more baseball

Benjamin Zimmer bgzimmer at RCI.RUTGERS.EDU
Thu Dec 2 08:14:53 UTC 2004

On Wed, 1 Dec 2004 11:58:14 -0600, Mullins, Bill
<Bill.Mullins at US.ARMY.MIL> wrote:

>strike zone (OED has 1948)
>_Sporting News_,  25 Mar 1937, p. 6/2 [headline]
>"15 Moundsmen in St. Paul Camp and All Can Locate Strike Zone"

Indianapolis (Indiana) Star, Nov 12, 1911, p. 54[?]
Instead of pitching out, the Athletic twirlers got the ball within the
strike zone, and, usually, had a handicap on the batter.

New York Times, Oct 12, 1912, p. 2
The custom of starting the game with a ball far outside the strike zone,
as in the other three games, was spurned by Jeff, and as the first ball
crossed the centre of the plate Giant fans gave the Ozark mastodon a noisy

Lincoln (Nebraska) Daily News, March 24, 1915, p. 8
Even if the ball strikes an eighth of an inch from the "strike zone" the
ball is recorded... But, on the other hand, if he indicates a strike, and
it is within the "strike zone," his judgment is backed up by the umpire.

>relief pitcher (OED has 1914)
>"Red Sox vs. Giants," Baseball Magazine, November, 1912, No. 1, p. 20/2.
>"As a relief pitcher Hall has few equals."

New York Times, Feb 1, 1903, p. 15
This economical streak reminds one of the famous story of the German
baseball manager who thought that nine men were ample. When asked to
furnish a relief pitcher at a fat salary he said: "Vat is dat? Anodder
pitcher? Vat ve vant 'im for? Ve haf only von first baseman yet."

Syracuse (NY) Herald, Nov 23, 1908, p. 8
The Chicagoan worked in fifty-five games, winning forty, losing fifteen,
figuring in one draw and being lifted from the box once, while in nine
games he was called in as a relief pitcher.

>reliever (OED has 1967)
>"Observations" Frank G. Menke, The Sporting News 14 Sept 1933, p 4/7
>"Hadn't he cast adrift Fred Mayberry, the great reliever?"

New York Times, Aug 17, 1925, p. 11
Wisner and Huntzinger, his relievers, were no-hit, no-run performers.

Lincoln (Nebraska) Star, Sept 6, 1925, p. S2
The manager's way now is to rob a pitcher of his courage. Just about the
first minute that he begins to wobble a bit by passing a batter, or
yielding a hit or two, the manager begins to warm up a reliever.

--Ben Zimmer

More information about the Ads-l mailing list