The Ultimate Baseball Terms, Definition & Slang Guide

Table of Contents

As a baseball coach, I know baseball fans live and breathe the game from April all the way to October. But many newbies developing an interest in the game have more questions about its vernacular than rules!

Catching a baseball game on T.V. is hardly any fun if you have no idea what the announcer keeps saying. Luckily, you’ve got me to act as interpreter, and that’s why I’ve put together an uber-guide of baseball terminology.

This treasure trove of a glossary is divided into six different categories for easy navigation. All you need to do is pick the one you want and familiarize yourself with the phrases and baseball terms slang. Ready? Batter up!

1. Baseball: Field Area Terms

One of the more fascinating details about baseball is that it’s played on a diamond-shaped field. This section is entirely devoted to naming and explaining different areas of the baseball diamond for folks who’d like to know. 

Click on each one to get more information.

The infield denotes the area starting from the grass line into the home plate. The infield includes all the bases. This is the area where most of the action during a game takes place.

The outfield is the area in between the home run fence and grass line. The distance to the outfield wall can vary from ballpark to ballpark. However, in the show (Major Leagues), the outfield wall is around 350 to 500 feet from the home plate. Generally, the vast area of the outfield is covered by three players. 

Experts consider bases to be the most essential feature of a baseball field. There are a total of four bases on the diamond pitch: the first base, the second base, the third base, and the home plate. The bases are placed in a manner that forms a diamond shape. The distance between each baseball base is 90 feet in Major League Baseball. 

Smack bang in the middle of the infield is the pitcher’s mound. This is where the pitcher can throw pitches from to the hitter in a game. The pitcher’s mound looks like a raised area of dirt (hence the term ‘mound’) and has a pitcher’s plate located in the middle. A pitcher needs to keep his foot on the plate to make a pitch. The pitcher’s plate is approximately 60 feet from the home plate in the Major Leagues.

Situated on either side of the home plate is the batter’s box. The box is rectangular in shape, and batters need to be inside the box when they hit the ball. If a hitter steps on the line or outside the box when they hit the ball, they’re called out. Additionally, a batter needs to get permission from the umpire and call a timeout to leave the batter’s box. In Major League Baseball, the batter’s box measures 4×6 feet.

A catcher’s box is where the catchers are situated during a game. Just like with a batter’s box, a catcher must be in the catcher’s box during a pitch. If the catcher leaves the box or attempts to leave the box before the pitcher throws a pitch – it results in a balk.

The coach’s box is located next to the first and third base (one for each team). A coach can help pass signs to help a hitter or base runner from the coach’s box. While coaches are allowed to leave the coach’s box during a game – they can’t interfere with the game itself. 

Fair and foul lines extend from the first and third base – starting from the home plate and continuing all the way to the outfield. These lines help determine whether a hit is fair or foul. Anything between the foul lines (including the foul lines themselves) is acceptable and fair. Any hit beyond the lines is deemed foul. 

2. Baseball: Pitching Terms and phrases

Pitching is the act of throwing the baseball in the direction of the home plate to kick off a play. There’s no shortage of words when it comes to baseball pitching terms, and pitching phrases can apply to plays, stats, or even certain actions. Here’s a few of them.

Click on each one to get more information.

As the name suggests, this term is reserved for the top pitcher on any team. The ‘Ace’ also happens to be the first pitcher on the rotation.

This term ends up confusing a lot of people. But, it simply stands for the catcher and pitcher from the same team. It’s the shortened version of the term ‘battery mates.’

A backwards K in the scorebook means a strikeout looking. That is if the batter watched strike three go by without taking a swing at it.

A pitcher can perform various illegal actions or motions (according to baseball rules) that constitute a balk. A majority of these ‘balk’ violations consist of a pitcher pretending to pitch without any intention of doing so. A balk will typically result in a delayed dead ball or a dead ball in the United States.

This one’s easy enough. It means curveball.

This one sounds a little rude, doesn’t it? Well, it stands for something rude too. Beaned is the term for when a pitcher throws a pitch to hit the batter – intentionally.

This term signifies a pitch with a downward or sideways movement. A breaking ball can have multiple variations.

A blown save takes place when the relief pitcher (generally the closer) enters the game in a save opportunity and allows the tying score to run – giving up the lead.

There are several variations of changeups, which is basically a slow pitch that’s supposed to look faster.

The closer is the closing pitcher (aka relief pitcher), who’s skilled in the art of getting the final outs when his team is leading.

A pitch that’s thrown high and inside (near a batter’s head) to get them to back off the plate. 

This term’s pretty famous outside of baseball too. A pitch that curves or moves away from the anticipated flight path (toward the home plate) is a curveball.

Also referred to as baseball’s strangest rule, a dropped third strike occurs when the catcher is unable to catch the pitch (the third strike) cleanly. If the ball is dropped right after being caught or if it touches the dirt, it’s considered ‘not cleanly caught.’ After the strike is called and the pitcher gets the strike-out on a dropped third strike, the umpire doesn’t call the batter out by verbally specifying the catcher didn’t catch the ball. 

Framing is a technique employed by the catcher, using subtle wrist and body movements. It’s done to present the pitch to the umpire in such a way that it increases the chances of the pitched ball being called a strike.

As the name implies, a fastball is a pitch that’s supposed to match the speed of the proverbial freight train. Not only are there several variations of fastballs, but it’s also one of the most common pitches in baseball.

Another term for a high-velocity fastball.

Remember when I said the fastball is a popular pitch? Well, heat is also another turn of phrase for a fastball.

The word hanger literally comes from hang – as in a pitch that hangs in the air long enough to make it easy for the batter to take a shot. A hanger is what you’d call a poorly placed pitch that’s also slow-paced.

As a pitcher, you ‘live on the corners’ when you throw pitches that wind up in the inside or outside corners of the home base (or home plate).

Distantly related to the hanger, this term also signifies a pitch that’s ridiculously easy to hit. 

This is somewhat like the closer; only it applies to a relief pitcher that’s brought in to play during the middle innings.

Rarely ever witnessed on the Major League level of play. A game’s referred to as a no-hitter where one doesn’t manage up any hits.

Refers to a pitcher standing on the pitcher’s mound.

A pitcher ‘pitches around’ when he deliberately throws pitches that are slightly outside of the strike zone, intending to walk the batter by making him swing wildly at the pitch. 

A home plate is outlined on all five sides with a thin black line (or strip). A pitcher is said to ‘paint the black’ when he consistently pitches the ball over the corner(s) of the home plate for a strike. 

Another term for ‘strikeout.’

A pitcher brought in to replace the starting pitcher due to a high count, injury, or poor performance. Typically, relief pitchers stand ‘on the bump’ (pitching mound), located at the infield’s center and around 60-feet away from the home plate. 

A not so polite term to describe a pitcher who can’t throw too many pitches without getting tired. 

A relief pitcher brought in before the ‘closer.’

A pitch that’s somewhere in between a curveball and a slider. 

A baseball slang term generally used for a left-handed pitcher. 

A pitching position often used when there are base runners on first/second base. The ‘stretch’ motion is relatively quicker and allows runners less time to steal bases. 

A pitch where the ball seems to start from below the waist. The pitcher releases the pitch just above the ground, with his torso bent at almost a right angle. 

3. Baseball: Batting Terms

In baseball, batting or hitting is the act of facing the other team’s pitcher. A batter’s foremost goals are: to be a baserunner, to aid runners along the bases, and to hit drives to help runners home. The field manager sets the batting order prior to the game in Major League Baseball. As far as batting terms are concerned, I’ve lined up some of the more popular baseball terms slang you can use for stats, actions, and even situations. 

Click on each one to get more information.

This phrase is easy to remember. It’s used to describe who out of the batter or pitcher is leading in the count. For example, the pitcher leads if there are more strikes because he has a bigger chance of striking the batter out.  

A baseball statistics term. A batter is attributed with a base hit (indicated by an H) when he passes (or reaches) first base without any error after hitting the ball into the playing area between two foul lines. 

When the batter hits the pitch with the sweet spot of the baseball bat (the area that lies in between 4 to 7 inches of the baseball bat).

A batter will generally do a bat flip to flex or taunt the other side after hitting a home run. The bat flip involves throwing the baseball bat, so it revolves a few times vertically before landing on the ground.

When the batter hits a single.

The opposite of ‘ahead in the count.’ This term can be used for the batter or pitcher to signify whoever is behind in the count. For example, the batter is behind when there are more strikes as opposed to balls.

A ground ball hit without much power behind it that heads for a base hit.

The yin to Bleeder’s yang. The term is used for a powerhouse of a hit. 

The word ‘fly’ is sometimes used to describe things that are hard to catch. In baseball, the big fly indicates a home run.

Yet another colorful term for a home run. 

Similar to a bleeder. A blooper is a hit without much power in it – that falls mostly between outfielders and infielders.

The act of deliberately tapping the ball instead of swinging at it. Batters will resort to a bunt in order to help out a base runner.

When the batter faces the third strike without taking a swing at the ball, he’s ‘caught looking.’

A term for when the batter moves his hand from the knob end of the baseball bat to achieve more control. A batter will typically ‘choke up’ with two strikes against him already. 

This motion occurs where the batter starts to swing but ‘checks’ the movement by allowing the ball to pass by the bat. If the swing is checked, the ball doesn’t touch the bat and doesn’t go through the strike zone – the pitch is taken to be a ball. But if a swing occurs, the pitch is counted as a strike. 

Used to describe what happens after a batter hits a home run. A player can ‘clear the bases’ of his teammates by making a big hit and sending them home. Clearing the bases will typically appeal more to positive offensive players as opposed to defensive players who wouldn’t want their efforts to produce runs for the opposition. 

The act of inserting a cork, rubber, or elastic material with the core of the bat’s wooden barrel. All this is done to make the bat lighter and result in a quicker swing – but it’s illegal to do so as per Major League Baseball rules. 

The exact count of strikes and balls a batter has. 

A powerful hitter who generally makes an appearance as the fourth batter in the order of batting. 

Home run

A common phrase yelled at batters when a pitch hits them. The opposite of ‘rub some dirt on it.’

When the batter expects (or awaits) a fastball coming his way. 

When the batter remains in the batting stance until the very last moment before the pitch nears the plate and then swiftly bunts the ball for a base hit.

As the phrase suggests, finding a gap involves getting a base hit by knocking the ball in a gap between outfielders. 

The same as ‘finding a gap.’ The only difference being – the ball is knocked between infielders. 

When the batter hits the baseball up high in the air.

When the batter takes a swing at a pitch that’s not inside the strike zone, they’re going ‘fishing.’

A light baseball bat with a skinny barrel. The coaches utilize a fungo bat to practice hitting fly balls or ground balls during practice.

This phrase is dreaded by most batters, and for a good reason. It’s when the batter’s unlucky enough to strike out four times in a game. 

This is when the batter takes a swing at a particularly low pitch, one that’s in the dirt. Unsurprisingly the action looks more like it belongs on a golf course. 

The act of hitting a home run.

A ball that rolls or bounds on the ground after being hit by the batter. 

Did you know the distance between each base in baseball is 90 feet? That’s why ‘hard 90’ stands for making a hard run towards first base straight from the batter’s box. 

When the batter takes a right big swing at the ball. 

A baseball strategy devised to let a runner advance two bases instead of one. A hit and run occurs when the runner ‘steals’ (begins to run) even as the batter takes a swing. This play is a coordinated move. Once the runner and batter get a signal from the coach, it’s the batter’s responsibility to hit the ball in a way that either brings it into play or is enough to distract the catcher so that the runner remains safe. 

A little less painful for a batter than the ‘golden sombrero.’ It’s when a batter strikes out thrice in a game.

According to the Major League Baseball glossary, a home run takes place when the batter smacks a (fair) ball in the air and over the outfield fence. Typically, a home run will allow the batter to go around the circuit and circle the bases at his leisure – without worrying about being put out. Also, home runs are an excellent measure of a batter’s hitting power. Nonetheless, a home run may also depend on the ballpark’s size where the game is being played. A home run in a smaller ballpark may just land in the yard in others. 

Another creative turn of phrase for a home run.

The runner on the base that’s closest to the home plate on the circuit – typically when there’s more than one runner on the base. 

The ball’s vertical trajectory as it takes off after being hit by the batter. 

The batting order (aka lineup) is the order in which batters of the offense are placed to face the pitcher. The lineup plays a major role in a baseball team’s offensive tactics and strategy. 

Also known as ‘stranded,’ left on base is a baseball stat that accounts for all the baserunners remaining on the base (who’ve not been put out and have not scored) when the 3rd of the half-inning is logged.

A ball that’s been hit hard by the batter and has a pretty low arc (flys not too far above the ground).

A type of wooden baseball bat.

A pitch that’s too close to the batter and effectively stops him from taking a swing at it. 

An ‘if only’ type of home run on a long foul ball – which means the hit may have resulted in a home run had the ball been fair. 

A batter takes a moonshot when the ball goes towering in the air. Moonshots are generally reserved for hitting home runs. 

The kind of batting average that’s enough to give professional players nightmares. The ‘Mendoza line’ is borrowed from player Mario Mendoza’s name, whose less than impressive batting average is now forever linked with a batting average of .200.

Term to describe the batter who is next in the lineup after the current batter. 

An abbreviated version for 0-3 or – for three. The term used for a batter who doesn’t have any hits in a game.

A brownish-black, extremely sticky substance that’s utilized by batters to improve their grip on the baseball bat. 

The term for a replacement or substitute batter. The pinch hitter takes his replacement’s spot in the lineup.

Abbreviation or RBI or ‘run batted in’ (a run obtained die to a hit).

A term for a batter who’s pretty adept at hitting the ball to most if not all parts of the field. 

One of the most common hits in baseball and has several variations. It’s when the batter hits the ball and manages to reach first base without any errors or put outs.

One of the more famous baseball terms – slugger, is used to describe a player that’s kind of well-known for playing hard-hits mostly. 

A simple term for a home run or a hard-hit ball. 

A strikeout occurs when the pitcher throws three looking or swinging strikes at the batter. The batter is declared out on the third strike – unless the catcher doesn’t catch the ball properly or if it hits the ground. The batter can make a run for the base if the catcher doesn’t catch the ball, but the scorebook will still credit the pitcher and batter with a strikeout. 

A strike can define any one of three situations: when the batter swings at a pitch and misses, when the batter hits a foul ball (that’s not caught), or when the batter doesn’t swing at the ball in the strike zone.

A spot on the barrel of a baseball bat that’s ideal for the perfect hit because it results in solid contact and more energy behind the hit. 

A batter that’s capable of playing from both sides of the home-plate: right and left. 

Strange as it may sound, this phrase is also used to signify a home run. 

A bloop (you can quickly scroll up to find out what this means) that lands between an infielder and an outfielder. 

Another version of the baseball term ‘locked up.’ It’s when the batter receives a pitch in on the ‘hands’ and is unable to swing. 

Also known as ‘three bagger’ or ‘three-base hit.’ A triple occurs when the batter reaches third base safely after hitting the ball, without any errors or attempts to put out other base runners. 

A home run that’s so massive it lands up in the upper deck of the stadium.

A ball that’s hit hard by the batter and hits (or almost hits) someone. 

Term used to highlight or describe a batter’s ‘power zone.’ 

4. Baseball: Fielding Terms

Although pitchers and hitters get a lot of spotlight, a team’s defensive players are just as important. That’s right – I’m talking about fielders. There are a total of nine fielding positions in baseball – including the catcher and pitcher. These are – first baseman, second baseman, third baseman, shortstop, right fielder, left fielder, and center fielder. If you’re looking to up your awareness about fielding terms, this section is for you.

Click on each one to get more information.

There are a bunch of baseball slang terms, and this is one of them. The phrase is used for a fielder (for infielders more often than outfielders) who’s having a difficult time handling the ball that’s hit towards him. The baseball either flies too quickly towards the fielder or takes a bad hop (scroll down for meaning). 

The phrase stands for a double play that picks up with the ball being hit towards the second baseman (at the second base), who then proceeds to throw the ball to first base – completing the double play.

However, the term can also signify the ball being thrown towards the infield (when there are no runners on base) after a strikeout. For example, the catcher will typically throw the ball to the third baseman after a strikeout, who then proceeds to throw the ball towards the second baseman. The second baseman throws the ball towards the shortstop, who throws it back to the third baseman. The ball will generally never be thrown to the first baseman because it’s the third baseman who throws the ball back to the pitcher.

This phrase is utilized when there’s a misplay on the groundball. It’s another way of saying ‘made an error.’ Sometimes people can use the term ‘kicked it’ instead of booted. 

When a ground ball makes an unexpected jump. FYI, a ground ball, as the name suggests, is a ball that the batter hits towards the ground. Ground balls can either bounce (as in the case of a bad hop) and roll toward the outfield. 

Term used to describe a particularly powerful throwing arm. 

This phrase has a bit of history behind it. It’s said to have its origins in the 19th century and is attributed to an old grocer’s method of taking canned stuff down from high shelves. The term signifies a routine and super easy-to-handle fly ball towards the outfield. 

The term refers to a fielder situated to receive a ball thrown towards the infield. Who the designated cut-off man is, depends on which part of the outfield the ball’s been hit to and how far it’s been hit. 

A double play in baseball is a defensive play and refers to the act of achieving two outs in a single continuous play action. For instance, the fielder manages to catch a ball hit in the air (resulting in the first out) and then checks a base runner with it (between bases), resulting in the second out. A double play will get two players out for the price of one. 

A fielder’s worst nightmare. This term refers to a mistake or ‘error’ in fielding by the defense of a team that results in the batter reaching base or a base runner advancing. 

Occurs where a baserunner is ‘forced’ to vacate his base and move on (advance) to the next one due to a batter becoming a runner. Generally, the first base is where force plays occur more often because the runner is always forced to advance as soon as a batter becomes a runner. Runners at the third or second base have an easier time and are only forced to run when other runners occupy all the bases preceding theirs. 

A term employed for infielders who are particularly adept at making challenging and complex defensive plays look like a walk in the park. 

Much like the term canon, the hose also refers to a powerful throwing arm. 

Fancy way of saying the third base position. 

Used to describe a fielder’s lack of competency when he misplays ground balls or drops fly balls, etc. The logic behind the term is the fielder can’t seem to hold on to the ball of the ‘hole in their glove.’

Refers to a fair fly ball that the umpire thinks can be caught by any of the following: an infielder, pitcher, or catcher without too much effort. The infield fly rule also requires runners on the first and second or the first, second, and third bases with less than two outs. The umpire calling the ‘infield fly’ results in the batter being out, whether or not the ball is dropped or caught.

The infield fly rule exists because, without it, runners can face a confusing dilemma. If the runners choose to stay near their bases, the third base player can let the ball drop and achieve multiple outs by first targeting the runner on the third, stepping on the base, and forcing the runner from the second base, and so on.

A player situated at any of the following: first base, second base, third base, or shortstop. 

When a fielder makes a dive to initiate a play on a batted ball. 

A player situated at any of the following positions: left field, center field, or right field. 

The pop time signifies the time passed from the minute the pitch strikes the catcher’s mitt to the moment the expected fielder is supposed to receive his throw situated at the center of the base – on pickoff or steal attempts by a catcher.

Pop time is a combination of the catcher’s arm strength, footwork, and exchange. It’s also a more viable method of gauging the catcher’s ability to throw out base runners because it doesn’t depend on the power of his throw alone and takes the time it takes for the catcher to transfer the ball to his throwing hand into account.

Another phrase for a double play.

A term commonly employed by fielders to go in for a double play. 

A player who’s versatile enough to play on several positions in a utility player. 

The term ‘web’ refers to the webbing present on a fielder’s glove. The phrase ‘web gem’ is employed when a player displays a fantastic defensive play.

5. Baseball: Running Terms

In baseball, any team’s primary objective is to score more runs than its opponent, take the lead, and eventually win the game. A player can score a run when he completes the circuit, starting from first base, second, to third, and finally the home plate. If you’re a little behind on your running terms, this section should bring you up to speed. 

Click on each one to get more information.

A term that’s generally only used for the team’s who’s up to bat. The phrase ‘bases are loaded’ refers to the offensive team and has players on first, second, and third base.

You may hear the term apply to the defense team when the pitcher allows three batters to walk back-to-back and end up ‘loading the bases’ for the other side.

A replacement base runner.

Used when base runners are situated on the first and third base. 

A stolen base takes place when the base runner advances by moving to a base he isn’t entitled to. A stolen base will generally occur when:

  • The pitcher still has the ball.
  • The pitcher is throwing the pitch.
  • The catcher is in the process of throwing the ball back to the pitcher. 

However, there are scenarios when the base runner is not credited with a ‘steal.’ These are:

  • When the base runner attempting the steal advances safely, but another runner (also attempting a steal) ends up thrown out.
  • If the base runner steals a base thanks to an error by the defense team.
  • If the defense team is indifferent and concedes the base later in the game.

A base runner is in a scoring position if situated at first or third base. 

A base runner is stranded or left on base if he hasn’t scored or been put out by the time the half-inning ends.

6. Baseball: Miscellaneous Game Terms

Alrighty, people. Consider this section an all-inclusive glossary for different elements of a baseball game. From situations, player’s appearances to everything in between. 

Click on each one to get more information.

Simple term for a simple meaning – which is consecutive. 

The fence situated behind the home plate to protect the spectators from foul balls and the like. 

A baseball bat made from low-grade or inferior quality wood. 

A ballpark with average dimensions that favors the offense and the hitting of home runs.

Refers to when a game is canceled due to bad weather. 

When a fielder catches the ball with the hand without a glove, he makes the catch ‘barehanded.’

As the name implies, this term stands for Major League Baseball.

Another creative nickname for the Big Leagues (see what I did there?)

Aka ‘Free baseball.’ This is when a game goes beyond the standard nine innings of a regulation game (also see extra innings).

Players use this term to refer to the umpire because of the dark blue color of the umpire’s uniform. 

Originally, the term ‘bush league’ was slang for baseball teams below the minor league level. Bush leagues served as a talent recruitment pool for minor and major baseball teams, but players in the bush leagues weren’t professionals themselves. Nowadays, the term has morphed into referring to all things amateurish. Its use can be offensive or humorous – depending on the situation. 

Whenever the announcer uses the term ‘bottom of the inning,’ – he’s referring to the second or last half of the innings (when the home team’s up to bat). 

A not-so-friendly cheer from the crowd. Aka raspberries.

The area that catchers and pitchers use to warm up. 

The term refers to a day match on a weekday. 

The three innings at the beginning of a regulation baseball game.

A run for which the pitcher is responsible.

A term used to remind the defense when there have been two outs that only another remains to end the innings. Sometimes, the ‘easy out’ can also apply to a not-so-hard-hitting batter towards the end of a lineup. 

A player (or a coach) disqualified from a game for unsportsmanlike conduct by the umpire. Other similar terms include banished, given the thumb, kicked out, booted, sent to the clubhouse, etc.

A phrase used when the lining of a player’s pockets is sticking out of his pants. 

A 1-1 or 2-2 count.

A humorous nickname for the New York Yankees is generally employed by Red Sox fans because of the Yankees’ wealth and championship wins. 

A team that makes a mistake during a defensive play that should’ve been an easy out they’re said to give the other side an ‘extra out.’

Refers to the World Series (the championship series of the Big League), where the national league champions face off the champions of the American League. The World Series kicks off in October, hence the term ‘Fall Classic.’

Happens when a fan or anyone who’s not associated with the playing teams ends up affecting the play. The umpire calls out the ball as dead and awards any bases or outs that would have occurred without the interference, in his opinion. 

Think of this as baseball’s version of trigger happy. It’s when a pitcher starts relying on his fastball a little too much. 

Aka head coach of the team.

An old-fashioned term used to refer to someone obsessed with numbers or stats. 

Baseball’s version of the slang term ‘wicked.’ The term is used to compliment a pitcher on a stunning breaking ball. 

A batter who’s lost his swing or experiencing a type of slump as far as his batting is concerned. 

A whopper of a hit that leaves the playing field and makes it to the stands.

A player that’s full of fire during hitting practice but not so brilliant during the actual game. 

Half an inning in either top or bottom of the game. 

A player who’s willing to go above and beyond the call of duty and has all the right moves at the right time is a gamer. 

The space between outfielders. 

A pitcher who is prone to handing out runs at all the wrong times.

A very well-pitched game where the pitcher does an excellent job of withholding hits and runs.

Used to refer to a fielder who takes off on a fast sprint towards a ball in order to catch it. 

A run that helps a team lagging behind score-wise to get ahead or tie with the opponents. 

Refers to a zero on the scoreboard. 

A taunt directed at a batter returning to the bench after a strikeout. 

A satirical phrase to refer to seats way up high in the bleachers and far away from the playing field. 

A jocular phrase that refers to players with great stats and careers but who couldn’t make it to the hall of fame. 

A player who is prone to mishandling fielded balls.

Three consecutive strikeouts. 

Refers to sliding.

The phrase is used to signify the end of a game.

The term refers to the game being ‘in play’ when the umpire states ‘play ball’ at the beginning of the game (or after a time out).

Signifies a lukewarm effort by a player. For example, ‘He jaked that hit.’

When a team is kept from scoring, it’s being kept off the boards. 


There you have it, folks. My glossary is at an end, and now I can only hope that you won’t be lost the next time you try and catch a game on the TV. Even though my list of baseball terminology is by no means exhaustive – it should be more than enough to get a newbie started on baseball slanguage.

Just one last pro tip before I sign off, it’s not enough to grow through these terms to remember what they are. I’m sure many of you already know some of the terms mentioned here, but to really pick up on the meanings – try using the words in conversations centered around the game. That’s all from me for the present, till next time, swing away!

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Michael Specter
Michael Specter
Mike holds a Degree in Sports Coaching from the University of Minnesota and has held managerial and baseball head coaching roles at the college level.