Baseball Jargon

Research can be such a fun part of writing and something all of us do, especially when beginning a new book. One of the essential elements of that research is getting the terminology and language that’s unique to the subject. In the novel I’m currently writing, IN A LEAGUE OF HER OWN, a record-holding softball pitcher turned college coach must return home to help out with her father’s minor league baseball team. Needless to say, this story was right up my husband’s alley. He’s been playing baseball and softball for over twenty years. He helped me compile this fun list of baseball jargon to share with you:




Moon Shot





Fly balls

Fly (outfield)

Pop up (infield)

 Pop fly (outfield)


Line Drive



Line Smash



Fast Pitch

Heater (fast ball) He has quite a heater

Throwing Heat

Serious Heat

Junk baller (throws a lot of slower, curve pitches)

Breaking balls- curve ball or a slider or any pitch that moves

Brushed back-  fast ball thrown near the batter to move off the plate

Chin Music- same as above

Crowding the plate- batter standing very close to plate


Highlight reel catch- a great catch probably will be shown on ESPN

Spraying ball- not having good control o

Wild pitcher- has no control

Free pass- walk

Nailbiter- close game

Heartbreaker- close game

Ribbie- Run Batted In (RBI)


Blown call- umpire gave the wrong call/ unfair call

Blowout- one team kills the other

Barn burner- close game

Yanked- pitcher taken out of a game

Pulled- pitcher taken out of a game


Web gems- a great play probably will be shown internet

Seeing Eye Hit- ground ball that just barely gets through the in-field for a hit

Dribbler- in-field hit

Bloop or Bloop Single or Blooper or Bloop Hit- a fly ball that drops between the infield and the outfield

Tweener or gapper- line drives or fly balls that land between outfielders

Save- game where the starting pitcher was winning, left, and the relief pitcher comes in on a close game and relieves the pitcher.

Blown Save- reliever loses lead/game

Masher/Basher- strong homerun hitter

Gone- homerun (announcers only say that)

K- when pitcher strikes you out (as in the pitcher had 7 Ks that game)

I hope you enjoyed the list! It’s going to be great to have these authentic terms peppered in the novel J


  1. Karen, I have 2 granddaughters that play softball in a league and for their school. They're visiting next week. Can't wait to see if they know all of these terms. It'll be fun if I can stump them.

    1. Hah! That will be fun :) Greg's got more in his back pocket- but these were the one's he could think of on his way out to work!

  2. Some of these are downright funny and some make you wonder where the term originated LOL! So cool that your hubby gets to help with your research :).

    1. Rula, he is all over this baseball book! It's the first one where he actually tries to keep me on schedule instead of tempting me to play hookie ;) I think he's excited about it!

  3. Ah, yes. My little league days are coming back to me now. I love jargon! And it's always nice to have the dh feel like he's contributing.

    1. I played softball- and pitched- like my heroine... but even I hadn't heard of a lot of these, although I've heard my husband and his six brothers and father spout them while analyzing games... always so entertaining though I never fully understood what they meant until now.

  4. It's like listening to my father yell at the television during a Red Sox/Yankees game - except for the references to the Internet, which weren't even a gleam in anyone's eye then. Wonderful that you have a live-in researcher for this book! Will he be throwing you hot dogs from the aisle at mealtime, or do you still have to cook?

    1. hehe- he did make Michigan sauce which is a local specialty around here... a spiced meat sauce that goes over hot dogs, so maybe he was inspired! Greg loves to watch, talk, read, and play ball. He's such a great go-to person for this book!

  5. I play C-ball in my 20 and 30s. I was captain a few times and have (had) trophies taller than me. I played second base and my knees are mush because of dropping to me knees without pads to stop grounders. I still look back on that time as one of my favorites.

    So, do you know what a doughnut is?

    Loved the post; it brought back memories. LOL, my game ended when I slid into third base and strained 6 vertabrae. I was safe, though and finished the game.

    1. Phew! That must have been quite a slide, Pam. You are a powerhouse player! Is a doughnut the thing on the bat you put on while you warm up your swing? I'd ask Greg, but he's sleeping after a night shift... ahhhhhhh.... what do you do when your research expert can't be reached?

    2. Yes, that's what it's called.
      When an expert can't be reached, I Google.

  6. I thought I commented on this yesterday, but I don't see my post now.

    I love doing research because I often discover plot twists and turns based on what I learn. But the problem is that I often get so wrapped up in the research that I delay getting to the actual writing.


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