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A Comprehensive List of Terms Used in Baseball and Their Meaning

The next time you are watching a game over at a friend's place, and everyone roars loud and you have no clue about it, you wouldn't have to be embarrassed. Here is a detailed list that would give you an idea about the usual terminology involved with baseball.
Suketu Mehta
Last Updated: Oct 06, 2017
The sport of baseball is played between two teams, each having nine players. The fielding team pitches the ball while the batting team hits the ball and scores runs, while the fielding team tries to get the batsmen out. Teams take turns to bat and field, and the switching takes place after the fielding side has recorded three outs. One time a team bats it is called an inning, and one game comprises nine innings from both sides. At the end of the game, the team which scores the higher number of runs is the winner. Knowing baseball terms is useful for anyone who is a beginner or wants to learn more about the game.
List of Common Terms in Baseball
  • Alley - The area on the outfield between the outfielders.
  • Ace - A team's best pitcher who starts the game.
  • Around the horn - A double play which moves from the third base to the second then the first.
  • Bag - A single base.
  • Bandbox - A ballpark which is smaller in size and hence favors hitters.
  • Bush - An amateur behavior or play shown by a player.
  • Backdoor Slider - A pitch which seems to be outside the strike zone of the hitter, but then suddenly breaks back over the plate.
  • Brushback - A pitch which almost hits a batter.
  • Baltimore Chop - A ball along the ground which hits the home plate in front and then loops over the infielder's head.
  • Bronx Cheer - The time when the crowd starts booing.
  • Basket Catch - When a fielder catches the ball around his belt level with his glove.
  • Bang Bang Play - A play wherein the base runner strikes the bag a fraction of a second before the ball comes to him.
  • Cutter - A fastball with a late break which tends to cut-away.
  • Cellar - The last place.
  • Can of Corn - When the fielder takes an easy catch.
  • Cheese - A very good fastball.
  • Caught Looking - When a batsman is declared out on strikes.
  • Cycle - When a batter scores a single, double, triple and home run, all in the same match.
  • Circus Catch - When a fielder takes a brilliant catch.
  • Chin music - A high and in-curving pitch.
  • Closer - A team's relieving pitcher who ends the game.
  • Dish - A home plate.
  • Dinger - Home run.
  • Fungo - When a ball is hit to a fielder during practice sessions.
  • Fireman - A team's 'closer' who finishes the game.
  • Gopher Ball - When a pitch is hit for a home run.
  • Gap - Is same as 'alley' and when a ball is hit in the 'gap', it is called 'gapper'.
  • Hot Corner - The third base.
  • Hill - The mound of a pitcher.
  • Heat - An excellent fastball.
  • Homer - Home run.
  • High and Tight - Called when a pitch is thrown up in the strike zone and towards the inside of the batter.
  • Jam - When a pitch is thrown near the batter's hands, he gets 'jammed'.
  • Leather - A player who plays good defensively or uses his gloves.
  • Moon Shot - A high and huge home run.
  • Meatball - A pitch down the middle of the plate which is simple to hit.
  • Mendoza Line - A player whose batting average is around 200.
  • Nail Down - Used when a relieving pitcher ends the game.
  • On the Screws - When the batsman hits the ball very hard.
  • Pickle - Used for a rundown.
  • Painting the Black - When a pitch passes over the plate's edge.
  • Punchout - Strikeout.
  • Pick - When an infielder shows excellent defensive play on a ground ball.
  • Pea - A ball moving at a very high speed.
  • Rope - When a batter throws in a hard line dive.
  • Ruthian - Having tremendous power.
  • Rhubarb - A scuffle or a fight on field.
  • Ribbie - A different way of saying RBI (Run Batted In).
  • Run-down - When a baserunner is trapped by fielders while running between bases.
  • Rubber Game - The game which will decide the entire series.
  • Sweet Spot - The region of the bat only a few inches away from the barrel.
  • Set-up Man - A relieving pitcher who participates in the game in the 7th or 8th inning.
  • Southpaw - A pitcher who pitches with his left hand.
  • Seeing-eye Single - A slow ground ball which makes its way between the fielders for a base hit.
  • Shoestring Catch - When a fielder takes a catch just above his shoe top.
  • Twin Killing - Double play.
  • Tater - Home run.
  • Table-setter - A batsman who has to get on base so that other hitters can drive him in.
  • Tools of Ignorance - All equipment belonging to a catcher.
  • Tape-measure Blast - An enormously long home run.
  • Texas Leaguer - A fly-ball which drops between an outfielder and infielder.
  • Touch 'em All - When a hitter touches all bases on hitting a home run.
  • Utility Player - A player who can be played at many positions.
  • Uncle Charlie - A ball which curves.
  • Whiff - A Strikeout.
  • Wheels - The legs of a ballplayer.
  • Wheelhouse - The power zone of a hitter.
  • Yakker - A ball that curves.
This list of is obviously non exhaustive, as there are numerous other terms which can be added to it. However, these are surely the more popular ones and should cover most of the sport.