September 22, 2019

New Baseball Terminology

January 21, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Last week my wife, Martha, and I came across the word atavism and neither of us knew the meaning.  I suggested that it meant “possessing the qualities of an ata.”  That was wrong.  We looked it up and discovered that it actually means “the tendency to revert to ancestral type.”  Kind of like what Brady Anderson did for the rest of his career after hitting 50 homers in 1996.  What struck me, of course, was that while this word might be handy occasionally, a really handy word would be attaboyism, which would be the tendency of coaches to yell encouragement.  It got me to thinking about some other terms that ought to exist, but don’t–until now:

Singleularity–“a quality possessed by batters with a high average, but low slugging percentage.

Raydiology–the study of major league baseball in Tampa Bay.

Pennant chasers–what one drinks when one’s team is a half-game out with two games to play.

Double indemnity play–a double play turned by a pair of middle infielders named Fred MacMurray and Barbara Stanwyck.  So far, the total is 0, but at least now there’s a term for it, in case it does happen.

Redicent–a certain reluctance in rooting for Cincinnati.

Striknine–pitching poison; the occasion upon which a pitcher needs only 9 pitches to strike out the side.

Homeostaysis–occurs when a batter refuses to leave the box after a called third strike.

Benchmark–spelled the same as the word meaning milestone, but this term refers to the wounds that substitute players sometimes receive from splinters.

Sluggered–describes a pitcher who has been hit hard, as in, “A grand slam?!?  Jones has been sluggered again.”

Ondeckaphobia–the fear of waiting one’s turn to hit.

Hey, these new terms may not be widely used at first, but they flow across the tongue in the same way that Willie Mays flowed across the outfield grass.  That is opposed to, say, a somewhat more useful, but less mellifluous term such as VORP, which is more like the sound Dick Stuart’s glove would make anytime a ball would come in contact with it.

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