### Baseball Metaphors

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ExpressionSports UsageNon-Sports UsageExample
ExpressionSports UsageNon-Sports UsageExample
A big hit An impressive belt of the baseball yielding a score. A huge success. Very popular with a large number of people. Good Vibrations was a big hit in the 60s.
A new ball game Forget about the previous game. Things are going to be very different in this game. The circumstances have changed for our next encounter. We've just got a grant of €10,000. It's a whole new ball game.
Ballpark figure (or 'ballpark') An estimation of the number of people in attendance at a game. An rough estimation of a large number. How much will you need for your trip? Give me a ballpark figure.
Bases are loaded When there is a player on bases 1, 2 and 3, the next batter can achieve 4 runs if he himself can achieve a home run. When the stakes are very high and a chance presents itself to win. The bases are really loaded this weekend. The Lotto is worth €14 million.
Batted cleanup The 4th position on a baseball usually the best hitter on the team The best person in a team or organisation The sales plan should worked fine because Charlie batted cleanup for us.
Batting a thousand More great hits than you ever imagined. Hitting every ball Completing an incredible series of successes That sales girl is batting a thousand today. The money is rolling in.
Batting average A mathematical calculation of how many runs a batter scores per appearance at the plate. A measure of someone's general success at a task. He failed to sell much today, but his overall batting average is excellent.
Bring it on home Get to home and score another run Finish it off successfully The contract is almost completed. I want you to get in there and bring it on home.
Covering all the bases Keeping a fielder close to each base to make it difficult for the runners to reach them safely Ensuring safety. Taking precautions for every contingency. The party is bound to be success. Mom's got all the bases covered.
Curveball A pitcher sometimes throws the baseball in a certain way so that it changes direction in the air. When you are faced with something unexpected or out of the ordinary. My mother threw a curveball when she asked the waitress for a vegetarian lasagne.
Dropped the ball He almost caught the ball, but unfortunately fot the team, he dropped it. Not fullfilling your expected duties for your team or organisation. Bill dropped the ball on that merchandise sale.
Fast ball
Fielding questions Fielders catch or retrieve the ball from out in the field. A person who answers questions from many people in a group. The Minister was fielding questions from the reporters.
Getting to first base The first leg of a players quest to score a run A little success on the dating front Matt was on a date last night but he didn't even get to first base.
Go into bat for Take your turn to bat for your team Represent someone in public Michael Noonan went on TV to bat for the Fine Gael party after the corporate payment was revealed.
Heavy hitters Players who are capable of batting the ball out of the stadium. The top people in their field. Labour brought in the heavy hitters to support the local candidate.
Hit a home run Hit the ball so far that the hitter had time to run through all the bases to score ahome run. Typically it invlves hitting the ball into the rowd or out of the stadium. A highly successful operation with a very satisfactory result. We hit a home run with our beer stand at the Listowel Races.
Homeplate To complete a run in baseball the player must make it safely to the homeplate. Goal or final objective. Getting all children immunised is the homeplate, as far as I am concerned.
In a league of their own Too good, even for the top league. Clear leaders in their field. Google are in a league of their own, when it comes to searching.
In the ballpark Ballpark is short for 'ballpark figure' see above Good guess You say 490 miles. You're close. You're in the ballpark.
In the bullpen The place where the relief pitchers warm up. The bullpen can also refer to the squad of relief pitchers. A place where a team of workers collaborate on a project. Any news about the progress in the bullpen?
In there pitching The pitcher pitches the ball at the opponent's batter. Trying your best. Everyone was in there pitching to clean up the school after the flood.
Leading off The first player to bat The first action or offering We're leading off with a short film before the workshop gets started.
Major League The league where all the top teams compete. The highest level of competition. Our company is expanding. We're talking Major League.
Minor League Not the league with the highest standard players. Not the best quality He's a good actor, but strictly minor league.
Not going to play ball Refusing to join in the game Refusing to participate or co-operate with a plan. We had the whole thing planned but Martha refused to play ball.
Not in his league Not playing in the same baseball league as another player of a higher standard. Not even close to his standard. Gay Byrne is the best broadcaster Ireland has ever produced. There is nobody else in his league.
No-win situation
Off base When a runner is away from a base he is in a position where he could be put out  To be caught off guard or in a vulnerable position Tom was caught off base by the change in the weather.
On base
Out of left field Losers who bought tickets for the left side of the field when Babe Ruth, a right-hander, was playing Something that comes from an unusual or unexpeted source That comment came out of left field
Out of the ballpark Great hit, where the ball is batted out of the park. Fantastic result. My exam results were out of the ballpark. My parents were thrilled.
Pinch hitter A high class substitute player A high quality substitute or alternate He was ill for 3 months and Paul Foley was pinch hitter for him.
Pitch The throwing of a ball towards the opposing batsman The presentation of a suggestion to a boss or other superior. I made a pitch to the manager about turning the car park into a bowling alley.
Play ball Let's start this game. Let's go. Let's do it. Let's play ball.
Playing hardball Hardball is real baseball as opposed to Softball Competing or participating without any consideration or mercy shown to other participants. The City Manager was playing hardball with the residents who came to ask him to change the City's plans.
Rain check When games were cancelled because of rain, spectators were given a docket to allow them free entry to the rescheduled game. A person's wish to be excused from attendance at a social or other event I'll have to take a rain check on that trip to Galway.
RBI king RBI (or Runs Batted In) is a statistic used in baseball to credit a batter when the outcome of his at-bat results in a run being scored,
Right off the bat As soon as the bat hit the ball Immediately I knew there was something wrong, right off the bat.
Second string reliever
Send him down to the minors Demote a player to a team of lesser standard Demote somebody After a short spell at Head Office, Chad was sent down to the minors.
Softball questions Softball is a sanitised version of baseball Easy questions that let the interviewee off the hook. People were disappointed when Ryan Tubridt had nothing but softball questions for Ronan Keating.
Steal a base
Step up to the plate The batter hits from the plate. A player must be ready to do their best when they step up to the plate. To take responsibility, to rise to the occasion and perform for your team or organisation. Jim said that's ready to step up to the plate to win the Florida contract.
Struck out If the batter misses the baseball 3 times he has accumulated 3 strikes and is struck out Failed He entered a talent competition but he struck out on the first day.
Swinging for the fences
Switch hitter
The tie goes to the runner
Three strikes and you're out A baseball batter is out if he has 3 strikes against him. In California, a criminal will be sent to jail if they are convicted of 3 crimes. I don't care if you only stole a box of cornflakes. You know the law. Three strikes and you're out.
Threw me a curve (same as 'Curveball')
Touch base A runner briefly touches each base as he goes on a run To keep in toch with people to make sure everyone has the same information and is on the same wavelength  President Obama touched base with his European allies before commencing the attack.
Two strikes against you One strike away from being out Precariously close to an unsuccessful result Be careful! You already have 2 strikes against you.
Watch us from the bleachers The bleachers are the tiered rows of seating from which spectators watch the game If you're not participating get out of our way and watch from the side If you don't want to help with the meal, you can get out of ouyr way and watch us from the bleachers.
Showing 53 items