25 Baseball Terms

Baseball is a sport that has been around for centuries, and it is one of the most popular sports in America. It’s also a sport with many terms and phrases that might not be familiar to everyone. This article will help you understand some basic baseball terminology so you can enjoy the game more!

  • Ace: The best pitcher in a team, this person is the most valuable player on the pitching staff.
  • Balk: This is when a pitcher tries to deceive the runner by breaking too far off the rubber before pitching.
  • Battery: The term for an offensive team’s two pitchers and catcher, which together form the core of that team’s defense.
  • Bunt: This is a ball hit in front of home plate- usually with only one hand – on purpose.
  • Change Up: This is a pitch that looks like the ball will have either more or less speed than it actually does. It’s meant to confuse batters and cause them to swing at bad pitches.
  • Cleanup: The fourth batter in the lineup, usually near where home plate would be on a diamond diagram of bases if there were no base paths between each one.
  • Count: A term for how many balls and strikes are currently given by an umpire. When you’re “in the count”, this means that your team has been given some number of chances to make contact with the pitcher so far (i.e., two outs). For example, when a player steps up to bat without any outs but has only seen three strike calls, they are “in the count”, or have three strikes against them.
  • Diamond: This is another name for a baseball diamond – the square with four 90-foot long sides that form a rectangle and two 300 foot straight lines down one of those sides, which point to home plate.
  • Double Play: In this defensive play from a batted ball in which two outs are recorded at once by catching a fly ball then tagging out an oncoming runner before he reaches first base (or any other baseline). The team must catch all bases being tagged without letting possession of the ball get away during this process. Errors can be committed in both phases of this play if either player drops their line drive while trying to catch it or steps off but doesn’t make a tag before the runner reaches him.
  • Fly Ball: This is what happens when a ball travels to high in the air on its way toward home plate and then falls back down. When this occurs, it’s called an “out” for both teams. Foul balls are also sometimes fly balls but they go into one of the side boundaries – either fair territory or foul territory (depending which team you’re rooting for).
  • Foul Ball: Like a Fly ball, these are difficult to catch because they take unpredictable bounces and can hit spectators sitting near field level with little warning. It’s important that fans stay alert during games so as not to get hurt!
  • Full Count: A count where three strikes have been given against batter – resulting in an out if they are not able to put the ball into fair territory on their next at-bat.
  • Ground Ball: This is what happens when a player hits the ball and it goes through or very close to where home plate would be – this means that it’s difficult for batters, because ground balls require quick reflexes and good hand-eye coordination.
  • Hit and Run: A strategy designed by the batting team whereby one of its players starts running toward first base as soon as a pitch has left the pitcher’s hand while another hitter (usually with better speed) waits until after contact before starting his/her approach so that he doesn’t get caught up in any fielders’ throws during defense.
  • Hit for the Cycle: A term for when a batter gets all of the bases, including home plate, in one game and throughout the course of an entire season.
  • Lead Runner: The runner who leads off base before any other runners attempt to steal or move up on their own (i.e., “on deck”). This player is also called the lead-off man.
  • Load the Bases: When there are two outs but three players on base – this means that every time someone hits a ball into fair territory it will be difficult for fielders because they don’t know where to throw it without risking letting more than one person reach first if they make contact with them while trying to catch it.
  • On Deck: Another name for Lead Runner; the player who is up next.
  • Pinch Hitter: A term for a hitter from the bench that has been chosen by their team to come in and bat when needed – this may happen if another player on the roster becomes injured, or if they are struggling with batting average during game play.
  • Pinch Runner: This is any runner put into position because of injury or substitution; usually one sent in as an extra batter so that he/she can run home while other teammates make contact.
  • Position Player: A name given to players who do not pitch but only hit – meaning that anyone else wearing gloves besides pitchers (catchers) will be considered a “position” player at all times. These people are often good runners and are able to keep a defensive player from tagging them out.
  • Relay: A play where the ball must be thrown back and forth in order for teammates to catch it before they can run, steal, or score – this is often used when there are runners on base who will need an extra boost of speed if one team manages to get ahead by throwing the ball through their legs while they’re trying to make contact with it.
  • Strike Zone: The area between home plate and inside two lines that go straight across the batter’s chest. If a pitcher throws too high or wide then he/she is at risk of giving up walks – which means that batters won’t have any trouble taking first without having been tagged out!
  • Walk: When a batter is able to walk after being on base for three balls. The term “Walk” can also be used as a verb, or an action word in the sense that someone walks out of something they don’t like by themselves – it’s easy because there are no penalties.

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