Why are numbers used when discussing a play? Like, when an announcer says: “5, 4, 3, inning ending double play”?
Great question! Each position in baseball is associated with a different “number.” You can check out the positions and the associated numbers here. A part of the reason why announcers use the numbers to call a play is because the ball moves SO FAST in baseball that there’s a zero percent chance the announcer would be able to say “third baseman, to shortstop to second baseman” just as quick.
Why do people say there’s a track in baseball fields? Isn’t that just in track and field?
Ah yes! They're referring to the “warning track” in the outfield. This track is basically an area that tells an outfielder they are closer to the wall at the back of the diamond and could end up crashing into it when trying to make a leaping catch. Safety first, kids!
Why do pitchers walk batters on purpose (intentionally walk)?
There’s often a lot of strategy behind this, but the main reasons would be:
- The current batter is on FIRE and the pitcher doesn’t want to risk them getting a hit. Sometimes, they’ll walk that player so that they can have a more favorable (aka less good) next batter.
- This also means the fielding team can have a better chance at “turning a double play.” Think about it. Let’s say there’s already one out. To end the inning there needs to be two more outs. When a player is on first, the defense has no choice but to run to second when the player behind them gets a hit. So the idea is that they’ll have a better shot at getting the “lead runner” out, and then can fire it to first from there.
What does “threw out” the first pitch mean?
At the beginning of every game, before the actual game starts, there’s usually a ceremonial first pitch. Here’s some great ones from past seasons.
What is a three-run shot?
A three-run shot is a three-run home run, which means the batter and two other players already on base all made it home to score.
Why does baseball sometimes take so long?
Baseball is a nine-inning game with no set timeline, and the game keeps going for unlimited "extra innings" if the games time after the first nine. It’s all based on outs. So, if those outs are taking a while to get, the game is going to take a lot longer. The longest game in MLB history? A 25-inning marathon on May 8th, 1984 when the Chicago White Sox beat the Milwaukee Brewers, 7-6. The game lasted eight hours and six minutes. Sheesh.
What’s a bunt?
A bunt, not be confused with blunt, is when a batter takes a short swing so that the baseball stays within the infield. A bunt is normally a lot easier to control because a batter holds the bat differently so that they can place it to where they want it. A bunt is normally used somewhat as a “sacrifice” so that a player already on base can easily advance. If you’re more of a visual person, check them out here.
What’s up with the walk-up songs in baseball?
We love the walk-up songs! When each home team player comes up to bat, there’s a little clip of music that plays to get them “pumped up”. Here’s the walk-up songs the Toronto Blue Jays use to roll with. What would yours be? Ours would probably be Beyonce…
What’s a ‘save’ in baseball?
A team almost always has to use more than one pitcher to complete a game. If a team is up by a few runs late in the game, they bring in a ‘relief’ pitcher to close-out the game (also called a ‘closer’). These pitchers normally don’t have the stamina and/or consistency to pitch a full game or to start a game, but are great at getting players to strike out. When a closer comes in and successfully maintains a win, they call it a “save” in baseball.