Dr. W. Sumner, a prominent sociologist in the 1920s, once wrote, "A people who are prosperous are happy, optimistic and progressive, produce much slang; it is a case of play; the amuse themselves with the languague."
In the October 1916 issue of Baseball Magazine there appeared the following truly wonderful poem called The Jargon of the Diamond which served as our inspiration for this particular game:
The Jargon of the Diamond
The diamond has a language all its own;
If a player makes an error, it's a "bone";
If he attempts the "squeeze"
And strikes out, it's a "breeze";
A play at which the fans belch forth a groan.
A safe drive to the field is called a "bingle";
If good for one base only, it's a "single";
If the hurler throws a "cripple"
And the batter clouts a "triple,"
The swat will put the nerves of fans a-tingle.
When a runner's left on base, 'tis said he "died."
If he goes out on a high fly, he has "skied";
A one-hand stop's a "stab";
The pitcher's mound, the "slab";
Successful plays are certainly "inside."
When a player's making good his work is "grand."
But let him boot just one and he's "panned";
If he comes up in a "pinch"
And he "whiffs" — well, it's a cinch,
The fickle fans will yell, "He should be 'canned.'"
Did you know that the single most comprehensive source of baseball words and their history is The New Dickson Baseball Dictionary? A book that we here at Baseball Almanac simply could not function without.