go yard (1988)

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Sun Oct 16 21:39:15 UTC 2005

In St. Louis, at one time the home of the two Southernmost MLB teams,
the bleachers of the old Sportsman's Park were reserved by the
Cardinals, then owned by local Arab-American businessman, Fred Saigh,
for black fans, though white fans could also sit there, if they chose.
This practice of restricting black fans to the bleachers was
discontinued by August Anheuser Busch, Jr., after he bought the team.

OTOH, the old Browns, now the Baltimore Orioles, who owned the
ballpark, permitted black fans to buy tickets to any seats that they

-Wilson Gray

On 10/16/05, Chris Frazier <magicalrealism at comcast.net> wrote:
> ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Chris Frazier <magicalrealism at COMCAST.NET>
> Subject:      Re: go yard (1988)
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
>     I've been an avid baseball fan since the age of three. I literally
> study the game (tactics, statistics, history, jargon), both by watching
> our minor league Washington Nationals affiliate (the Savannah Sand
> Gnats) and by reading baseball books and Baseball America, the "bible"
> (or one of them) of the major and minor leagues. I'm 58 years old, know
> the slang of baseball, mostly developed by players, scouts and
> sportswriters, and I've never heard or seen the term "go yard" used to
> describe any aspect of the game. (This term was also not mentioned in
> the 9-part baseball documentary by Ken Burns. He interviewed players
> from the old Negro League as well as many of the more articulate and
> eloquent sportswriters (e.g., Dan Okrent, Roger Angell) and observers
> (e.g., George Will, Stephen Jay Gould, Doris Kearns Goodwin, etc.) of
> the day.
>     First, I can't believe all the chatter about this term on this
> website. Second, the phrase "go yard" sounds like something that a
> broadcaster may have improvised in a moment of great elation about a
> home team hitter getting a four-bagger in a clutch situation. My guess
> is that it was probably used only once or twice. There are, however,
> many colorful terms for hitting a home run that have found a permanent
> home in baseball's lexicon. (Did you know that in the early days of
> baseball, a fan was called a "crank"? The term "bleachers" referred to
> the "cheap seats" which were not covered. Because they were not covered,
> the sun "bleached" and warped them.
> Chris Frazier
> Savannah
> Benjamin Zimmer wrote:
> >---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
> >Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> >Poster:       Benjamin Zimmer <bgzimmer at RCI.RUTGERS.EDU>
> >Subject:      Re: go yard (1988)
> >-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> >
> >On Sat, 15 Oct 2005 15:41:58 -0400, Benjamin Zimmer wrote:
> >
> >
> >
> >>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.
> >>
> >>
> >
> >Sorry... "words to that *effect*". I committed this same malaprop
> >(eggcorn?) on alt.usage.english not too long ago...
> >
> >
> >--Ben Zimmer
> >
> >
> >
> >

-Wilson Gray

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