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Headbanger Sports - Baseball Terminology - Part 1

Headbanger Sports - Baseball Terminology - Part 1

It’s no secret that baseball has its own language filled with expressions, phrases, and unique baseball terminology you may have never heard of. Next time you hear something you don’t understand at the ballpark, check out our guide to baseball terminology below!

    • Assist - when a fielder throws the ball to complete the play and make an out.
    • At Bat - when a hitter is at the plate ready to hit.
    • Backstop - a barrier behind home plate that stops the ball.
    • Balk - if the pitcher doesn't complete his pitch after starting his pitching motion. Any runners on base get to move to the next base.
    • Ball - a pitch outside of the strike zone where the batter does not swing.
    • Ball Park - a baseball field.
    • Base - the 3 square bags located at each corner of the infield.
    • Base Coaches - the coaches located by first and third base.
    • Base Hit - a safe hit that allows a batter to reach first base.
    • Base Paths - the straight line between the bases. Baserunners must stay on the basepath, or they are called out.
    • Bases Loaded – when a team has a runner on all 3 bases.
    • Bat Boy / Bat Girl – the person in charge of grabbing a bat after the batter drops it.
    • Batter - the member of the hitting team currently at the plate.
    • Batter's Box - the two boxes on either side of home plate. The next batter uses this space to take practice swings before they are up to bat.
  • Batting Gloves - batting gloves are used to protect the hands from excessive harm or damage.
      • Batting Order - the order hitters bat in.
      • Beanball - a pitch thrown in an attempt to hit the batter
      • Benches Clearing - when players from both sides leave their respective bench/dugout. Often to argue or fight with the opposing team.
      • Big Leagues - Major League Baseball.
      • Bottom Half Of The Inning - the second part of an inning when the home team is batting.
      • Breaking Ball - a pitch that moves or suddenly drops as it reaches the hitter (curveball)
      • Bullpen - the area where relief pitchers warm up and wait for the coach to call them into the game.
      • Bunt – a very soft hit by the batter. Usually in an attempt to help the baserunners advance bases.
      • Caught Looking -  a third strike where the hitter doesn't swing.
      • Change Up - a type of pitch that is thrown similarly to a fastball but much slower in an attempt to throw the batter off.
      • Centerfield - the middle area of the outfield.
      • Clean-Up - the fourth batter in the lineup. Often the best hitter on a team.
      • Closer - the last pitcher responsible for finishing the game.
      • Coaches – the leader in charge of a team. They make key decisions and help players improve.
      • Corked Bat - a bat which has been hollowed out and filled with cork. Not allowed in games because they make hitting home runs easier.
      • Count - the number of balls and strikes in an at-bat.
      • Curveball – a pitch that sharply drops at the plate.
      • Dead Ball - a ball that goes outside of the area of play.
      • Designated Hitter -  a hitter who does not play a defensive position and only bats
      • Diamond - the name for the infield. Named for its diamond shape.
      • Dinger - a big hit.
      • Double Header - when two games are played back to back.
      • Double - a hit where the batter is able to go to second base safely.
      • Double Play (DP) - a fielding play where the defense is able to make 2 outs in a single play.
      • Drive In a Run - a hit by a batter that allows a teammate to safely reach the home plate.
      • Dugout - the area where players and coaches stay when they're not on the field.
      • Earned Run - a run given up where no one made an error.
      • Earned Run Average (ERA) - the number of earned runs allowed by a pitcher averaged over nine innings.
      • Error - a fielding mistake.
      • Extra Innings – occurs when all innings have been played, and the score is tied. Games must end in a winner, so the game continues until one team is ahead at the end of an inning.
      • Fair - a ball hit by the batter that stays inside the foul lines.
      • Fastball - a pitch that is thrown hard.
  • Fastpitch Bat - a bat used in fastpitch softball league designed primarily to hit fastballs.
      • Fielder - a player currently playing defense.
      • Fielder's Choice - when the fielder allows the hitter to reach first base and chooses to make a play to get another baserunner out.
  • Fielding Gloves - a baseball or softball glove meant for fielders to better catch and handle balls.
    • Fly Ball - a ball hit high into the air.
    • Force Out - an out where the runner is out because they were forced to move forward by their own team.
    • Foul - a ball hit outside of the white lines that define the field.
    • Foul Tip - a pitch that tips the bat and is caught immediately by the catcher. This counts as a strike.
    • Full Count - when the batter's count is three balls and two strikes. This is the most balls and strike a player can have.
    • Grand Slam - a homerun when all the bases have runners on them.
    • Ground Ball - a ball hit on the ground.
    • Ground Rule Double - When the ball lands fair and bounces out of play, the hitter automatically moves to second base.
    • Gunned Down - a runner thrown out at a base.
    • Heater / High Heat - a very fast pitch.
    • Holding the Runner - when the defense stands close to a base to prevent a runner from taking a large lead off the base.
    • Home Plate - the 5-sided base located in front of the catcher.
    • Homerun - a hit over the outfield wall or a hit that allows the hitter to reach home plate.
    • Infield - the area of the field containing the bases, pitching mound, and home plate.
    • Infielder - a defensive player who plays in the infield.
    • Innings - Games are divided into innings. Usually, 9 are played but can vary depending on the age and skill of the teams. An inning is when both teams have batted.
    Inside-the-Park Homerun - a hit where the batter reaches home plate without the ball going over the outfield wall.

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