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Fun with Words – Baseball Slang, Lingo, and Jargon

By April 19, 2017March 28th, 2021No Comments
black and white, from 1937 baseball all stars, 7 players from different teams, in front of official photographer

I was doing some research and up popped an interesting link in the search on baseball jargon. Thought I would share some slang words and phrases for baseball.

Next time you are watching a game, dazzle your friends with some new baseball lingo.


  1. Annie Oakley:  A free ticket to attend a game or base on balls to get to first base… a free pass
  2. Baltimore Chop:  Ball forcefully hit into the ground near home plate, producing a bounce high above the head of a fielder
  3. Bazooka:  Strong throwing arm. “He’s got a bazooka”
  4. Bender:  A curve ball
  5. Catch Napping:  To surprise a less than alert runner with the result that he is picked off or suddenly caught between bases
  6. Ducks on the Pond:  Runners on base
  7. Fireman:  A team’s closer
  8. Five:  Refers to the shortstop, in scorekeeping shorthand (every player has a number)
  9. Five Hole:  The baseball passes between a player’s legs, especially the catcher’s
  10. Five O’clock Hitter:  Refers to a hitter who hits well in batting practice (which is held around 5:00 p.m. for night games) but not well in games
  11. Hot Corner:  Third Base
  12. Knee Buckler:  Breaking ball, typically a curveball, that breaks very sharply, so much so that the batter freezes unsure of where the ball is going
  13. Lollipop:  A soft pitch or weak throw
  14. Mustard:  Refers to a lot of velocity on a fastball
  15. Pickle:  When a base runner is caught in a rundown
  16. Rally Caps:  A term for a superstitious practice among players and fans alike that turn their caps inside out and/or backwards in a close game in the hopes of getting their team hitting
  17. Rhubarb:  A ruckus with the umpires; confusion; a fight between players
  18. Whiff:  For a pitcher to strike out a batter
  19. Worm Burner:  Batted ball that moves across the ground hard and fast


Photography Source: 1937 Baseball All Stars, Wikipedia

Dave Michaels

Dave Michaels helps organizations accelerate their growth. Over the past 10 years, his specialty has been to help companies communicate what makes them special to find their best possible markets and customers. He has an MBA in entrepreneurship and a Masters certificate in integrated marketing communications. He’s managed a marketing agency, run marketing campaigns for companies of all sizes, and set up formal sales and marketing programs within existing businesses.