Baseball is filled with statistics, rules, and archaic terms that can often form what sounds like a foreign language. Sons of Sam Horn’s glossary provides a better understanding of these terms through straightforward definitions, clear explanations, and examples pulled straight from the baseball world. If there is anything you would like us to add to our glossary, please contact us.
A Texas Leaguer is a shallow fly ball, or rather a long pop up, that falls in for a single between the infielders and the outfielders. The hitter makes weak contact and the ball almost always goes to the opposite field. Because of the placement, infielders often have to turn around and attempt an over-the-shoulder catch while outfielders must rush in towards their teammates.
Felix Hernandez battles Prince Fielder in this key at-bat from early in the 2016 season, with the bases loaded in the bottom of the fifth inning and one out. The King delivers what he likely believed to be an out pitch if Fielder swung, but this happened:
The Rangers would go on to score the final run of the game in the next at-bat and win 3-2.
What Is the Origin of the Term “Texas Leaguer?”
The most popular theory is that it derived from either the debut of Ollie Pickering in the Texas League or from his debut in the major leagues via the Texas League. Either way, the story goes that he introduced himself with seven bloop singles in his first seven at-bats. However, thereis another theory that it was popular in the Texas League to attempt to bloop the ball over the infielders’ heads in the Lone Star State because the strong winds there, and in other states, knocked down fly balls, resulting in an unusual number of bloop singles. However, all the theories agree that the term dates back to the turn of the 20th century.
Pete Hodges has written about the call up of a top prospect, an odd tradition, and Leo the Lip.
Follow Pete on Twitter @PeterWHodges.