up a line or tail of water behind it

Salad — an easily handled pitch

Salami — a grand slam home run

Take the field — When the defensive players go to their positions at the beginning of an inning

Tater — a home run

Timber (or lumber) — a baseball bat

Went fishing — when a batter reaches across the plate trying to hit an outside pitch, perhaps one that he can’t reach

Worm burner — a hard hit ground ball that “burns” the ground

Worm killer — a pitch, usually an off speed or breaking ball, that hits the ground before it reaches home plate, thus theoretically killing worms

Yard work — a player is said to be “doing yard work” by hitting many home runs or exhibiting power

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