How Well Do You Know Baseball Slang?

Gavin Thagard

What's a ground ball that bounces over an infielder's head called?

The Baltimore chop dates back to the early years of baseball in the 19th century. The Orioles are credited with using it during the dead-ball era.

How do you refer to a batter who can only hit the ball to the warning track?

Pete Rose finished his career with only 160 home runs. Still, he is considered one of the greatest hitters of all time because of his in-park hitting success.

What's a slang term for bases loaded?

When the bases are loaded, there's an offensive player on every base with another up to bat. Here, there's the potential for a grand slam and four runs.

What is a batted ball that drops suddenly from the air?

Quail are several different species of small birds. They are also a popular game bird for hunters.

When a pitcher has a strong arm, his arm is referred to as what?

The fastest pitch ever recorded was 105.1 mph. It was thrown by Aroldis Chapman in 2010.

What's another name for a catcher's gear?

The catcher position is a violent position on the baseball field. They are the last line of defense between the runner and a score, and their equipment shows just how violent their position can be.

The major leagues are sometimes referred to as what?

Baseball players from all over the world try to make it to the big show. However, only the best of the best are invited.

This is when a batter misses the third pitch and strikes out.

Nolan Ryan played 27 years in major league baseball. During that time, he set the record for most career strikeouts.

What is it called when a runner is picked off?

No player has more stolen bases than Rickey Henderson, who finished his career with 1,406. The next closest player has nearly five hundred less.

What's an insanely athletic catch called?

The Golden Glove award is presented to players each year with the best fielding performances. The award is given out at every defensive position.

What is one of the top players on a team called?

For years, Babe Ruth was the best players on the Yankees. He led the team to seven World Series victories.

What do you call a ball hit at a defensive player?

Barry Bonds played in MLB from 1986 until 2007. An exceptional hitter, he set the home run record during that span.

This is a pitch in the middle of the strike zone.

Broadway refers to a street in Manhattan. The street is a straight shot, just like the pitch.

This is when a player comes out of the dugout for an ovation from the crowd.

Players who make a great play or finish a great game will often get an ovation from the crowd. Usually, the crowd is more than happy to accommodate​.

What's another name for a curveball?

Catchers use signs to signal pitch types to pitchers. Two fingers has traditionally meant a curveball.

This is slang for a heavy hitter.

Roger Maris famously broke Babe Ruth's single-season home run record in 1961. He hit 61 home runs that year to beat the record.

What's a ground ball with a lot of speed called?

The Triple Crown is won by batters who finish a season with league-best​ in batting average, home runs and runs batted in. It was last won by Miguel Cabrera in 2012.

What do you call it when a batter is walked?

The best batters are often walked. This way they don't have a chance to hit a home run.

What is it called when a team is playing on their home field?

The oldest park in MLB is Fenway Park. It was built in 1912.

What's a shutout called?

The shutout king at pitcher was Walter Johnson. He finished his career with 110 shutouts.

This is when a pitcher has a sore arm.

Sandy Koufax was one of the greatest pitchers of all time. However, his career was cut short by soreness in his arm.

What's the minor league often called?

Many players spend years in the minor leagues before having their chance to play in the majors. Other major league players often finish their careers in the minor leagues.

What is zero on the scoreboard called?

A perfect game is played when a pitcher finishes the game without allowing a batter on base. There have only ever been 23 perfect games called.

What's the name for a batter who tries to anticipate a pitch?

Batters often look at a pitcher's body language to determine what type of pitch is coming. The best can determine it by the time the pitcher releases the ball.

A defender who constantly makes errors has what?

No player committed more errors than Herman Long. He played from 1889 until 1904.

What do you call a pitcher who's capable of throwing to the edges of home plate?

Pablo Picasso was a famous Spanish artist. He was one of the founders of the Cubist movement.

What's another name for home plate?

No player has crossed home plate more than Rickey Henderson. He holds the record for runs scored at 2,295.

This is when players or coaches meet on the field to talk.

Pow wows have often been criticized for slowing down the game. Recently, there's been talk to limit them from occurring.

What's a fight on the field called?

Some pitchers are notorious for starting fights by throwing at batters. This is particularly common between rivals.

What's it called when a player follows the rules in baseball?

The Yankees versus Red Sox rivalry is one of the most heated in baseball. When the two teams meet, many rules are often thrown out the window.

What's a weak pitch called?

A changeup is a popular pitch in baseball. It looks like a fastball but is actually much slower.

What's an easy catch for a defender called?

Batters try to find holes in the defensive zone to hit a ball. With great pitching, this becomes much more difficult.

What is a catch barely made by a sprinting fielder called?

No player has more Golden Glove awards than Greg Maddux. Throughout his career, he earned the award 18 times.

This is a pitch thrown near a batter's jaw.

Surprisingly, purposely hitting a batter with the ball is not a rarity in baseball. This is particularly prevalent when rivals meet on the field.

This is another name for a double play.

In 1990, the Red Sox and Twins competed in a 10-inning game that saw the most double plays in a single game. Between the two teams, there were 10 double plays.

A fielder with a strong arm has a _______?

If someone has a strong throwing arm, people might say, "He's got a bazooka!"

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About This Quiz

Home runs, Cy Young awards, Golden Gloves, World Series championships; you know the things that define the game of baseball because they're easy to track. What about baseball slang, though? Do you know all of those phrases that are common on the field? Could you pass a quiz on those phrases? Here's your chance to find out!

Major League Baseball is one of the oldest major sports in North America, with a rich history that's over a century long. That history has been defined by outstanding players, inspiring moments, incredible records and, of course, baseball slang. 

Baseball slang helps describe baseball in ways that other descriptions can't. Slang adds a little flair to what's happening on the field. It gives the audience a better description of events that can be imagined and adds to the quality of the experience. Who wouldn't want that? 

Do you know your baseball slang? Can you remember all of the phrases that announcers use when calling a game? If you think you can, then take this quiz and prove it. That's if you're up for the challenge, because this quiz isn't for the faint of heart. If you're ready, though, get started and prove your knowledge on baseball slang! 

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