The Baseball Thesaurus, 3rd Edition
Sluggers deposit Ballantine Blasts in the nosebleeds. A lumberjack sits dead red, hoping for number one in his wheelhouse, only to be crossed up by an Uncle Charlie. A pitcher’s mound is divided between the horseshoe and the tabletop.
Baseball is a sport with its own lingo and jargon, a colorful patois developed over decades and millions of games. In this new edition of The Baseball Thesaurus, enhanced with even more rare photos and little-known anecdotes, Jesse Goldberg-Strassler–storyteller, commentator, voice–delves into the language of the National Pastime. From Vin Scully’s philosophy on no-hitters to Red Barber’s classic turns of phrase and a definitive listing of broadcasters’ trademark home-run calls. Goldberg-Strassler explains baseball’s colorful terms. Why is a bunt called a bunt and why do pitchers warm up in the bullpen? It’s all here in an expanded Third Edition.
Who should read The Baseball Thesaurus? It’s for the media linguist whose job relies upon baseball jargon, the radio listener, the blog reader, the talk-show caller, the minor-league diehard, the Strat-O-Matic connoisseur, the seventh-inning stretcher, the stereotype breaker, the crank, the postgame fireworks enthusiast, the t-ball coach, the seamhead, the baseball Annie, the hot-stove moper, the bandwagoner, the purist, the casual rooter who enjoys a quick tidbit and has no need to attend both games of a doubleheader, and the fan who takes pride in scoring the game and teaching the tradition to others.
What’s new in the third edition of The Baseball Thesaurus? Here are some highlights:
- A deeper dive into the history of All-Star Games, from the “picked nine” games of 1858 through the Addie Joss benefit to the East-West Classic.
- A closer look at baseball caps, including a spotlight on how the pillbox cap has been continually worn by baseball champions
- A section on famous bats from baseball history, from Black Betsy to Heinie Groh’s bottle bat to Nap Lajoie’s double-knob.
- The real reason why a bullpen is called a bullpen, a bunt is called a bunt, and a southpaw is called a southpaw.
- The first fielder to wear a baseball glove… and the last fielder to go without wearing a glove.
- A full debate on whether a broadcaster should mention a no-hitter, with opinions from Chuck Thompson, Vin Scully, Mel Allen, and Red Barber.
“A home run is never just a home run,” says Goldberg-Strassler. “It’s a roundtripper, a four-bagger, a dinger, a tater, or a jack. Baseball’s language is unmatched in both its color and its poetry.”
“For fans old and new, Jesse Goldberg-Strassler’s thesaurus is a romp. On first glance, it’s a primer on baseball’s peculiar taxonomy and traditions, but open any page and you’ll find lots more, including amusing anecdotes and witty wordplay from the game’s great characters. Goldberg-Strassler has built a dugout in which Al Capone, James Earl Jones, and George Carlin lounge happily alongside Dizzy Dean, Cool Papa Bell, and Zoilo Versalles. A lollygagger’s delight!”—John Lott, baseball writer, National Post, Toronto
“What an incredible resource – I can’t get over the amount of work and the detail that went into this book. A great window on baseball’s lexicon from days of yore to the game today. This book won’t be far from my side next season.”—Dan Dickerson, Voice of the Detroit Tigers
A native of Greenbelt, Maryland, and a product of Ithaca College, Jesse Goldberg-Strassler handles the radio broadcasts and media relations for the Lansing Lugnuts and writes about baseball for BallparkDigest.com. Each year, he conducts a throwback broadcast, using sound effects to re-create a game in the tradition of baseball’s broadcasting pioneers. He’s also the author of The Football Thesaurus.
You can order the book from August Publications, complete with free shipping. Add it to your cart, check out and it's yours. Now.