"go for the downs"

George Thompson george.thompson at NYU.EDU
Fri Aug 27 01:17:16 UTC 2010

I recall my father using this expression, to describe a baseball batter who has taken a very vigorous swing: "he was going for the downs with that swing."  I have just heard Al Leiter say it, on a rerun of a Yankees broadcast from earlier this month.

My impression is, that it only refers to a vigorous swing that misses the ball, or at least, that fails to produce a home run.  I have never heard it in statements like *He went for the downs in the 5th inning, or *Batters have gone for the downs against him 17 times this season.

I don't see it in OED, nor in HDAS.


George A. Thompson
Author of A Documentary History of "The African Theatre", Northwestern Univ. Pr., 1998, but nothing much lately.

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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