The following is an alphabetical list of unofficial terms, phrases, and other jargon
used in baseball
, and explanations of their meanings. See also baseball slang
for slang in general usage that originated in baseball.
;1-1 (i.e., "one and one"), also, 0-1, 1-0, 1-2, 2-1, 2-2, 3-2
- Instances of the "pitch count," the number of balls and strikes currently totaled for the batter.
- The pitcher and catcher.
- A pitch intentionally thrown to hit the batter.
;bottom of the inning
- The second half of an inning, during which the home team bats.
- A pitch intentionally thrown close to a batter to intimidate or misdirect. Also chin-music.
;can of corn
- An easily-caught fly ball.
- Swinging at a pitch well outside of the strike zone.
;check the runner
- When the pitcher looks in the direction of a runner on base, and thereby causes him to not take as large of a lead as he would otherwise have taken.
- The fourth batter for a team, usually a power hitter. The idea is to get some runners on base for the "cleanup" hitter to drive home.
- A relief pitcher who is consistently used to get the final outs in games. Closers are often among the most overpowering pitchers.
- Home run. Also homer, round-tripper. See more nicknames in the article home run.
;down the line
- On the field near the foul lines, often used to describe the location of batted balls.
;down the middle
- Over the middle portion of home plate, used to describe the location of pitches.
;drop off the table
- When a pitched ball (e.g., a curveball) breaks extremely sharply.
;high and tight
- High, or above the strike zone, and close to the batter, used to describe the location of pitches.
;hitting for the cycle
- Hit a single, double, triple and home run in the same game, not necessarily in that order.
- The third base fielding position, so called because many batted balls arrive very quickly to the position.
;in the hole
- On the infield at a location nearly exactly between fielders, used to describe the location of batted balls.
- Strikeout. A backwards K is sometimes used to denote a strikeout looking and forwards to indicate a strikeout swinging.
- The player who is first in the batting order for a given team.
- When a base runner steps off of the base in order to reduce the distance to the next base, before a pitch is thrown.
;load the bases
- When base runners are caused to exist on all bases (first, second, and third base).
- Over the edge of home plate away from the batter, used to describe the location of pitches.
- A pitch that is so far outside that it can't be hit. The catcher catches the pitch standing to allow a quick throw to try picking off a runner.
- A squeeze play in which the runner on third waits for the batter to lay down a successful bunt before breaking for home. Contrast this with the suicide squeeze.
- A relief pitcher who is consistently used immediately before the closer.
- The period between the top and bottom of the seventh inning, when the fans present traditionally stand up to stretch their legs. In recent years, a sing-along of the song "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" has become part of this tradition, a practice most associated with Chicago broadcaster Harry Caray.
- When a fielder, usually an outfielder, catches a ball just before it hits the ground, and remains running while doing so.
- When a fly ball or line drive starts out over fair territory, then curves into foul territory due to aerodynamic force caused by spinning of the ball, imparted by the bat.
- The tendency for players to follow a good rookie season with a less-spectacular one. (This term is used outside the realm of baseball as well.) Two of the most notorious examples are Joe Charboneau and Mark Fidrych.
- A tactic used to attempt to score a runner from third on a bunt. There are two types of squeeze plays: suicide squeeze and safety squeeze.
- A squeeze play in which the runner on third breaks for home on the pitch, so that, if the batter does not lay down a bunt, then the runner is an easy out. Contrast this with the safety squeeze.
- A weakly hit fly ball that drops in for a single.
;Tommy John surgery
- A type of elbow surgery for pitchers named after Tommy John, a pitcher and the first professional athlete to successfully undergo the operation.
;top of the inning
- The first half of an inning, during which the visiting team bats.
;up the middle
- On the field very close to second base, used to describe the location of batted balls.
;walkoff home run
- A game-ending home run. The walkoff derives from the fact that the victims of such a hit will often walk off the field, seemingly in disgust or despair.