What did that baseball player do at home plate? Why is everybody cheering? Baseball is as American as Apple Pie but it’s not in everyone’s wheelhouse. If you have a child who plays Little League, not knowing the difference between an inside the park home run and a triple play can take the fun out of your shared experience. This article hopes to offer up baseball terminology and find a way that you and your Little League player can enjoy the season together.
You have never caught a baseball, ran to home plate or even watched a baseball game straight through nine innings. Now, your child has made his desire known to you that he is joining the local Little League team. So, what do you do now? Do you simply drop him off at practice and pick him up when it’s time for dinner or do you bone up on a few terms and familiarize yourself with America’s Favorite Past Time to invest in a better relationship?
My guess is, since you’re still reading, you have decided to groove in on a few terms, and help your child to be a better player. Good for you! Let’s start off with ten basic terms heard during a typical Little League Game.
Ace – the star pitcher on a team… hopefully your child.
Barrel: The part of the bat that is conventionally used to hit the baseball.
Base Hit – a hit which allows the batter to reach first, second, third or home base, unless on a “fielder’s choice”.
Fielder’s Choice – when the fielder allows the hitter to reach first base in order to throw out a runner at another base.
Foul Lines – the lines that extend from home base through first and third bases to the outfield walls.
Full Count – a count with three balls and two strikes.
Ground Rule Double – a hit automatically awarded by the umpires when the ball lands fair and bounces out of play.
Knuckle Ball/Knuckler – a slow pitch thrown with no spin that wobbles as it approaches the hitter.
Major Leagues (or “the majors”) – The American League and the National League.
Pinch Hitter or Pinch Runner – a substitute hitter or runner who comes into the game to replace another hitter or runner.
Once you get these terms down pat and you’re hankering for more, you can easily look up additional baseball terms on the internet.
So you’ve learned the terms and your ready for the big leagues… that is, hanging out with your child and showing him that you’re in the game. What’s the next step?
Watch your kid play ball, notice what he’s doing and discuss all of the great contributions he made during practice or during his Little League game. His need for your undivided attention will be satisfied and he will know that you really care.