The one time the Fall Classic was actually played in the summer
was 1918, when the season was curtailed due to World War I and the
Series was played in early September.
The one time the Fall Classic extended in to November was in
2001. Jeter's walk-off homer was the first plate appearance in the
month of November in MLB history; the 2001 season had been delayed
for several days following 9/11,
eventually pushing the start of the World Series into the last week
of October - and the end of the Series in to November.
A strong supporter of a player, a team, or the game in general.
This term originated in 19th centuryEngland as "the fancy" to refer to those who
followed or "fancied" boxing.
"The fancy" was shortened to "the fance," then "the fans" was
adopted into baseball (replacing the 19th century term "kranks" or
"cranks"). Its use was reinforced by its apparent connection to the
When a fan or any person not associated with one of the teams
alters play in progress (in the judgment of an umpire), it is fan
interference. The ball becomes dead, and the umpire will
award any bases or charge any outs that, in his judgment, would
have occurred without the interference. This is one of several
types of interference calls in
If a fan touches a ball that is out of the field of play, such
as a pop fly into the stands, it is not considered to be fan
interference even if a defensive player might have fielded the ball
successfully. So the infamous case in Game 6 of the NLCS in which a Chicago Cubs fan, Steve
Bartman, attempted to catch a ball in foul territory thereby
possibly preventing Cubs leftfielder Moisés Alou from making a circus catch, was
not a case of fan interference.
A farm team is a team or club whose role it is to provide
experience and training for young players, with an expectation that
successful players will move to the big leagues at some point. Each
Major League Baseball team's organization has a farm
system of affiliated farm teams at different minor
league baseball levels.
A pitch that is thrown more
for high velocity than for movement; it's the most common type of
pitch. Also known as smoke, a bullet, a heater (you can feel the
heat generated by the ball), or a hummer (the ball can't be seen,
A count in which the pitcher
would be ordinarily expected to throw a fast ball, such as 3-1,
3-2, or 2-1, as fast ball are usually easiest to locate in the
strike zone. Occasionally a pitcher will pull the string by throwing
an off-speed pitch.
When a pitcher relies too much on his fastball, perhaps because
his other pitches are not working well for him during that game,
he's said to be "fastball happy." This can get a pitcher into
trouble if the batters can anticipate that the next pitch will be a
fastball. "Andy is at his best when he trusts his breaking stuff
and doesn't try to overpower guys. When he gets fastball happy he
gets knocked around".
A pitch that is located
exactly where the hitter is expecting it. The ball may look bigger
than it actually is, and the batter may hit it a long way.
To throw the ball carefully to another fielder in a way that
allows him to make an out. A first-baseman who has just fielded a ground ball will
"feed the ball" to the pitcher who is running over from the mound
to make the force out at first base. An
infielder who has fielded a ground-ball will feed the ball to the
player covering second base so that the latter can step on the base
and quickly throw to first base to complete a double play.
To draw energy from the fans. A newly-hired manager might say
"I really think we can feed on the excitement that's already
field or baseball diamond upon which the game of baseball is
To take the field means that the defensive
players are going to their positions, while the other team is on
the offense or at bat. "The Reds have taken the field, and Jose
Reyes is leading off for the Mets."
The head coach of a team is called the manager
(more formally, the field manager). He controls team strategy on
the field. He sets the line-up and starting pitcher before each
game as well as making substitutions throughout the game. In modern
baseball the field manager is normally subordinate to the team's general manager (or GM),
who among other things is responsible for personnel decisions,
including hiring and firing the field manager. However, the term
manager used without qualification almost always refers to the
An old-fashioned and more colorful way of saying "numbers nut",
for a fan with a near-obsessive
interest in the statistics or "figures" of the game. The first true
"figger filbert" was probably Ernest Lanigan, who was the first
historian of the Baseball Hall of
Fame and prior to that was one of the first, if not
the first, to publish an encyclopedia of baseball stats,
in the 1920s. In the modern era, Bill James could be said to be the iconic
"figger filbert". He is also a founding father of the field of
baseball research called sabermetrics.
fight off a
When a batter has two strikes on him and gets a pitch that he
cannot hit cleanly, he may be said to "fight off the pitch" by fouling it off. "Langerhans
fought off one 3-2 pitch, then drove the next one to the gap in
left-center to bring home the tying and winning runs."
To get a base hit by hitting the ball between infielders. "The
13th groundball that Zachry allowed found a hole".
When a batter has been in a slump perhaps for no evident
reason, but then starts getting hits, he may be said to "find his
bat." "With the Tigers having found their bats for a
night, they reset the series and put themselves in position to all
but lock up the AL Central."
When a batter has experienced a slump, he may take extra
practice or instruction to "find his swing." Perhaps he has a hitch in his swing, or his
batting stance has changed. Having "lost his swing," now he must
"find it." This phrase is also used in golf.
As if a ball leaving the bat is in search of a place to land, a
ball that "finds the seats" is one that leaves the field of play
and reaches the stands. It may either be a home run or a foul ball
(out of the reach of the fielders).
A player, often one of small stature, who is known for his
energy, extroversion, and team spirit -- sometimes perhaps more
than for his playing ability. "Morgan defied this mold by outworking
everybody and employing his moderate athletic gifts to become one
of the best all-around players of his era. He hit for power, he hit
for average, he stole bases and manufactured runs and he was one of
the toughest, smartest defensive second basemen the game has ever
seen. He was a relentless fireplug, respected by opposing players
and hated by opposing fans."
A hitter who likes to hit the first pitch in an at bat, especially if the
hitter often gets a hit on the first pitch.
A derogatory term referring to a starting pitcher who is unable
to go beyond 5 innings before wearing out. In the current era in
which managers are increasingly aware of the risk of injury to
pitchers who have high pitch counts, and in which
relief pitching has become a critical part of the game, starters
achieve fewer and fewer complete games. Headline:
"Vasquez Disputes Five-and-Dive Label".
A hitter who hits really well during batting
practice, but not so well during games. These were formerly known
as "ten o'clock hitters" or "two-o'clock hitters" back when there
were no night games.
A position player who has
great skill in all of the tools or basic skills:
hitting for average, hitting for power, base running and speed,
throwing, and fielding. See tools for how baseball
scouts rate these skills.
To catch or knock down a line drive, as if flagging down a speeding
train. "Cody Ross, who
singled and moved to second on a ground-out, was stranded when Ramirez's scorched liner . . . was flagged
down by a diving Jones."
When a runner must advance to
another base (after a hit) or retouch (after a fly out), a tag on the baserunner is not required.
A fielder can merely touch
the base with the ball in hand to force out a
baserunner. A batter-runner can always be
forced out at first base. (Official
Rules of Baseball, Rules 2.00 (Force Play) and 7.08(d))
A type of split-fingerfastball or splitter in which
the fingers are spread out as far as possible. The ball drops
sharply and typically out of the strike zone, maybe even into the
Two straight lines drawn on the ground from home plate to the
outfield fence to indicate the boundary between fair territory
territory. These are called the left-field foul
line and the right-field foul line. The
on the outfield walls are vertical extensions of the foul
Despite their names, both the foul lines and the foul poles are
in fair territory. Any fly ball that strikes the foul line
(including the foul pole) beyond first or third base is a fair ball
(and in the case of the foul pole, a home run).
Note that while the foul lines in baseball are in fair
territory, just like the side- and end-lines of a tennis court, in
basketball or American football the sidelines are considered out of
bounds. In other words, hitting the ball "on the line" is good for
the offensive player in baseball and tennis, but stepping on the
line is bad for the offensive player in basketball and American
football. The situation is slightly different in international
football (American "soccer"): the sideline and the goal line are
inbounds, and the ball is out of play when it has wholly crossed
the side line (touch line) or the goal line, whether on the ground
or in the air.
A pole located on each foul line on the outfield fence or wall.
The left-field foul pole and right-field
foul pole are used by umpires to determine whether a
batted ball is a home run
or a foul ball. The foul
pole is a vertical extension of the foul line. The term "foul
pole" is actually a misnomer, because the "foul pole" (like the
foul line) is in fair territory and a fly ball that hits the foul
pole is considered to be a fair ball (and a home run).
A standard fastball,
which does not necessarily break though a good one will have movement as well as
velocity and location that makes it difficult to hit. The batter
sees the four parallel seams spin toward him. A
four-seamer. See two-seamer.
As a noun, a frame is a half of an inning (either the top or
the bottom). Announcer: "Two hits, and two runs scored so far in
this frame." A bowling term,
and suggested by the resemblance of an inning-by-inning scoreboard
to a bowling scoresheet.
As a verb, to frame a pitch is to adjust the
position of a catcher's mitt to mislead the umpire into thinking
that the ball was caught within the strikezone.
Slang for extra innings. The fans get
to see extra innings "for free."
A base on
balls. "Free" because the batter doesn't have to hit the ball
to get on base. Also referred to as a "free ticket" and an Annie Oakley.
To throw a strike that is so unexpected or in such a location
that the batter doesn't swing at it. "As Cashman spoke, Pettitte fired a strike on the corner,
which froze the hitter." "But
the right-hander reached in her bag of tricks and threw a
tantalizing changeup that froze the hitter for the final out.
A hard-hit line drive. Also a strong
throw from the outfield.
Three of a kind (3 balls), and two of a kind (2 strikes): a full count. From the term
used in poker. Sometimes called
full boat. Instead of holding up fingers
indicating the count, the umpire may hold up closed fists, implying
Capacity crowd; all seats filled in the stadium. From the