The game of baseball is a game of words

I’ve loved the game of baseball ever since my early days in Little League when they tried to make a catcher and second baseman out of me.

After thorough consideration of my size, skill set and expected progress, my coaches decided I would make an excellent batboy. Thus and forevermore, I kiddingly referred to myself as playing the position of “left out.”

One of the many things I enjoy about baseball is the flavorful language used in the sport (and I’m not referring to the colorful words that sometimes slip out during the heat of battle).

One of my favorite expressions is when they refer to a dispute on the field (either physical or verbal, or both) as a “rhubarb.” This expression comes from the word for a tart-tasting vegetable (some say it’s a fruit).

Did you know that baseball has a battery in it? No, in this case, we’re not talking about DC voltage from a container. But, instead, we’re discussing the leading duo in a team’s defensive artillery, the battery — meaning, the pitcher and catcher.

If you’re attending a baseball game, you might hear the public address announcer say something like: “Ladies and gentlemen; your attention please. Today’s battery for the Hometown Bullfrogs is John Smith on the mound (pitcher), with Billy Barnwell working behind the plate (catcher).”

One of the most intriguing terms in all of baseball is the one that goes like this: “There’s the swing by Johnson; a lazy fly ball that’s caught by the right fielder in his tracks. What a can of corn for the easy out!”

Many baseball aficionados have done extensive research on this one. The best result from their hard work is the claim that in the old “mom and pop” grocery stores, the merchants kept the popular items (including those  cans of corn) on lower shelves, thus making it easy for the clerk to reach the product (maybe with the help of a yardstick) for the customer.


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Fredericksburg Standard

P.O. Box 1639
Fredericksburg, TX 78624-4228