14 January 2006

Australian Baseball Lingo

It's not surprising that Australia has its own particular Strain of baseball jargon. Here's a sampling.
  • "BALLS OUT!" - called by umpire to tell fielding side to throw practice balls back into the dugout as the inning is about to start.
  • BLUE – Umpire, because of blue umpire's uniform, even used when the umpire is not wearing blue. Victorian Baseball Association umpire, Greg Howard, has the car number plates "HEYBLU"!
  • DEAD - Out, as in "How many dead, Blue?" “Two dead”.
  • FOUR - colloquial reference to home plate. Only used in context of game situation though, as in "Look at Four! Look at Four!" from the third base coach to a runner running full speed into third, or "Four! Four!! Four!!!" from a catcher calling for a throw with a runner going home.
  • HOOKIE - Left handed batter, announced as "Hookie!" or by swallowing the first consonant " 'ookeeeee!". Called by fielding side so outfielders can shift to the right side.
  • LOADED BASES - Bases Loaded. (Australian baseballers always place the adjective first here).
  • SIDE (Batting or fielding) - possibly a cricket term, referring to "the fielding side" (defence) or "the batting side" (offence).
  • SIDE - Called by the umpire to indicate three outs have been made in a half inning and it is time to swap from offence to defence and vice versa.
  • “TIME AND GAME!” - Most Australian club games are timed, usually two hours or less. When a timed game is over, the umpire yells "Time and game!". Mixed reactions are predictable when this is yelled, from jubilation by the winners to painful shrieks of 'C'mon, Blue!?!" and other prevarications by the losers who may feel unjustly denied their right to try and win.
The Australian Baseball History website contains a fuller list.

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