Baseball Lingo – Pitcher and Fielding Terms
ace – A team’s best starting pitcher.
alley– The section of the outfield between the outfielders. Also “gap.”
around the horn– A double play going from third base to second to first.
backdoor slider – A pitch that appears to be out of the strike zone, but then breaks back over the plate.
bag – A base.
Baltimore chop – A ground ball that hits in front of home plate (or off of it) and takes a large hop over the infielder’s head.
bandbox– A small ballpark that favors hitters.
bang-bang play – A play in which the baserunner hits the bag a split-second before the ball arrives or vice versa.
basket catch -When a fielder catches a ball with his glove near belt level.
bush – Also “bush league.” An amateur play or behavior.
can of corn – An easy catch by a fielder.
caught looking – When a batter is called out on strikes.
cheese – Also “good cheese.” Refers to a good fastball.
chin music – A pitch that is high and inside.
circus catch – An outstanding catch by a fielder.
closer – A team’s relief pitcher who finishes the game.
cutter – A cut fastball (one with a late break to it).
cycle – When a batter hits a single, double, triple and home run in the same game.
dish – Home plate.
fireman – A team’s closer or late-inning relief pitcher.
fungo – A ball hit to a fielder during practice. It’s usually hit by a coach using a “fungo bat,” which is longer and thinner than a normal bat.
gap – See “alley.” A ball hit here is a “gapper.”
gopher ball – A pitch hit for a home run, as in “go for.”
heat – A good fastball. Also “heater.”
high and tight – Referring to a pitch that’s up in the strike zone and inside on a hitter. Also known as “up and in.”
hill – Pitcher’s mound.
hot corner – Third base.
leather – Refers to how good a player plays defensively or handles the glove. Ex: “He flashed some leather on that play.”
meatball – An easy pitch to hit, usually right down the middle of the plate.
painting the black – When a pitcher throws the ball over the edge of the plate.
pea – A ball traveling at high speed, either batted or thrown.
pick – A good defensive play by an infielder on a ground ball. Also a shortened version of “pick-off.”
pickle – A rundown.
punchout – A strikeout.
rhubarb – A fight or scuffle.
ribbie – Another way of saying RBI. Also “ribeye.”
rope – A hard line drive hit by a batter. Also “frozen rope.”
rubber game – The deciding game of a series.
run-down – When a baserunner gets caught between bases by the fielders.
Ruthian – With great power.
seeing-eye single – A soft ground ball that finds its way between infielders for a base hit.
set-up man – A relief pitcher who usually enters the game in the 7th or 8th inning.
shoestring catch – A running catch made just above the fielder’s shoetops.
southpaw – A left-handed pitcher.
Texas Leaguer – A bloop hit that drops between an infielder and outfielder.
tools of ignorance – Catcher’s equipment.
twin killing – A double play.
Uncle Charlie – Curve ball.
utility player – A player who fills in at many positions.
whiff – Strikeout.
yakker – Curve ball.
Source – Major League Baseball