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893 voters

Phrases Only True Baseball Fans Understand

Updated April 22, 2018 12.6k votes 893 voters 24.1k views57 items

List RulesVote up the items that are the most unique to the game and what you believe TRUE baseball fans should be familiar with.

These are the most timeless sayings and phrases popularized by the game of baseball. Some of these sayings have trickled their way into the mainstream as everyday metaphors, others are about as inside baseball as it gets.

This is the proverbial list that divides the casual baseball observer from the true fan who understands the nuances of America's pastime. 


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    A pitcher.
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    A critical situation where a strategic substitution is made by the offense; either the batter "pinch hits" or a baserunner "pinch runs."
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    The pitcher who is on the mound or "bump."
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    A player placed high in the batting order for his tendency to get on base and steal bases.
  • 30

    When a player strikes out 4 times in the same game. 

    Platinum sombrero is 5 times. 
  • 31
    A pop up that barely clears the infield and falls into the shallow outfield for a base hit. As if aided by the "Texas wind".
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    Expression meant to describe keeping your hands in on an inside pitch. Also known as "not bailing out" or "trying to turn on" the baseball. 
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    A short time spent by a minor league player at the major league level, most common in September when the minor league season ends.
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    A team's closing pitcher a.k.a. The man who puts out the "fire".
  • 36

    The "schnide" is another way of communicating a slump, or performing poorly. 

    "Off the schnide" means breaking a losing streak or a slump where a player struggles to get a hit. 
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    A ground ball that takes a nice, easy bounce to the fielder.
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    A player with one specialty or main skill. e.g. glove guy, knuckleball pitcher, pinch runner/speedster. 
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    A pejorative term for a pitch that bounces before it reaches the plate. The name derives from the fact that the pitch falls short of the 60' 6" between the pitching rubber and the plate.
  • 40
    Another word for curveball. Also referred to as "deuce" as a catcher tells the pitcher to throw it by signaling him two fingers. 
  • 41
    When a player pulls off on a pitch a.k.a. swings wild/off-balance to where his foot steps out of the batter's box or "into the bucket." 
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    Pitcher who come in and makes a bad situation worse.
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    A baseball park having relatively small interior dimensions that encourages offense - particularly homeruns.
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    A hard-hit ball batted directly at a fielder.
  • 45
    5 O'clock is typically when teams take batting practice, where all players perform well. Hence a player who is a 5 O'clock hitter is a hitter who can only hit well during batting practice. 
  • 46
    A hard hit ground ball that stays low to the ground, hence "killing worms."
  • 47
    "The Ball Orchard" is another way of referring to a professional baseball stadium. 
  • 48
    Another word for a curveball. 
  • 49
    A pitcher who throws nothing but hard fastballs -- hence the ball looks like a river of powder.
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    A left handed pitcher whose primary job is to get one man out. . . usually the team's best left handed hitter.