Appendix:Glossary of baseball jargon (L)

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The following is a glossary of baseball jargon (phrases, idioms and slang):

Appendix: Glossary of Baseball
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To hit the ball very hard, typically a line drive. "Monroe laced it to left field."
late innings[edit]
The seventh, eighth and ninth innings of a regulation nine-inning game.
Lawrence Welk[edit]
A (rare) 1-2-3 triple play ("...and a one, ana 2, ana 3")
  • When a baserunner steps off of a base before a pitch is thrown in order to reduce the distance to the next base he takes a lead.
  • The player who is first in the batting order for a given team in any given inning is said to lead off the inning.
  • The team with more runs is said "to lead" the game.
lead-off hitter[edit]
  • The first batter listed on a team's line-up card (in the 1-hole or the "lead-off spot" on the line-up card). When the announcers read the starting line-up they might say, "Leading off, and playing short-stop, is Sammy Speedyrunner. Batting second, playing second base, Carlos Contacthitter. Batting third, in the pitcher's spot, is designated hitter Burt "Biggie" Brokenleg. Batting clean-up, playing left field, Thor Thunderbat. . . ."
  • The first batter in an inning (who could be in any hole on a team's line-up card).
A baserunner is said to be "caught leaning" or "leaning the wrong way" when he is (picked off) a base while shifting his weight toward the next base.
Referring to a fielder's glove, a player with good leather is a good defensive player (typically an infielder). Flashing the leather means making an outstanding defensive play.
left on base[edit]
Baserunners that are still on base when the third out is made. The total number for a team and a player is usually published in the box score. Abbreviation: LOB.
left field[edit]
(idiomatic) Unusual, unexpected, or irrational (as in "that insult really came out of left field). AHDI dates this idiom back to the mid-1900s; it also states that the precise allusion is disputed, but a number of theories exist.[1] Rumored to originally describe fans who came to Yankee Stadium to see Babe Ruth (a right fielder) but who bought tickets for the wrong side of the field. Another legend is that the phrase originates from Chicago's old West Side Park which had a mental hospital located behind left field. Visiting players came to refer to something as odd to be 'out in left field.' The flaw in that story is that Cook County Hospital was behind third base, not left field.
"Depp's performance came out of left field in The Curse of the Black Pearl; nobody had ever thought of channeling Keith Richards and Pepé Le Pew before." --Kent Williams.[2]
left-handed specialist[edit]
A left-handed relief pitcher specializing in getting one out, often in critical situations.
leg out[edit]
To run hard to get safely on base or to advance a base: "Scott Podsednik legged out an infield hit, stole second and scored when Everett legged out a double."[3]
line drive[edit]
  • A line drive or liner is a batted ball that is hit hard in the air and has a low arc. See also rope.
  • A line drive may also be said to be "hit on a line."
  • A batter may be said to have "lined out" if the liner was caught by a fielder.
The batting order.
lineup card[edit]
  • A form kept by each manager listing the starting players and all other players who are on the active roster and available to play in the game. Typically this form will be taped to the wall inside the dugout for the manager and coaches to consult when they need to make substitutes during a game.
  • Before the game starts the manager hands a line-up card of the starting players to the home plate umpire. This line-up will change throughout the game as players starting players are removed and substitutes inserted.
Live Ball Era[edit]
The time since 1919 or 1920 when several rule changes favored the strategy of the power game over the time-honored inside game, ending the Dead Ball Era.
load the bases[edit]
A succession of plays that results in base runners on first, second, and third bases. See also bases loaded or bases full.
Abbreviation for left on base.
A pitcher's command is reflected in his ability to locate the ball – to throw it to an intended spot. A pitcher with "good location" not only has command but makes the right choices about where to throw the ball against particular batters.
A soft, straight pitch with a lot of arc.
long ball[edit]
A home run. A team is said to "win by the long ball" after a walk off home run or the team hits several home runs to win.
long reliever[edit]
A type of relief pitcher. Long relievers enter early in a game (generally before the 5th inning) when the starting pitcher cannot continue, whether due to ineffective pitching, lack of endurance, rain delay, or injury.
A mildly derogatory nickname for a left-handed specialist. An acronym for "Lefty One Out GuY."
look the runner back[edit]
When there is a runner on first base, a pitcher who has already gone into the stretch may step off the rubber and either threaten a throw toward first base or just stare at the runner to encourage him to step back toward first. In either case he's said to "look the runner back" to first (rather than throwing over to first in an effort to pick the runner off).
Lord Charles[edit]
A slang term for a "12-to-6" curveball. Similar to Uncle Charlie.
lose a hitter[edit]
When a pitcher gives up a walk, especially when he gets ahead in the count or has a full count but gives up a walk, he is said to have "lost the hitter."
An entire team receives a "loss" on its record if it scores fewer runs than the opposing team. But which pitcher gets pinned with the loss (an L) on his record? See win for the answer to this quiz.
Lou Gehrig's disease[edit]
amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), named after the famed New York Yankee Lou Gehrig whose affliction with the fatal disease brought it to national attention.
A baseball bat. Sometimes used in reference to a powerful offensive showing, "The Yankees busted out the lumber tonight with a 10-0 victory."


  1. ^
  2. ^ Kent Williams, "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest" (review), Isthmus: The Daily Page, no date.
  3. ^ Mark Gonzales, "'El Duque' dynamite in Sox debut," Chicago Tribune (April 8, 2005).

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