Thursday, April 26, 2012

Old Timey Terminology

One of the great things about researching 19th Century baseball is the rich, detailed, and nuanced language used in the newspapers of the time. So I thought it would be good to put together a little guide for interpreting those old stories and box scores (some more obvious than others):

33rd degree fan = probably a reference to Mason who was a fan of a team (since the 33rd degree is the highest degree of the Masons); possibly just a die-hard fan
Aggregation, Club, Baseball nine = Baseball team
"At the points" = players playing pitcher and catcher
Battery = pitcher and catcher for a particular game (still used today, but sparingly) 
Behind the wind pad = playing catcher
Comer = a promising player
Crank = fan
Fast = doing well
Fettle = Condition (ex: The club was in good fettle to begin the season.)
"In the box" - pitcher (ex: Peterson was in the box for Fargo)
Kick = to become upset/argue
"Manipulator of the indicator" = umpire
Sphere = baseball
Three-bagger = triple
Twirler = pitcher
Two-bagger = double
Willow = bat

More to come later...

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