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Baseball Terms Glossary
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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glossary_of_baseball






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This is an alphabetical list of selected unofficial and specialized terms, phrases, and other jargon used in baseball, and their definitions, including illustrative examples for many entries.

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0-9

0-1 ("oh and one"), also, 1-0, 0-2, 1-1, 2-0, 1-2, 2-1, 3-0, 2-2, 3-1, 3-2

The possible instances of the "count," the number of balls and strikes currently tallied against a batter. Traditionally, the first number in the count corresponds to balls, and the second, strikes; however, Japanese and Korean baseball leagues use the opposite order (strikes followed by balls).

1

Scorekeepers assign a number from 1 to 9 to each position on the field in order to record the outcome of each play in a more or less uniform shorthand notation. The number 1 corresponds to the pitcher.

Also, a fielder may shout "One!" to a teammate to indicate that he should throw the ball to first base.

Finally, in the context of pitching, the number 1 is a common sign (and nickname) for the fastball.

1-2-3 inning

An inning in which a pitcher faces only three batters. Also named "Three up, three down"

1-2-3 double play

A double play in which the pitcher (1) throws the ball home to the catcher (2) to retire a runner advancing from third. The catcher then throws back to the first baseman (3) to retire the batter-runner. This play most often occurs with the bases loaded, in which situation a force play exists at both home plate and first base, but it is possible for this double play to be executed with a tag of a runner at home.

The scorekeeper uses such shorthand to record the result of every play. In this case, he makes a notation that the runner at third base was retired "1-2", but then makes a notation showing that the batter-runner was retired "1-2-3", to account for every player who handled the ball on the play.

1-6-3 double play

A double play in which the pitcher (1) throws the ball to the shortstop (6), who in turn throws to the first baseman (3). Typically, the shortstop and first baseman each retire a baserunner (often on a force play) after receiving the ball.

The scorekeeper uses such shorthand to record the result of every play. In this case, he makes a notation that the runner at first base was retired "1-6", but then makes a notation showing that the batter-runner was retired "1-6-3", to account for every player who handled the ball on the play.

2

The catcher, in scorekeeping shorthand. Also, a shout of "Two!" indicates that the ball should be thrown to second base.

The number 2 is also a common catcher's sign for a curveball or other breaking pitch.

2-2-2 (2 balls, 2 strikes, 2 outs). When a batter faces a 2-2 count with 2 outs during any inning, many superstitious players will rub the side of the bill of their hat with 2 fingers until the pitcher releases the pitch. More commonly seen in college and high school baseball. Many variations include removing the cap and extending toward the batter as the pitch approaches the plate, or during a 3-2 count with 1 out (3-2-1), and even a 1-1 count with 1 out (1-1-1).

3

The first baseman, in scorekeeping shorthand. Also, a shout of "Three!" indicates that the ball should be thrown to third base.

The number three is also a common sign for a slider, changeup, or other pitch (generally, the pitcher's third best pitch).

3-2-3 double play

A relatively rare double play in which the first baseman fields a batted ball and throws to the catcher to retire a runner advancing from third. The catcher then throws back to the first baseman to retire the batter-runner. This play most often occurs with the bases loaded, in which situation a force play exists at both home plate and first base, but it is possible for this double play to be executed with a tag of a runner at home.

The scorekeeper makes a notation that the runner at third base was retired "3-2", and the batter-runner was retired "3-2-3".

One notable example of this play occurred in Game 7 of the 1991 World Series, when catcher Brian Harper and first baseman Kent Hrbek of the Minnesota Twins retired the Atlanta Braves' Lonnie Smith at home plate and Sid Bream at first. This play prevented the Braves from scoring any runs in that inning and maintained a scoreless tie.

3-6-1 double play

A fairly common double play in which the first baseman fields a batted ball and throws it to the shortstop at second base to retire a runner advancing from first. The shortstop then throws back to the pitcher covering first (because the first baseman is out of position due to fielding the ball) to retire the batter-runner.

The scorekeeper makes a notation that the runner at first base was retired "3-6", and the batter-runner was retired "3-6-1".

3-4-3 double play

Played and scored exactly the same as the 3-6-3 below, but the second baseman receives the catch at second base. Considerably more rare since the second baseman is most often moving towards the ball on a ground ball to first base, while the shortstop is moving towards second base in anticipation of the 3-6-3 or 4-6-3.

3-6-3 double play

A fairly common double play in which the first baseman fields a batted ball and throws it to the shortstop at second base to retire a runner advancing from first. The shortstop then throws back to the first baseman to retire the batter-runner.

The scorekeeper makes a notation that the runner at first base was retired "3–6", and the batter-runner was retired "3-6-3".

4

The second baseman, in scorekeeping shorthand. Also, a shout of "Four!" indicates that the ball should be thrown to home plate.

The number four is a less common pitch sign or, when used in conjunction with waggled fingers, can indicate a change-up or palmball.

4-6-3 double play

A very common double play in which the second baseman fields a batted ball and throws to the shortstop, who retires a runner advancing to second base (usually a force play). The shortstop then throws to the first baseman, who completes the play by retiring the batter-runner (again, usually a force play). The scorekeeper makes a notation that the runner at first base was retired "4-6", and the batter-runner was retired "4-6-3".

4-bagger

A home run, so-called because of the four bags (bases) that the hitter touches after hitting a home run, although the fourth "bag" is actually a plate. Also spelled four-bagger.

45-foot line

The line between home plate and first base that begins 45 foot down the first base line and extends past first base. The rules state that if the batter runner is in the path of a throw that originates near home plate and is outside the area created by the base line and the 45-foot line, he shall be called out if the umpire believes he interfered with the play. If he remains within the line, he cannot be called out for interference. This rule is designed to allow catchers and pitchers the ability to field bunts and throw the batter runner out without having to worry about the batter runner intentionally or unintentionally interfering with the throw.

4 wide ones

A base-on-balls. Four pitches that are wide of the strike zone. "[Erskine] summarized his strategy of pitching to Musial as 'I throw him four wide ones and try to pick him off at first'."

5

The third baseman, in scorekeeping shorthand.

5.5 hole

The space between the third baseman and shortstop on the field. San Diego Padres icon Tony Gwynn made hitting balls through the 5.5 hole routine.

5-4-3 double play

A relatively common double play in which the third baseman fields a batted ball and throws to the second baseman, who retires a runner advancing to second base (usually a force play) and throws to the first baseman, who completes the play by retiring the batter-runner (usually a force play). The scorekeeper makes a notation that the runner on first was retired "5-4" and the batter-runner "5-4-3". This is sometimes referred to as the "'round the horn" double play.

5 tool player

The ideal position player (non-pitcher); an athlete who excels at hitting for both high average and power, possesses good footspeed and baserunning skills, has a strong and accurate throwing arm, and plays above-average defense. Major league scouts and instructors observe and evaluate the development of these "tools" in their "prospects" (aspiring Major League ballplayers).

Some well-known "five-tool" players are Joe DiMaggio, Willie Mays, Roberto Clemente, Torii Hunter and Carlos Beltrán.

6

The shortstop, in scorekeeping shorthand.

6-4-3 double play

A very common double play in which the shortstop fields a batted ball and throws to the second baseman, who retires a runner advancing to second base (usually a force play) and then throws to the first baseman, who completes the play by retiring the batter-runner (usually a force play). The scorekeeper makes a notation that the runner on first base was retired "6-4" and the batter-runner "6-4-3". 6-4-3 and 4-6-3 are the two most common double plays, with 6-4-3 predominating because right-handed batters, who are more prevalent than left-handed batters, tend to pull the ball toward left field.

This is the double play performed by "Tinker to Evers to Chance", the fabled Chicago Cubs' infielders of the early 20th century.

7

The leftfielder, in scorekeeping shorthand.

7-2, 8-2, or 9-2 double play

A fairly common double play. After a fly ball is caught by an outfielder, a runner attempting to tag up and score from third base is tagged out by the catcher receiving the throw at home plate.

8

The centerfielder, in scorekeeping shorthand.

8-hole hitter

In the National League, the batter in the 8th position has the task of batting in front of the pitcher. This batter perhaps carries an added burden as the pitcher is typically not a strong hitter, and so opposing teams may try to "pitch around" the 8-hole hitter in order to face the pitcher batting 9th. Tony La Russa, manager of the St. Louis Cardinals, occasionally avoids this problem by having the pitcher bat 8th and another fielder bat 9th; however, this puts the #7 hitter in the position that, on most NL teams, the #8 hitter faces.

9

The rightfielder, in scorekeeping shorthand.

12-to-6

A curve ball, the motion of which evokes the hands of clock. The ball starts high (at "12-o'clock") and drops sharply as it reaches the strike zone ("6-o'clock"). Also known as "12-to-6 Downers" or a "12-to-6 Drop". Pitchers whose curveballs exhibit this motion include Barry Zito, Nolan Ryan, and AJ Burnett.

30-30 club

Players who hit 30 home runs and steal 30 bases in the same season.

40-40 club

Players who hit 40 home runs and steal 40 bases in the same season.

55-footer

A pejorative term for a pitch that bounces before it reaches the plate. The name derives from the fact that the pitch falls short of the 60' 6" between the pitching rubber and the plate.

90 feet

When a runner advances one base, he "moves up 90 feet" — the distance between successive bases on a professional baseball diamond. "Baseball is still what it always has been and always will be, basically a 90-feet-at-a-time game".

 


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Published - February 2011







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