Baseball Terms Glossary
(Starting with "G")
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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.
- A player who plays particularly hard (especially with a willingness to sacrifice his body for the play) and is prone to making the right play at the right time, often in big games. Also used to refer to an excellent piece of equipment, such as a glove or mitt.
- The space between outfielders. Also alley. A ball hit in the gap is sometimes called a flapper or a gapper. "He's swinging the bat right now better than he has all year, and I'm hoping now some of them turns into gappers," Leyland said.
 gap hitter
- Hits with power up the alleys and tends to get a lot of doubles. A doubles hitter.
- A fastball. "Give him (the batter) the gas"; as in stepping on a car's gas pedal to accelerate.
 gate receipts
- The gross ticket prices paid by all the customers who passed through the entrance gates for a game or a series. Also referred to simply as "the gate." "There's a big gate awaiting the champions. . . ."
- Abbreviation for game ending double play.
- The general manager (GM) runs the organization of a baseball team (personnel, finance, and operations). Normally distinct from the field manager and the club owner.
- A very well pitched game, almost always a win, in which the pitcher allows few if any hits and at most a run or two. Headline: "Mulder Shakes Off Injury to Pitch Gem".
 get a good piece of it
- When swinging a round bat at a round ball, the batter hopes to hit the ball solidly in the center. When he does, he's said to "get a good piece of the ball." "'When you hit in the middle of the order, those are the situations you want,' said Cabrera, who leads the major leagues with 116 RBIs. 'He threw me a fastball, and I got a good piece of it'."
 get on one's horse
- When a fielder (usually an outfielder) runs extremely fast towards a hard hit ball in an effort to catch it.
 get good wood
- To hit a ball hard. A batter who "gets good wood on the ball" or who "gets some lumber on the ball" hits it hard.
 get off the schneid
- To break a scoreless, hitless, or winless streak (i.e., a schneid). According to the Dickson Baseball Dictionary, the term "schneid" comes to baseball via gin rummy, and in turn comes from German / Yiddish "schneider," one who cuts cloth, i.e., a tailor.
- Statistical abbreviation for grounded into double play.
Main article: Baseball glove
- A baseball glove or mitt is a large padded leather glove that players on the defensive team wear to assist them in catching and fielding balls hit by a batter or thrown by a teammate. Different positions require different shapes and sizes of gloves. The term "mitt" is officially reserved to describe the catcher's mitt and the first-baseman's mitt. By rule, fielders other than the first-baseman and the catcher can only wear conventional gloves (with individual finger slots), not mitts. There is no rule requiring fielders to wear a glove or mitt, but the nature of the game normally renders it a necessity. A fielder may have to catch a ball bare-handed, if he loses his glove in pursuit of a ball, or otherwise finds himself at the wrong angle to use it. A video clip from 1989, that was included in several "amazing plays" videos, showed Kevin Mitchell of the San Francisco Giants catching a ball over-the-shoulder and barehanded.
- Most batters nowadays wear leather batting gloves to improve their grip on the bat and provide a small amount of padding. This practice began in the 1960s when some batters began wearing golf gloves. Hawk Harrelson pioneered this practice. Additionally, some base-stealing artists, especially those who practice the head-first / hands-first slide, will wear specialized sliding gloves. All-time base-stealing record holder Rickey Henderson often used sliding gloves.
- Players will generally keep batting and sliding gloves in their pants pockets when not in use, and set their fielding gloves on a shelf or other convenient place in the dugout. At one time, it was common practice to leave the fielding glove on the playing field. After that practice was outlawed due to risks to other fielders and possible interference with a live ball, players would sometimes carry their gloves in their pants pockets. That fact illustrates (1) how much larger and baggier the uniforms were at the time and (2) how much smaller the gloves were. The old adage "two hands while you're learning" was a necessity in the early years, when the glove was mostly used simply to absorb the shock of the hit or thrown ball. The glove has since evolved into a much more effective "trap", so the rules have very specific limitations on the size and shape of gloves. One-hand catches are now commonplace, although the occasional fielding gaffe by one-handers brings the old adage to mind.
- Jokes used in movies and cartoons notwithstanding, throwing the glove to try to "catch" or slow down a batted ball is forbidden by the rules. When the umpire calls it, the batter is awarded an automatic triple (meaning that all runners ahead of him are allowed to score freely) and it is also a live ball, so the batter-runner has the option of trying for home if possible. Similarly, it is against the rules to take off one's cap to use it as an alternate "glove", as "All the Way Mae" (Madonna) was shown doing in A League of Their Own.
- A player who is very skilled at playing defense is said to have a good glove.
- An abbreviation for general manager.
 go-ahead run
- The run which puts a team which was behind or tied into the lead. Used particularly with runners on base (e.g., "The Phillies have Jimmy Rollins and Shane Victorino on base down 4–2; Victorino represents the tying run and Chase Utley is the go-ahead run at the plate.").
 go deep
- To hit a home run. "Richie Sexson and Kenji Johjima also went deep for the Mariners."
- A starting pitcher who pitches past the 6th inning is said to "go deep into the game." "Against the White Sox on Thursday, Morrow's command wasn't there. He walked six batters in 5 2/3 innings, and despite coming one out shy of recording a quality start, he didn't prove yet he's able to pitch deep into games."
 go quietly
- When a team fails to mount a strong offense, such as going 1-2-3 in an inning, it may be said to have "gone quietly." "Outside of a walk to Mantle after Tresh's clout and a ninth-inning single by Pepitone, the Yankees went quietly the rest of the way."
- A player who retires without a lot of fanfare or complaining may be said to "go quietly."
 go the distance
- See go the route.
 go the route
- A pitcher who throws a complete game "goes the route."
 go yard
- To "go yard" is to hit a home run, i.e., to hit the ball the length of the baseball field or "ball yard". Sometimes said to be derived from Camden Yards, the home park of the Baltimore Orioles.
 gold glove
- The major league player chosen as the best in his league at fielding his position is given a Gold Glove Award.
- One who strikes out four times in one game is said to have gotten a "Golden Sombrero". Three strike outs is called the "Hat Trick" and the rare five strike outs is called the "Platinum Sombrero".
- Swinging at an obviously low pitch, particularly one in the dirt. Also used to describe actual contact with a pitch low in the zone.
- A ball hit over the wall, a home run. Announcer: "That ball is gone." That's a reduction of the timeless phrase, "Going . . . going . . . gone," and of the way famed Detroit Tigers announcer Ernie Harwell would say it: "That ball is loooong gone." It wasn't necessary to pronounce the words "home run". Long-time Cincinnati Reds TV announcer George Grande would exclaim as the ball went over the wall, "It's gonna be... gone!"
- Conversely, a batter who has just been struck out, especially by a power pitcher. Used frequently by Chicago White Sox announcer Hawk Harrelson, as in, "He gone!"
- An announcer may simply announce "one gone" or "two gone" to indicate how many outs have been made in the inning. This has the same meaning as "one away" and "two away."
 good eye
- A hitter who has excellent awareness of the strike zone, and is able to lay off pitches that are barely out of the strike zone, is said to have a "good eye." "Ortiz and Ramirez are a constant threat, whether it's swinging the bats or taking pitches," Cleveland third baseman Casey Blake said. "They have a couple of the best swings in the game and a couple of the best eyes in the game. . . ."
 good hit, no field
- Said to have been the world's shortest scouting report, and often quoted in reference to sluggers such as Dick Stuart and Dave Kingman, who were notoriously poor fielders.
 Goodbye Mr. Spalding!
- Exclamation by a broadcaster when a batter hits a home run. First uttered by an unknown broadcaster in the film "The Natural." Spalding is a major manufacturer of baseballs.
 goose egg
- A zero on the scoreboard.
 gopher pitch
- A gopher pitch (or gopher ball) is a pitch that leads to a home run, one that the batter will "go for". Illustration from an on-line chat: "He was always that guy who'd go in and throw the gopher pitch in the first inning and he'd be two down." A game in which several home runs have been hit by both teams may also sometimes be described as "gopher ball."
 got a piece of it
- When a batter hits a foul ball or foul tip, perhaps surviving a two strike count and remaining at bat, a broadcaster may say "He got a piece of it".
 got him
- An expression from a player or a broadcaster that's short for "got him out." This may be used when a pitcher gets a batter to strike out or when a defender throws out a runner who's trying to get safely on first or advance to another base. "He fouled one off this time, straight up in the air that caught on the backstop. I was glad it did because I wanted to whiff him again. I got him with a beautiful pitch. I set him up with a fast ball right in close on the letters that he chopped at like somebody’s grandmother."
 got under the ball
- When a hitter swings slightly under the center of the pitched ball, thereby leading to a high fly ball out instead of a home run, he's said to "get under the ball."
 grab some pine
- Go sit on the bench, used as a taunt after a strikeout. Popularized by Giants sportscaster Mike Krukow.
 got to him early
- When a team's batters gets several hits and runs off of the opposing starting pitcher in early innings the batters are said to "get to him early."
- Home run hit with the bases loaded. A "grand salami" or a "grand ol' ding dong."
 grandstand play
- Showing off for the fans in the grandstands. Also called grandstanding. Not only players, but managers, owners, and politicians often play to the crowd to raise their public image. "Tellem weighed in with a thoughtful back-page article in this Sunday's New York Times regarding the recent Congressional and mainstream media grandstanding over steroids."
- A grand slam homerun. "Torii Hunter's game-winning grand slam was his 10th career granny and third career walk-off homer".
 Grapefruit League
- The group of major league teams that conduct Spring Training in Florida, where grapefruit trees grow in abundance.
 great seats
- A sarcastic term for seats high in the bleachers, a long way from the playing field. The phrase was popularized by Bob Uecker in a series of TV commercials.
 green light
- Permission from the manager for a batter or runner to be aggressive. Examples include permission for the batter to swing away on a 3-0 count or for a runner steal a base. "Instead of the bunt sign, Tigers manager Jim Leyland gave Rodríguez the green light and he hit a three-run homer off Riske to give the Tigers a 3-2 win over Kansas City on Sunday."
 groove a pitch
- When a pitcher throws a pitch down the middle of the plate ("the groove"). The result may be predictable. "But in the third, with two out and a man at second and the Cards ahead 2-1, Verlander grooved a pitch that Pujols clobbered for a home run."
- A ball that is hit on the ground so that it bounces in the infield. Also grounder. A bunt is not considered a "ground ball."
 ground ball with eyes
- A ground ball that barely gets between two infielders for a base hit, seeming to "see" the only spot where it would be unfieldable. Also seeing-eye single.
 ground ball pitcher
- A pitcher who tends to induce more ground balls than fly balls from the hitters. Often a manager will bring a ground ball pitcher in as a relief pitcher when there are men on base and less than two outs in hopes that the next batter will hit a ground ball that leads to a double play.
 ground-rule double
- Under standard ground rules, there are conditions under which a batter is awarded second base automatically due to ground rules, such as it getting caught in the ivy at Wrigley Field. If a ball hit in fair territory bounces over a wall or fence without being touched by a fielder, it is likely to be declared an automatic double, often mistakenly referred to as a ground rule double. If a ball hit into fair territory is touched by a fan, the batter will be awarded an extra base, typically leading to advancing that runner automatically to second base.
- Rules that are specific to a particular ballpark (or grounds) due to unique features of the park and where the standard baseball rules may be inadequate. See ground rules for some examples.
 guess hitter
- A hitter who may not be the best at reading what kind of pitch is coming toward him so he guesses what the next pitch is going to be.
- A strong arm. Also, a cannon.
- To throw strongly. Announcer following a play in which the shortstop fields a ground ball and throws hard to first: "Guillen guns and gets him."
 gun down
- To throw out a runner. "Valentin was erased when he tried to steal second, though, and Posada gunned him down."
- A type of curveball with a severe break. Boston Red Sox pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka is said to throw a gyroball. It was designed by a couple of Japanese scientists to reduce arm fatigue in pitchers. The result was a way to throw the ball with an extreme break. Whether such a special pitch really exists remains the subject of great controversy among experts of various pedigrees.
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Published - February 2011
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