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Baseball Vocabulary and Jargon

Anyone who is a serious fan of baseball loves to seem like the "best fan", and the use of baseball jargon is one way to distinguish different levels of baseball enthusiasts. Jargon is interesting to study, regardless of what kind of jargon it is, because there are different motivations and characteristics that factor into the creation of jargon. A good part of specialized jargon develops merely out of a need to be able to talk about specific subjects in great detail. In the medical field, for example, much of what is said could be designated jargon because the general public often does not understand it, but this is not a result of a conscious effort to alienate people or groups. Instead, it is just that the medical field requires a specialized vocabulary that is not commonly used by people outside the field.

Baseball jargon is the same thing. It develops out of a need to be able to talk in detail about the sport and the mechanics of the game. However, as other people--fans, for example--also learn the meanings of jargon, they are the ones who then use this particular language as a measure of power because they can use and understand a language that is incomprehensible to others. Among baseball fans, then, the use of jargon can be a way to "one-up" others in order to prove that you are the most devoted fan.

Explanation of Baseball Jargon

Baseball jargon is very extensive because there are many different words to describe the players, the plays, the equipment, etc. It is easy to find the meanings of many words in baseball jargon because there are glossaries and lists in baseball books, specialized dictionaries, and on various baseball Internet sites. Although it can be intimidating if you try to learn all the different examples of baseball jargon at one time, it is easy to acquire the specialized vocabulary merely by involving yourself in the world of baseball, talking with others who share the interest, and reading baseball-related publications and articles.

Although the entire list of baseball jargon is too extensive to provide here, these are some of the more common terms that may be helpful when conversing about the game. The battery is the pitcher and catcher, and the bottom of an inning refers to the second half of an inning. Clean-up is the person on a team who bats last: this is usually a powerful hitter with a tendency to hit home runs and bring home all the runners on base. A full count is a total of three balls and two strikes, leaving the batter with the option to force a hit or be walked. A pinch hitter is someone other than the scheduled batter who is brought in as a replacement during a difficult situation in an inning.

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