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Catcher Term/Word of the Month
 
 

August 2012

telegraph  v. For a pitcher to suggest through his mannerisms the type of pitch he is about to throw or for the catcher to tip off a pitch by giving an identifiable sign to the pitcher. 1st Use. 1916 (American Magazine, Aug.; Edward J. Nichols).
[Definitions as found in Paul Dickson's The New Dickson Baseball Dictionary, 1999]


action pitch  The pitch thrown when the count is full (three balls and two strikes) with two outs and men on base. The situation calls for the base runners to start running just before the ball is delivered. The catcher and the infielders must be ready for quick defensive actions and error-free play.

airmail  To throw the ball over another player's head. "A catcher who throws one into center field on an attempted steal air mails the second baseman." 1st Use. 1983 (Baseball Digest, Dec. by Joe Falleta). Also spelled "air mail."

all star 1. A player chosen to play in the All-Star Game. 2. A player selected at almost any level of baseball to a team comprising the best players from a league or geographic area.
[Definitions as found in Paul Dickson's The New Dickson Baseball Dictionary, 1999]

arm fake  A simulated throwing motion to one base in an attempt to draw a runner off another base.
[Definitions as found in Bob Bennett's Catching Fundamentals and Techniques, 2000]

away  1. Syn. of out, 1; e.g., "two away" is two outs. 1st Use. 1881 (New York Herald, July 15; Edward J. Nichols). 2. Said of a pitch outside the strike zone. A strategy called "pitch him away, play him away" is one in which the pitcher consistently pitches a batter outside and the defense over shifts to the opposite field, where the batter is more likely to hit the ball. 3. Played in another team's ballpark; e.g., "The Cubs played three games away".

battery   The pitcher and catcher collectively. 1st Use. The explanation offered by Richard G. Knowles & Richard Morton (Baseball, 1896) is that the term "has its origin in telegraphy, the pitcher being the transmitter, and the catcher the receiver." However, Henry Chadwick (Technical Terms of Baseball, 1897) clearly implies a military source when he gives this definition: "This is the term applied to the pitcher and catcher of a team. It is the main attacking force of the little army of nine players in the field in a contest." Most later attempts to pin a history on the term have alluded to this comparison to a military artillery unit. Later on, Frank J. Reiter (The Sporting News, Jan 18, 1940) wrote: "It may possibly have arisen as follows: General Abner Doubleday, the founder of baseball, being a military man, may have originated the phrase. As the word 'fire' is a military command, and as the pitcher literally 'fires' the ball to the plate much in the same manner as a field artillery battery fires a cannon, this may have prompted the name of a military unit to be applied to the pitcher and catcher."
[Definitions as found in Paul Dickson's The New Dickson Baseball Dictionary, 1999]

batting championship  1. The figurative crown and real title that is given to the player with the highest batting average over the course of a season, given that the player meets the minimum criteria of 502 plate appearances (3.1 PA per team games). 2. The race for the title of batting champion.
[Definitions as found in Paul Dickson's The New Dickson Baseball Dictionary, 1999]

bite the dust  To Slide. 1st Use. 1910 (New York Tribune, July 9; Edward J. Nichols). Etymology. Since 1870 this term has been slang for dying. Baseball uses the term literally, as a player sliding is likely to send up a cloud of dusty soil, especially at home plate.
[Definitions as found in Paul Dickson's The New Dickson Baseball Dictionary, 1999]

block  An action by the catcher to prevent a runner from tagging home plate, accomplished with the aid of the catcher's body. A block is illegal and can be ruled an obstruction if it occurs without the blocker having the ball or being in the process of fielding it. See Catcher's Interference. 1st Use. 1902. (Sporting Life, July 12, Edward J. Nichols).
[Definitions as found in Paul Dickson's The New Dickson Baseball Dictionary, 1999]

catcher's balk  A rarely called violation of catcher's interference charged as a balk when a catcher leaves the catcher's box before the pitch is delivered, especially on an Intentional Base On Balls (IBB). The balk penalty would award the batter first base and any runners would advance.
[Official Baseball Rules, 2004 Edition, published by Triumph Books], Rule 4.03(a)

catcher's earned run average    A catcher's statistic representing the average number of runs legitimately scored from the pitcher's delivery for a full nine-inning game (27 outs) while a particular catcher is behind the plate. The figure is usually carries to two decimal points, It is computed by multiplying the number of earned runs times 9, which is then divided by the number of innings the catcher has worked (9ER/INN). Generally a catcher's earned run average of less than 3.00 is considered excellent. Abbrev. ERA. [See earned run].

catcher interference  Syn. catcher's balk 1. An act by the catcher that hinders the batter; e.g., pushing the batter, touching the batter's bat, or running in front of the batter to catch a pitched ball. The batter is awarded first base (he is not charged with an official at-bat) but the catcher is charged with an error. 2. An act by the catcher that hinders a base runner: e.g., blocking home plate without holding or attempting to field the ball. The runner is awarded the base to which he was advancing. [See Rule 6.08, 7.06 and 7.07]
[Definitions as found in Paul Dickson's The New Dickson Baseball Dictionary, 1999]
[Official Baseball Rules, 2004 Edition, published by Triumph Books]

caught stealing   Tagged out while attempting to steal a base. The Official Baseball Rules (rule 10.08) provides that a runner shall be charged as "caught stealing" (an official statistic) when he: (a) tries to steal a base; (b) is picked off a base and tries to advance; or (c) over slides while stealing.
[Official Baseball Rules, 2004 Edition, published by Triumph Books]

CERA   Abbrev. for catcher's earned run average. It is computed in the same manner as for a pitcher [ (9 times the Earned Runs) divided by the number of innings caught ]

chair position   The correct position for a catcher (his stance) when he prepares to catch a pitched ball; he looks almost as if he is sitting on the edge of a chair.
[Definitions as found in Paul Dickson's The New Dickson Baseball Dictionary, 1999]

chest protector  A pad used by catchers and home-plate umpires to protect the body from the shoulders to the waist from pitched and fouled-off balls. 1st Use. 1886. Etymology. Invented by the wife of Detroit catcher, Charlie Bennett, and first donned in 1886. [Ref. Leslie's Weekly "A Woman's Gift to Baseball" Oct 15. 1914]. The "padded vest", which created quite a sensation and a was a big hit with the catchers, bears little resemblance to today's body armor made of light weight Kevlar.
[Definitions as found in Paul Dickson's The New Dickson Baseball Dictionary, 1999]

ding dong   A cry yelled from the dugout when the catcher takes a foul tip off his protective cup.
[Definitions as found in Paul Dickson's The New Dickson Baseball Dictionary, 1999]

dirt ball  A pitched ball that lands in the dirt, usually just in front of or alongside the plate, that is difficult to handle. Also spelled "dirtball."
[Definitions as found in Paul Dickson's The New Dickson Baseball Dictionary, 1999]

dirt save  A save credited to a catcher when he deflects a legally pitched ball that goes in the dirt which, in the official scorer's judgment, prohibited any and all base runners from advancing. The term was introduced in 1988 and included on the scorecard of Memphis State Univ.'s baseball games for three seasons. See also dirt ball.
[Definitions as found in Paul Dickson's The New Dickson Baseball Dictionary, 1999]

dish  Syn. home plate An obvious play on the word "plate" 1st Use. 1907. (New York Evening Journal, Apr 17; Edward J. Nichols).
[Definitions as found in Paul Dickson's The New Dickson Baseball Dictionary, 1999]

dropped third strike  An error charged to the catcher when the third strike on a batter is not caught, providing first base is not occupied or first base is occupied with two out, and that allows the batter to advance safely to first base. The pitcher is credited with a strikeout even if the batter reaches first base on a dropped third strike. [See Rule 6.09(b)]
[Official Baseball Rules, 2004 Edition, published by Triumph Books]
[Definition as found in Paul Dickson's The New Dickson Baseball Dictionary, 1999]

dummy signal  A sign or signal from the catcher, dugout, or coach's box that is meaningless and meant only to mislead and confuse those trying to steal the signal.
[Definition as found in Paul Dickson's The New Dickson Baseball Dictionary, 1999]

earned run  A run that is scored without the aid of an error, passed ball, obstruction, or catcher's interference and that is charged to the pitcher. 1st Use. 1871. (New York Herald, Sept. 5; Edward J. Nichols).
[Definition as found in Paul Dickson's The New Dickson Baseball Dictionary, 1999]

eraser rate  A statistic marking a team's success at catching opposing base stealers. Listed as a percentage, it is computed by dividing the number of opponents caught stealing by the number of their attempted steals. For a period in the early 1980s. Eraser Rate Awards were presented to the team with the best record in each league. The awards were sponsored by Major League Baseball and Eraser Mate, a pen produced by Paper Mate.

even the count  To make the ball-and-strike count even (the same number of balls and strikes) by the batter or by the pitcher.
[Definition as found in Paul Dickson's The New Dickson Baseball Dictionary, 1999]

force double play  A fielding play in which two putouts are made on a force play. Typically, with a runner on first base, the batter hits a ground ball to the shortstop who throws to the second baseman who touches the bag for a force out, and then throws the ball to first base to retire the batter. The fielder at second base is the key to this play because he must touch the base and throw the ball to first while avoiding the sliding runner. Dan Sperling (Spectator's Guide to Baseball, 1983) writes: "Although it's a fairly common baseball occurrence, a force double play involving the batter, a base runner and three fielders is a thing of beauty to behold because of the clockwork precision with which it is executed." Compare reverse force double play.
[Definition as found in Paul Dickson's The New Dickson Baseball Dictionary, 1999]

foul tip  n. A ball that glances off the bat directly into the catcher's hands and legally caught. It counts as a regular swinging strike rather than as a foul ball; thus the batter is out if he foul tips a ball with two strikes against him and the ball is in play. A tipped ball is not counted as a foul tip if it hits any part of the catcher's body before landing in his hands. Syn. tip-foul, 1st Use. (Beadle's Dime Base-Ball Player; Edward J. Nichols)
[Definition as found in Paul Dickson's The New Dickson Baseball Dictionary, 1999]

frame the pitch  For a catcher to keep his glove in the strike zone, or as close to it as possible, when receiving the pitch, thereby giving the plate umpire the impression that the pitch is in the strike zone, even if it is not. A tactic used expertly by Gary Carter to get more than his share of strike calls on the close ones.
[Definition as found in Paul Dickson's The New Dickson Baseball Dictionary, 1999]

funneling the ball  The movement used by the catcher to position himself in front of the ball, thus enabling him to draw the ball toward the center of his body.
[Definition as found in Bob Bennett's Catching Fundamentals and Techniques, 2000]

goat's beard  The dangling flap hanging down from a catcher's mask as a means of protecting the throat. Popularized by Steve Yeager (Dodgers) in the 1970's (available since 1903 although very seldom used) and now standard for all catchers.
[Definition as found in Paul Dickson's The New Dickson Baseball Dictionary, 1999]

gold glove  An annual award for fielding excellence, cosponsored by The Sporting News and Rawlings beginning in 1957, given to a player at each position for each League, as chosen in vote by major league managers and coaches. Defensive excellence includes such factors as range, glove work, ability to make tough plays, and minimum errors. [See Gold Glove Catchers.]
[Definitions as found in Paul Dickson's The New Dickson Baseball Dictionary, 1999]

golden spine  High-paid players comprising the "spine" of the defense: catcher, second baseman, shortstop and center fielder.
[Definitions as found in Paul Dickson's The New Dickson Baseball Dictionary, 1999]

good field, no hit  The classic description of the exceptional defensive player who is not a good hitter. Etymology. All accounts trace the phrase back to Cuban-born Miguel "Mike" Gonzalez, a catcher for the St. Louis Cardinals.
[Definitions as found in Paul Dickson's The New Dickson Baseball Dictionary, 1999]

Hall Of Famer    An individual inducted into baseball's Hall of Fame; a Baseball immortal. Abbrev. HOF'er. The game's greatest players enshrined in Cooperstown's pantheon.
[Definition as found in Paul Dickson's The New Dickson Baseball Dictionary, 1999]

handle a pitcher   To play effectively the role of a catcher for a particular pitcher. [usually refers to the ability of the catcher to obtain effective cooperation from a pitcher] To handle a pitcher also involves giving him good direction in the form of signals and being able to keep the pitcher calm when he is having difficulties.

harness  arch. The uniform and equipment of a catcher. 1st Use. 1902. (Sporting Life, Jul 5.).
[Definition as found in Paul Dickson's The New Dickson Baseball Dictionary, 1999]

indifference   Allowing a runner to advance a base without attempting to stop him. No stolen base is awarded when a runner advances solely because of the catcher's (or defensive team's) indifference to his advance; it is scored as a fielder's choice. [See Rule 10.08(g)] Syn. defensive indifference.
[Definition as found in Paul Dickson's The New Dickson Baseball Dictionary, 1999]
[Official Baseball Rules, 2004 Edition, published by Triumph Books]

jam the batter   To throw the ball close to the batter, making it difficult for him to hit successfully and keeping him off balance; to throw inside. The intention is not to hit the batter, but rather make him a lot less effective by forcing him to hit with the lower end of the bat.
[Definitions as found in Paul Dickson's The New Dickson Baseball Dictionary, 1999]

juggle   To mishandle a batted or thrown ball. While a catcher may juggle a ball without dropping it, the act may consume enough time to allow a runner to be safe who otherwise would have been put out. 1st Use. 1873. (New York Herald, Sep 13; Edward J. Nichols).
[Definitions as found in Paul Dickson's The New Dickson Baseball Dictionary, 1999]

K 2-3   Scorecard notation for a strikeout in which the catcher drops the third strike and must throw the ball to first base to retire the batter.

key     n. A sign given to a player that reveals the pattern or rule of a subsequent sign. e.g. With a man on second the catcher might touch his mask with his mitt (the key) indicating that the pitch type signals are now changed from the normal one-finger equals a fast ball to four-fluttering fingers means a fast ball.

learn a hitter   To study the habits of a hitter to understand the pitches he will hit and the direction in which such hits will go. Good catchers spend a lot of time studying hitters' habits and some even record their observations for later use.

letter high   Said of a pitched ball that that comes in across the chest at the level of the letters on the batter's jersey spelling out the name or initials of his team.

light ball   A ball that is thrown with such a slow spin that it feels light in weight to the catcher.

line drive to the catcher   A swinging strikeout. Players will later remark that they hit a line drive to the catcher for their missed third strike. (Baseball Magazine, Jan 1943).
[Definitions as found in Paul Dickson's The New Dickson Baseball Dictionary, 1999]

mask  Protective facial gear worn by the catcher and the home plate umpire. See also catcher's mask. 1st Use. 1887. (Harper's Weekly, September 10; Edward J. Nichols).
[Definitions as found in Paul Dickson's The New Dickson Baseball Dictionary, 1999]

mask and mitten  arch. The position of catcher. Syn. "mask and mitt work." 1st Use. 1908. (Baseball Magazine, Nov.; Edward J. Nichols).
[Definitions as found in Paul Dickson's The New Dickson Baseball Dictionary, 1999]

mask man  The catcher. 1st Use. 1905. (Sporting Life, Oct 7.; Edward J. Nichols).
[Definitions as found in Paul Dickson's The New Dickson Baseball Dictionary, 1999]

mask work  The catcher's duties. 1st Use. 1915. (Baseball Magazine, Dec.; Edward J. Nichols).
[Definitions as found in Paul Dickson's The New Dickson Baseball Dictionary, 1999]

mattress   Syn. of chest protector. 1st Use. 1908. (Baseball Magazine, July; Edward J. Nichols).
[Definitions as found in Paul Dickson's The New Dickson Baseball Dictionary, 1999]

money pitch  1. A pitcher's most effective pitch. See also out pitch. 2. A pitch thrown for a strikeout in a key situation in a game

no-hitter    A game in which a pitcher (or pitchers) does not yield a single hit to the opposition. See also perfect game. Syn. no-hit game; no-no.

number 1     The fastball, so called because the catcher's traditional signal for the pitch is a single finger pointed down.
[Definitions as found in Paul Dickson's The New Dickson Baseball Dictionary, 1999]

number 2     The curveball, so called because the catcher's traditional signal for the pitch is a two fingers pointed down.
[Definitions as found in Paul Dickson's The New Dickson Baseball Dictionary, 1999]

number 3     The catcher's signal to the pitcher with three fingers pointing down. It can be almost anything: screwball, fork-ball, knuckleball, slop-ball, squib, dipsy-dew, or slider.
[Definitions as found in Paul Dickson's The New Dickson Baseball Dictionary, 1999]

offense     1. The team at bat. 2. The array of tactics used by the team at bat. Such maneuvers as the use of pinch hitters, pinch runners, bunts, double steals, and hit-and-run plays are part of the team's offense.
[Definitions as found in Paul Dickson's The New Dickson Baseball Dictionary, 1999]

official game     Any non-tied game that completes four-and-a-half innings with the home team in the lead or five innings with the visitors leading. The concept comes into play when a game is stopped for rain, darkness, or other reason. If a game is not an official game, it must be played over from the start.
[Definitions as found in Paul Dickson's The New Dickson Baseball Dictionary, 1999]

one-named guy     A player who is known by his first name or nickname alone; baseball's equivalent to a household name (i.e. Yogi [Berra], IRod [Ivan Rodriguez] )
[Definitions as found in Paul Dickson's The New Dickson Baseball Dictionary, 1999]

on-base average   1. Syn. of on-base percentage, Abbrev. OBA. 2. The percentage of batters reaching base (via hit, walk, and hit by pitch) against a specific pitcher.
[Definitions as found in Paul Dickson's The New Dickson Baseball Dictionary, 1999]

on-base percentage   A statistic used to illustrate a batter's overall effectiveness at getting on base. It is computed by dividing the number of times the batter reaches base (not including by error) by his number of plate appearances. The official formula is [hits + walks + hit by pitch] divided by [at-bats + walks + hit by pitch + sacrifice flies + sacrifices]. Abbrev. OBP. Syn. on-base average.
[Definitions as found in Paul Dickson's The New Dickson Baseball Dictionary, 1999]

one-handed catcher   A catcher who keeps his throwing hand behind his back when receiving the pitch to protect it from foul tips and backswings.
[Definitions as found in Paul Dickson's The New Dickson Baseball Dictionary, 1999]

out pitch   n. 1. The pitch that pitchers depend on to get an out; a pitcher's best or special pitch used in a tight spot when an out is required. The catcher has to know what this pitch is (and location) on any given batter in any given game. See also money pitch. 2. A pitch that results in a strikeout.
[Definitions as found in Paul Dickson's The New Dickson Baseball Dictionary, 1999]

outside corner    The side of home plate that is away from the batter. 1st Use. 1901. (Burt L. Standish, Frank Merriwell's Marvel; Edward J. Nichols).
[Definitions as found in Paul Dickson's The New Dickson Baseball Dictionary, 1999]

over-pitch    A pitched ball thrown past the catcher and formerly recorded in the record of a game. 1st Use. 1862. (New York Sunday Mercury, July 13; Edward J. Nichols).
[Definitions as found in Paul Dickson's The New Dickson Baseball Dictionary, 1999]

paddist  The catcher. A caption in The Sporting News (May 31, 1947) refers to Jimmie Wilson as a "top paddist."
[Definitions as found in Paul Dickson's The New Dickson Baseball Dictionary, 1999]

passed ball  A legally pitched ball that the catcher fails to hold or control with ordinary effort, thereby allowing one or more base runners to advance. It differs from a wild pitch in that the official scorer rules that the catcher should have stopped it. If a passed ball occurs on the third strike, it is treated as a dropped third strike and the batter may advance to first base. A passed ball is not registered as an error to the catcher and cannot be charged if there are no runners on base. Abbrev. PB Syn. pass ball. 1st Use. 1861. (New York Sunday Mercury, Aug. 10; Edward J. Nichols).
[Definitions as found in Paul Dickson's The New Dickson Baseball Dictionary, 1999]

pick off  v. To throw out a base runner who has moved too far away from the base he is occupying. 1st Use. 1888. (New York Press, Apr 21; Edward J. Nichols).
[Definitions as found in Paul Dickson's The New Dickson Baseball Dictionary, 1999]

pickoff play  A play in which either the catcher or the pitcher makes a sudden toss of the ball to an infielder to catch a runner off base by surprise and tag him out. The play requires careful coordination between the players who are setting up the play. Syn. pickoff.
[Definitions as found in Paul Dickson's The New Dickson Baseball Dictionary, 1999]

pitch-out  A pitch that is purposely thrown outside the strike zone in an effort to throw out a runner whom the catcher believes will attempt to steal a base. It is also a pitch thrown outside the strike zone in an attempt to pick a runner off base. In either case, the baseman (infielder) involved should know that the pitchout will be thrown so that he will be able to break early to cover his base. Therefore, a special sign given by the catcher must be viewable by all infielders.
[Definitions as found in Bob Bennett's Catching Fundamentals and Techniques, 2000]

pitch out  n. A defensive move made with a runner on base in which the pitcher deliberately throws the ball high and wide of the strike zone so that the catcher can easily catch the ball and throw it to a base that a runner may be attempting to steal. Used when a steal, squeeze, or a hit-and-run play is expected, it is a play that must be coordinated carefully among the pitcher, catcher, and infielder involved. In most cases either the catcher or the manager calls for the play. Sometimes spelled "pitch-out." 1st Use. 1910 (American Magazine, July: Edward J. Nichols). Etymology. Peter Tamony notes two logical etymologies: (1) a pitch "outside" the plate; and (2) a pitch calculated to catch a man "out" at second.
[Definitions as found in Paul Dickson's The New Dickson Baseball Dictionary, 1999]

plate blocker  1. A catcher who tenaciously holds his position in front of home plate during close plays with a base runner who is trying to score. See also block. 2. A catcher with the ability to prevent potential wild pitches.
[Definitions as found in Paul Dickson's The New Dickson Baseball Dictionary, 1999]

play at the plate    Any play involving a fielder (usually the catcher) covering home plate and a base runner attempting to score. Usage Note. Because such plays tend to be exciting ones at key moments of the game, the phrase carries with it an extra amount of emotion.
[Definitions as found in Paul Dickson's The New Dickson Baseball Dictionary, 1999]

pretzel battery    A term was used to refer to a number of pitcher-catcher combinations where both players were of German origin. Charles "Pretzels" Getzien and Charlie Ganzel, who played for Detroit's 1887 NL pennant winners, were one of the first such combinations (batterymates) to be called as such.
[Definition provided by Mike Emeigh, SABR Member]

quick release  The speed and effectiveness by which a catcher relays a ball to a baseman on an attempted steal. It is often (incorrectly) measured by the percentage of base runners caught stealing, which is really a function of the pitcher, catcher and infielder working as a team to nab would-be thieves. Quick Release came into vogue in the 1980's and a precise, quantifiable definition has never been accepted.
[Definitions as found in Paul Dickson's The New Dickson Baseball Dictionary, 1999]

receiver  Syn. catcher 1st Use. 1908. (Baseball Magazine, Aug.; Edward J. Nichols).
[Definitions as found in Paul Dickson's The New Dickson Baseball Dictionary, 1999]

record book  1. The official document in which all numbers and statistics of players, clubs, and leagues are kept. 2. A mythical document containing such records.
[Definitions as found in Paul Dickson's The New Dickson Baseball Dictionary, 1999]

retire   1. To put out a batter or base runner. Syn. An out.

reverse force double play  A double play in which the first out is a force play while the second is on a runner who is tagged out. [For example, with runners on first and third, the batter hits to the second baseman who steps on the bag to retire the runner from first (force) and then throws home to the catcher who tags the runner from third.] Compare force double play.
[Definitions as found in Paul Dickson's The New Dickson Baseball Dictionary, 1999]

rhythm   The continuous movement involved in catching and throwing the ball.
[Definitions as found in Bob Bennett's Catching Fundamentals and Techniques, 2000]

rifle arm  1. A catcher with a powerful and accurate throwing arm. 2. The arm of such a catcher.
[Definitions as found in Bob Bennett's Catching Fundamentals and Techniques, 2000]

sabermetric triple crown   A statistical achievement for a 300-400-500 YEAR when a player has a Batting Average over .300, an On-Base Percentage over .400 and a Slugging Average over .500. This means that he was not only a good hitter (AVG), but he was selective at the plate (OBP), plus he hit with power (SLG).

shake off  v. For a pitcher to indicate his refusal to deliver the type of pitch called for by the catcher; to veto a pitch. The term is so called because the pitcher commonly shakes his head from side to side to clearly indicate that he will not throw the pitch called for and wants a new signal. Syn. throw off. 1st Use. 1932 (Baseball Magazine, Oct.; Edward J. Nichols).

shake the catcher around  For a pitcher to shake off all the signs and return to the original sign. Joe Garagiola (Baseball is a Funny Game, 1960) explained: "A pitcher does that to confuse the hitter as to what the pitcher is going to throw." Quite often the battery (pitcher and catcher together) prearrange this maneuver for specific hitters who are known to get the signs from a base runner.

shifting  The movement used by the catcher to position himself in front of the ball, thus enabling him to catch and throw while maintaining proper balance.
[Definition as found in Bob Bennett's Catching Fundamentals and Techniques, 2000]

shin guard   A piece of protective (molded plastic) equipment, strapped to the leg, worn by catchers, plate umpires, and some batters to prevent injury from foul tips and pitches in the dirt. 1st Use. 1908. (Spalding's Base Ball Record, Edward J. Nichols). Etymology. Invented and first donned by New York Giants catcher Roger Bresnahan in 1907, according to most accounts. However, Philadelphia Phillies catcher Charley "Red" Dooin claims (The Sporting News, Mar 5, 1936) he was the first catcher to use shin guards, under his stockings, in 1906: made of rattan at first, he switched to paper-Mache. Bresnahan got the idea from Dooin and in 1907, was the first to wear them outside the stockings.
[Definitions as found in Paul Dickson's The New Dickson Baseball Dictionary, 1999]

slugging average     A statistic that measures the batter's ability to make extra-base hits. It is computed by dividing TOTAL BASES EARNED by the TOTAL AT-BATS. Hence, a batter with a home run, a triple, a double, and a single (10 total bases) in 20 at-bats has a slugging average of .500. Abbrev. is SLG

starter   1. A player who begins the game in the starting lineup. 2. A team's regular player at a given position. 1st Use. 1912 (New York Tribune Oct. 8; Edward J. Nichols).
[Definitions as found in Paul Dickson's The New Dickson Baseball Dictionary, 1999]

steamroll   For a base runner to make crushing body contact with the catcher (or another fielder) while sliding into a base; e.g., "Smith steamrolled the catcher with his hard slide."

telegraph   v. For a pitcher to suggest through his mannerisms the type of pitch he is about to throw or for the catcher to tip off a pitch by giving an identifiable sign to the pitcher. 1st Use. 1916 (American Magazine, Aug.; Edward J. Nichols).
[Definitions as found in Paul Dickson's The New Dickson Baseball Dictionary, 1999]

thievery   Syn. of base stealing.
[Definitions as found in Paul Dickson's The New Dickson Baseball Dictionary, 1999]

throw-down  arch. A throw from the catcher to a player covering second base. 1st Use. 1916. "Smith made the other [error] when he fumbled Sam's throw-down and let the runners steal second" (Christy Mathewson, First Base Faulkner; David Shulman).
[Definitions as found in Paul Dickson's The New Dickson Baseball Dictionary, 1999]

throw the mask   1. To end an inning, as signaled by the catcher doffing his protective face mask. 2. For the catcher to prepare to catch a pop fly by tossing aside the face mask, which may obstruct his vision.
[Definitions as found in Paul Dickson's The New Dickson Baseball Dictionary, 1999]

tools of ignorance    The catcher's equipment: shin guards, chest protector, helmet, mask, and mitt. 1st Use. 1937 (New York Daily News, Jan 17; Edward J. Nichols). Etymology. The term is based on the notion that catching is a grueling, painful job that a smart player would try to avoid. Hy Turkin (Baseball Almanac, 1955) insists that the term was "coined by Muddy Ruel, a college graduate and a lawyer, in disgust at his catching shores." Charles C. Meloy (Baseball Magazine, Aug. 1939) gives a conflicting attribution: "The ballplayers love phrases that are pungent and redolent with meaning. Thus, Bill Dickey, Yankee catcher, coined a phrase that was greeted with whoops of joy and at once included in the language. Brooding over the fate that made him a catcher on a blazing July day, Bill spoke of the catcher's armor as the 'tools of ignorance.'"
[Definitions as found in Paul Dickson's The New Dickson Baseball Dictionary, 1999]

trade   1.  v. To exchange and/or sell the contracts of one or more players with another club. 1st Use. 1898 (New York Tribune, May 15; Edward J. Nichols). 2. n. The exchange of one or more players between two clubs. 1st Use. 1911. (William Patten & J. W. McSpadden, The Book of Base Ball; Edward J. Nichols).
[Definitions as found in Paul Dickson's The New Dickson Baseball Dictionary, 1999]

undress   1. To slide into a catcher with such force that, literally, at least one piece of the catcher's equipment (e.g., a shin guard or the chest protector) is jarred loose or knocked out of place. The term is also used in the figurative sense for any hard slide into the catcher, as if the slamming was enough to tear his equipment off.
[Definitions as found in Paul Dickson's The New Dickson Baseball Dictionary, 1999]

verbal signal   A sign expressed in coded expressions and words.
[Definitions as found in Paul Dickson's The New Dickson Baseball Dictionary, 1999]

veteran   An experienced professional baseball player. Syn. vet. 1. 1st Use. 1880. (New York Herald, Aug. 23; Edward J. Nichols).
[Definitions as found in Paul Dickson's The New Dickson Baseball Dictionary, 1999]

wig-wag   Syn. of sign, 1. 1st Use. 1917. (New York Times, Oct. 9; Edward J. Nichols).
[Definitions as found in Paul Dickson's The New Dickson Baseball Dictionary, 1999]

wind pad   Syn. of chest protector, 1. 1st Use. 1905. "Each had a mask and a mitt, but the wind pad was common property worn on alternative days" (Charles Dryden, The Athletics of 1905; David Shulman).
[Definitions as found in Paul Dickson's The New Dickson Baseball Dictionary, 1999]

wind paddist   Syn. of catcher, 1. Sometimes spelled "windpaddist," 1st Use. 1905. (Sporting Life, Oct. 7; Edward J. Nichols).
[Definitions as found in Paul Dickson's The New Dickson Baseball Dictionary, 1999]

win shares   A system devised by Bill James to allocate a team's Wins to the individual players based upon their batting, fielding, and pitching performance.
[Definitions as found in Bill James' Win Shares, 2002]

wire cage   arch. The catcher's mask. 1st Use. 1908. (New York Evening Journal, Aug. 26; Edward J. Nichols).
[Definitions as found in Paul Dickson's The New Dickson Baseball Dictionary, 1999]

word sign   A sign that is passed along verbally, perhaps encoded in a seemingly meaningless bit of chatter. (e.g., The catcher says to the pitcher and infielders, "Frying pan hot today so let's speed things up." to indicate a pickoff of the runner on first).

World Series   The series of games played in October between the pennant winners of the American League and the National League to decide the "world championship." The first team to win four games is the champion (modern rules). 1st Use. 1884. First "World's Championship Series" held in New York [Edward J. Nichols] and in the Spalding's Official Base Ball Guide for 1887. Syn: autumn classic, big classic, classic, Commissioner's Game, fall classic, promised land, the Series.
[Definitions as found in Paul Dickson's The New Dickson Baseball Dictionary, 1999]

yellow game   arch. A game characterized by inexcusably bad play. 1st Use. 1890. (New York Press, July 6, Edward J. Nichols).
[Definitions as found in Paul Dickson's The New Dickson Baseball Dictionary, 1999]

yogism    One of a series of aphorisms and comments issued by Hall Of Fame catcher and manager Lawrence Peter "Yogi" Berra, some of which have woven themselves into folklore status. [See QUOTES from the MENU.
[Definitions as found in Paul Dickson's The New Dickson Baseball Dictionary, 1999]


 



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