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Baseball Terms Explained

By Ripken Baseball, 12/31/99, 12:00PM CST

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Few sports have more lingo being tossed around the field than baseball. Your child will have a tough time getting the hang of it if they don’t understand the game’s jargon. Communication between players, coaches, and referees is crucial, so here are a few terms you and your child will come across on the diamond.

Ace

Best starting pitcher

Around the Horn

After an out is recorded, teams throw the ball around the infield

Balk

When the pitcher tries to trick the base runners with illegal motions

Bunt

When a batter holds the baseball bat out and tries to barely tap the ball in order to advance another base runner

Can of Corn

Easy fly ball

Change Up

A pitch that is meant to appear fast, but is actually much slower than it looks

Cleanup

A player that hits the ball exceptionally well and is the fourth batter in the batting order

Count

The number of balls and strikes on a batter. A 3-2 count means the batter has three balls and two strikes

Diamond

The four bases of the infield

Dinger

Home run

Double Play

A defensive play that results in two players being tagged out

Error

A defensive mistake that allows a batter to reach base or a base runner to advance

Fly Ball

A ball that is hit high into the air

Full Count

When the pitch count has 3 balls and 2 strikes. The next strike or ball will end the at bat. If the batter hits the baseball foul, then the count remains 3 and 2 and are allowed another attempt to hit the ball

Ground ball, or “Grounder”

A baseball that is hit on the ground

Hit and Run

A play where the base runner starts running when
the pitch is released in order to get a head start. The batter must hit the ball into play so the runner doesn’t get out

HIT FOR THE CYCLE

When a player hits a single, a double, a triple, and a home run in one game

Hot Corner

Third base position

Lead Runner

The first base runner when more than one runner is on base

Bases Loaded

When a base runner is at all three bases

On-Deck

The next batter up to bat

Pickle

When a base runner is in a rundown

Pinch Hitter/Runner

Substitute hitters/runners

Pitch Out

A pitch that cannot be hit by the batter

Position Player

Any player on the field except the pitcher

Power Hitter

A skilled batter that hits the baseball far, usually for home runs or extra bases

Relay

When the ball travels from one fielder to another, then another

Reliever/Relief Pitcher

A replacement pitcher for when the starting pitcher reaches the pitch limit or their shoulder becomes too worn-out to continue pitching for that game

Rundown

When a baserunner is stranded between two bases and in jeopardy of being tagged out

Runners at the Corners

Base runners on 1st and 3rd

Scoring Position

A base runner on 2nd or 3rd base is in the position to make it to home plate and score a run

Strike Zone

The area over home plate, above the batter’s knees, and below the batter’s chest where pitches are called. If a pitch does not enter this zone, it’s not a fair pitch

Walk

When the pitcher throws four balls to a batter, the batter gets to walk to first base

6-4-3

A double play referring to positions by their numerical designation; the ball is fielded by the shortstop (6), thrown to 2nd base (4), and then thrown to 1st base (3)

ABOUT Ripken Baseball

Ripken Baseball continues to innovate the game through on-site tournaments, camps, and spring training hosted at their state-of-the-art facilities in Aberdeen, MDMyrtle Beach, SC; and Pigeon Forge, TN. To learn more, visit www.RipkenBaseball.com.

 

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