The fall season of Little League baseball has officially started. I'm buying lots of Gatorade and washing lots of baseball pants. There's red dirt all over the floor mats in my car and a baseball mitt being "broken in" under my mattress. Most of the emails in my in box are related to practice times, practice agendas, game strategies, game re-caps and snack sign-ups.
I have a friend who is new to the Little League world as this is her son's first season playing. We met for lunch recently and talk turned to our boys and baseball. I mentioned that we should get the boys together for BP and she said, "what's BP?" "Batting practice," I explained. "Oh," she said, "I've got to learn all the baseball lingo.
Well I know a little lingo from having a baseball-playing husband but I know a lot of lingo from being a baseball fan. There are certain things a fan needs to know in order to fully support her team, especially as each player comes up to bat. In honor of my new-to-baseball friend I offer the following list.
Things to Say at a Baseball Game to Your Batters
1. As your player comes up to bat- "Be a hitter!" or "Hit it hard and run fast!" or "Bring 'em home" (only appropriate if your team has a runner on base).
2. After your batter swings and misses- "Good cut!" or "Nice cut!" and vice versa.
3. After your batter swings and misses again- "Now you're ready" and maybe add "Hit this next one" also "Shake it off" if your batter looks stressed.
4. If the batter just tips a ball you can say encouragingly- "Got a piece of it!" and if he hits the ball but it goes foul then you can say "Straighten it out!"
5. If your batter strikes out- "Get 'em next time".
6. When the next batter comes up- "Start us off".
7. Men on base preferably one in scoring position, tell your batter- "You're the man, you're the one" and add "Bring him home!"
8. When in doubt you can always say- "Swing hard!" or "Put the bat on the ball" which would seem obvious but I hear fans suggesting it anyway.
9. Always remember that a "GO fill-in-the-kid's-name-here GO" works well too.
Well that should get my friend started. What did I forget? You tell me what you've yelled at a baseball game, in support of your team of course. Maybe another day we'll share things to say if you want to get thrown out of the ballpark and/or embarrass your child. I've heard a few of those sayings, too.