the season upon us and baseball in the air
and on the tongue, herewith a primer for
novices and super experts. Enjoy, and keeps
those letters and suggestions coming.
A-Rod A shortening of one-time Yankee third
baseman Alex Rodriguez’s name.
Adjusted ERA formula for pitcher's ability
to prevent runs from being scored -
adjusted for league and home park factors.
AERA, adjusted earned run average.
Advance The moving ahead of a base runner to
the next base as a result of a hit, error,
sacrifice, balk, etc.
Advanced Rookie baseball minor league
baseball league just above Rookie baseball."
All-American Boy" Superstar slugger
Dale Murphy had a long career with the
Atlanta Braves and had many nicknames
"Gentle Giant," "John Boy," "Lil' Abner."
Alley The space between the center fielder
and right fielder or between the center
fielder and left fielder.
All-Star Game The idea was conceived in
1933 by Arch Ward, Chicago Tribune sports
editor. To give the fans a real rooting
interest, Ward suggested that they be
allowed to vote for their favorite players
via popular ballot. In perhaps no other game
do fans have such a rooting interest,
although there have been a few periods when
voting by fans has been abandoned. Today it
appears that Ward's original principle will
remain permanently in effect. The American
League won 12 of the first 16 All-Star
games, but went on to lose 20 of the next 23
to the National League through 1978. Some
memorable moments have taken place in the
contest often referred to as the Midsummer
Dream Game. In the first game ever played,
Babe Ruth slugged a towering home run. The
next year, New York Giants immortal Carl
Hubbell struck out Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig,
Jimmy Foxx, Al Simmons, and Joe Cronin in
succession to make for some more baseball
Mets The first run they ever scored came in
on a balk. They lost the first nine games
they ever played. They finished last their
first four seasons. Once they were losing a
game, 12-1, and there were two outs in the
bottom of the ninth inning. A fan held up a
sign that said "PRAY!" There was a walk, and
ever hopeful, thousands of voices chanted,
"Let's go Mets." They were 100-l underdogs
to win the pennant in 1969 and incredibly
came on to finish the year as World
Champions. They picked the name of the best
pitcher in their history (Tom Seaver) out of
a hat on April Fools' Day. They were
supposed to be the replacement for the
Brooklyn Dodgers and the New York Giants.
They could have been the New York
Continentals or Burros or Skyliners or
Skyscrapers or Bees or Rebels or NYB's or
Avengers or even Jets (all runner-up names
in a contest to tab the National League New
York team that began playing ball in 1962).
They've never been anything to their fans
but amazing—the Amazin' New York Mets.
American League Silver Slugger Award
Presented to the best offensive player in
the American League for each
Anaheim Angels The franchise began play as
the Los Angeles Angels in 1961, became the
California Angels when it moved to Anaheim
in 1966 and has been the Anaheim Angels
since 1997, after the team negotiated a
30-year lease with Anaheim. Angels derives
from Los Angeles, the "City of Angels,"
where the team started. Since 2005, the
franchise officially has been the Los
Angeles Angels of Anaheim.
Play An appeal play occurs when a defensive
player claims a runner did not touch a base
and urges the umpire to call the player out.
The defensive player must tag the runner or
the base to get the appeal considered.
of the Box Hurler
Tony Mullane, a tribute to his handsome
appearance and playing position. Mullane was
also called "The Count" or
Arizona Diamondbacks Nickname derived from
the Diamondback Rattlesnakes that are in the
Arkansas Hummingbird Lon Warneke, a pitcher
for the Chicago Cubs and St. Louis Cardinals
from 1930-1945, hailed from Mt. Ida,
the horn A phrase describing a ball thrown
from third base to second base to first
base, generally in a double-play situation.
A player's throw to another player on his
team that results in a putout.
Astroturf Not all of the artificial carpets
that now have taken root in ball parks and
stadiums in the United States and around the
world are produced by the Monsanto Chemical
Company. Astroturf was the first, however,
having been installed when the Houston
Astrodome opened in 1965, and that's why the
term has almost become a generic one for
artificial sod. There is also Tartan Turf
(made by Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing)
and Poly-Turf (a product of American Bilt-Rite).
Resistant to all types of weather, more
efficient to keep up than grass, better for
traction than most other surfaces, synthetic
"grass" has continued to "grow" throughout
the world of sports, despite complaints that
it results in more injuries for players.
Studies focused on injuries are still in
progress, while other research is under way
aimed at improving the quality of the
bat An official time up at the plate as a
Athletic Hose White socks worn under stirrup
socks as part of a baseball uniform
Atlanta Braves The franchise began in 1871
known as the Boston Red Stockings and then
by several other names including Beaneaters
through 1906, Doves when the Dovey family
owned the franchise, 1907-1910. In 1911,
the nickname changed for new owner James
Gaffney, a Tammany Hall "Brave.” From
1936-1940, the team was called Rustlers,
Braves, Bees. In 1941, the Braves nickname
returned and has stuck with the franchise
through moves to Milwaukee in 1953, Atlanta
pitch out of the reach of a batter. A side
retired in its half of an inning.
Away uniform (grays) distinctive
(non-white) clothing worn by a team when