go yard (1988)

Benjamin Zimmer bgzimmer at RCI.RUTGERS.EDU
Sat Oct 15 19:41:58 UTC 2005

Sunday's "On Language" column about baseball lingo has a request for
information about the origin of "go yard" meaning 'hit a home run'. I
presume "go yard" is intended to be elliptical for "go the whole distance
of the ballyard", or words to that extent.

The earliest example on the Factiva database is in a 1988 _St. Louis
Post-Dispatch_ article on new developments in baseball jargon.

1988 _St. Louis Post-Dispatch_ 8 Sep. 2D (Factiva) A batter with power can
hit a ball out of the ballyard, yes. More likely, though, he can go back,
go massive or go yard.

--Ben Zimmer

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