Ultimate Sports Lingo Library
Baseball and football have their own lingo and jargon, developed over decades and millions of games. Now, you can own two bestselling volumes that delve into the language of these two great sports: The Baseball Thesaurus and The Football Thesaurus -- all for the low price of $22.95.
The Baseball Thesaurus: 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.
In The Baseball Thesaurus, Jesse Goldberg-Strassler 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.
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.
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
The Football Thesaurus: Field generals throw back-shoulder passes to vertical threats, working off the bump and run. Penalties were originally signaled by horns, not flags. Tailbacks follow the big uglies to paydirt for a touchdown. In The Football Thesaurus, Jesse Goldberg-Strassler explains what football terms mean and how they came to be. Whether it’s a discussion of how Doug Plank was the inspiration for Buddy Ryan’s 46 defense or why legendary Chicago Bears owner/coach George Halas referred to a football as a cantaloupe, Goldberg-Strassler’s book succeeds both as a football reference and a history of the game.
“Football is the country’s favorite sport, the heartbeat of most every town, community, and metropolis,” Goldberg-Strassler says. “We watch it, we breathe it, and—above all else—we talk it. The Football Thesaurus is filled with all the ways the game is talked, from the casual jargon of the armchair quarterback to the barking cadence of the signal-caller in the shotgun.”
“Sports fans have their own unique language. The Football Thesaurus delves into the terms that have helped turn football into America’s Game. I’ve always been fascinated by the words used to describe the action on the field, Jesse not only provides the terminology but also the context. A terrific resource that will be a part of my preparation for every new season.”—Ian Eagle, broadcaster, CBS Sports
“A fabulous read, whether as a refresher for the die-hard fan, a scroll for the football historian, or as a foundation to learn about the game itself. Jesse hits many of the fine points that make the game unique. I imagine if aliens ever came down and asked what football is, I’d give them this text and then slowly back away, cowering in fear.”—Adam Amin, broadcaster, ESPN
“For the casual fan, The Football Thesaurus weaves the basic concepts of the game with entertaining stories from Army’s Lonely End to Michigan State’s Little Giants,” Goldberg-Strassler says. “For the 12th Man, the Thesaurus collects every type of technique and play imaginable, sharing how to differentiate between a stalk and a trap block, a jet and an orbit sweep, and a flare and a banana route.”
About Jesse Goldberg-Strassler: 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.