Baseball Lingo and Terminology


What are some common phrases used in baseball and what do they each mean? We'll start by learning about the terminology most commonly used by players and announcers.

Baseball Field

Batting Terms

Dish: Another term for home plate.

Tater: A home run (occurs when a ball is hit over the fence).

Touch-em:all: Also used to describe a home run, as it involves the batter rounding each base.

Moon shot: Describes an exceptionally long home run.

Blooper: A ball that is not well-hit, but manages to fall safely for a hit in between the infield dirt and outfield grass.

Sweet Spot: Describes the thick, center portion of the bat that tends to result in big hits when it contacts the ball.

Table Setter: The first batter in a team's lineup, tasked with getting on base so that the following hitters can score runs.

Wheelhouse: Describes a pitch that is easy for the batter to make contact with, crossing the middle of the plate about waist-high

Meatball: Also used to describe a poor pitch that is easy for the batter to hit.

Cycle: When a batter hits a single (one base), double (two bases), triple (three bases) and home run (all four bases) in one game.

Rope: A hard-hit line drive in which the ball comes off the bat extremely quickly at head-level.

In-the-hole: Refers to the batter that is scheduled to bat after the on-deck hitter (hitter that will come to the plate following the current hitter).

Fielding Terms

Baseball Positions

Can of Corn: A ball that is hit in the air and relatively easy for the fielder to catch.

Circus Catch: A very difficult catch that requires extra effort from the fielder, often a dive or slide.

Hot Corner: Another name for third base, as right-handed hitters tend to hit balls hard to the left side of the field.

Pickle: When the base runner is stuck in-between two fielders and must try to run back to a base safely without being tagged.

Flashing Leather: When a fielder completes a very difficult defensive play using his glove.

Double Play: A team's fielders manage to record two outs at one time by tagging bases with the ball in hand before each runner manages to reach those bases.

Pitching Terms

Baseball Strike Zone

Hill: Used to describe the pitcher's mound, otherwise known as the rubber portion that the pitcher throws the ball from.

Backdoor Pitch: A pitch that fools the hitter by appearing to be outside of the strike zone, but breaking into the strike zone just before it crosses the plate.

Chin Music: A pitch that is high and inside, nearly hitting the batter in the face.

Southpaw: a pitcher who is left-handed.

Heater: A pitch that is accurate and possesses exceptional speed.

Closer: The pitcher who often enters the game in the ninth and final inning to preserve a small lead.

Painting the black: When a pitcher throws a perfect pitch that just barely touches the strike zone.

Pick-Off: Instead of throwing a pitch, the pitcher quickly pivots and throws the ball to first base in an attempt to catch a runner before he is able to return to the base.