go yard (1988)

Sam Clements SClements at NEO.RR.COM
Sun Nov 6 16:40:57 UTC 2005

By my count that was "strike three" on Mr. Safire.

"In a recent column about the latest baseballingo, I took a "fanciful leap"
about the origin of the Bugs Bunny change-up pitch,...."   Strike one.

"While at bat, I recalled how Brooklyn Dodger fans called the "fall classic"
the "World Serious." Whiffed again;"  Strike two.

"Chicago Tribune."  Strike three.

Can't the Times afford someone to check these things out before he writes

Sam Clements

----- Original Message -----
From: "Benjamin Zimmer" <bgzimmer at RCI.RUTGERS.EDU>
Sent: Sunday, November 06, 2005 11:12 AM
Subject: Re: go yard (1988)

> On Sat, 15 Oct 2005 15:41:58 -0400, Benjamin Zimmer
> <bgzimmer at RCI.RUTGERS.EDU> 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.
>>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.
> Today's column:
> -----
> http://www.nytimes.com/2005/11/06/magazine/06safire.html
> Fortunately, I asked for readers' help on the origin of go yard, meaning
> "to hit a home run." Some fans were sure it started at Oriole Park in
> Camden Yards in Baltimore; other Googlers found 466 usages of "hit the
> ball out of the yard," while the Factiva database turned up a 1988 Chicago
> Tribune citation: "A batter with power can hit a ball out of the ball
> yard. . .he can go back, go massive or go yard."
> -----
> St. Louis Dispatch, Chicago Tribune, whatever.
> --Ben Zimmer

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