yellow hammer

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

The origin is uncertain.

Noun[edit]

yellow hammer (plural yellow hammers)

  1. (baseball) A curve ball, especially a breaking curve that is particularly difficult to hit.
    • 1970, Jim Bouton, Ball Four, page 341
      Watching the ballgame today someone broke off a real good curve and I said, "That was a real yellow hammer."
    • 2004, Michael Coffey, 27 Men Out: Baseball's Perfect Games, updated edition, page 106
      Williams, getting steady doses of Koufax's "yellow hammer," struck out looking at a curve, Sandy's fifth K.
    • 2006, John Schuerholz with Larry Guest, Built to Win: Inside Stories And Leadership Strategies from Baseball's Winningest GM
      “Bastard curveball” is one of several names in baseball for a virtually unhittable curve that breaks so sharply it qualifies as yet another marvel of physics. Yakker. Bowel-locker. Yellow hammer. Take your pick.
    • 2010, Steve Alten, Grim Reaper: End of Days, page 125
      " [] I know my baseball, and this kid was a beast. His fastball was okay, a cutter in the low nineties, but it was his dirty deuce that was outright nasty.”
      DeBorn frowned. “Dirty deuce?”
      “You know—the dirty yellow hammer . . . the yakker. Public enemy number two. A breaking ball, Bert! This kid had a breaking ball that was like hitting a lead shot put [] "

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