Reference List of Baseball Metaphors.

Webster Never Did It. It's Up to Us.

Done right, this one will take some time. How about us trying to build the best list of baseball metaphors we can produce?

Our American culture is steeped in baseball references to various life situations. In fact, it’s almost impossible to conceive of a day ever going by, even in the off-season, when somebody somewhere  in America is not using some now cliche’ reference to baseball to make a point or describe a life predicament. It also is not too hard to figure why that’s true.

Baseball is a game that simply oozes with the melodrama of how life works on a daily basis. Like the long tough run of the regular season, life flows by seemingly all roses for some people and pure grade A hell for so many others. As with the games, some days we can’t do anything wrong. Others we can’t do anything right. Other days just get rained out, but even the wet ones fail to alter the ultimate goal of winning the World Series at the Pearly Gates. It’s our human striving, in one form or another, to try to find a way to earn survival from here to eternity. Like in baseball, there is no clock on the personal salvation game, but this whole thing called life may be cancelled for all time without notice, at any time, and often when we least expect it. Or we may fall too far behind and despair of ever catching up while we still have a few innings to play.

We can’t do that. We can’t ever give up. As Moses once said, “It ain’t over til it’s over!” We may be forced to wander through the desert of rebuilding for forty figurative days and nights sometimes, but we have to keep heart in the belief that we shall ultimately find our way again.

Why don’t we try to pull together all the most popular baseball-as-life metaphor statements we can call to mind? I’ll start us off with some that come easily to consciousness and invite each of you to help build the list by adding others as reply comments to this article. I have a hunch that this list doesn’t have a real closing lid on all the possibilities. Each of these statements shares one quality in common with all others for those of us who grew up in our American culture. That is, their meanings shall need no explanation. For people who are new to America, and foreign to baseball, they will each be as confusing as gobbildy-gook. Don’t know what the latter is? I’m sorry. Gobbildy-gook is covered in a wholly separate class.

Here’s the starter list of baseball metaphor statements:

1. I’ve got two strikes against me going into the interview, but I will make the most of it.

2. How did the interview go, you ask? Super. I knocked it out of the park.

3. As I was explaining our vacation itinerary to my wife, she threw me a curve. She said that her mother was coming with us on the cruise.

4. Let me lay this one right down the middle of the plate for you, son. If you don’t do your chores, you don’t go out this weekend.

5. All of a sudden, Johnny made a comment that came straight out of left field.

6. Don’t crowd the plate on me in this business deal, Sammy. I’ve got some chin music for you, if you do.

7. How’s Barbara? Forget it. I can’t get to first base with her.

8. Oh, they under-cut our prices, did they? Looks like its time to play a little hardball.

9. Students who cram to pass final exams are like ball clubs that expect to win with a home run in the bottom of the ninth inning.

10. “Two three the count. Nobody on. He hit a high fly into the stands. Rounded third. He was headed for home. It was a brown-eyed handsome man.” – Chuck Berry.

OK. That’s enough from me. Let’s hear it from you guys too. Please post away in the space below.

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4 Responses to “Reference List of Baseball Metaphors.”

  1. Rick Feldman Says:

    It was “up to Joe, there was ducks on the pond”, all he had to do was “bring um in”!

  2. Michael R. McCroskey Says:

    I couldn’t make the meeting and had to get Joe to “pinch hit” for me.

  3. bbprof Says:

    1) As for your nubile Barbara you might say that the young swain struck out with her. Ask her about his “illegal use of hands” if you were doing football metaphors.

    2) When my wife had our first chid it took over 10 months of gestation. I thought she had gone into extra innings.

    3) How many residents of our prisons got caught stealing?

    4) We often say that the next person to talk, sing or perform is “on deck.”

    5) My actress daughter publicly read one of my plays last weekend and she “hit it right out of the park.” She also “went deep” with it.

    6) The salesman could not “close” the deal.

    7) Johnny had to really “dig in” because of all the homework he had.

    8) I “pinch hit” for Phyllis Schlafly on the radio last Saturday.

    9) She is one of the “heavy hitters” in the Conservative Movement.

    10) Bored teens and even some adults often “climb the walls”.

  4. bbprof Says:

    I did not see my redundancy. How about

    Junior Gilliam and Pee Wee Reese used to set the table for Duke Snider and Gil Hodges.

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