Play Ball - Baseball Metaphors

Not only is baseball America's pastime but the most pervasive athletic metaphor in the American language. Whether or not we're fans, we speak baseballese just about every day, and all year round.

Fill in each blank below with a common word or phrase that has its origins in baseball. Don't worry. I won't throw you any curveballs. In fact, right off the bat, I'll offer an example for you to bat around: "I know you won't quit. You'll always be IN THERE PITCHING."

  1. We're not making a bit of progress with this project. We can't even get to _____.

  2. You are so out of it. You're way out there in _____.

  3. Some people are born with a silver spoon in their mouth, while others are born with _____ against them.

  4. Everybody's so enthusiastic about your proposal. You just hit a _____.

  5. I know you can't give me an exact price, but can you give me a _____ figure?

  6. These people are really serious. They play _____.

  7. On Broadway, the new musical "The Producers" has been a _____.

  8. I promise I'll consult you before I make any decisions. I'll be sure to _____ with you.

  9. I can't meet you today, but I'd like to in the near future. Would you mind if I took a _____?

  10. Let's act quickly. Let's do it right _____.

  11. She's such a wild and wacky woman - a real _____.

  12. Throckmorton is away at a conference, so we're going to have Gump _____ for him.

  13. That performance was great. It was a _____ performance.

  14. They're chintzy, they're inexperienced; they're incompetent. They run a _____ operation.

  15. Greg will stay single for the rest of his life. Rather than settling down, he prefers to _____.

    1. first base
    2. left field
    3. two strikes
    4. home run
    5. ballpark
    6. hardball
    7. smash hit
    8. touch base
    9. rain check
    10. off the bat
    11. screwball
    12. pinch-hit
    13. major league
    14. bush league/minor league
    15. play the field
[ By: Richard Lederer -- from Stan Kegel, via 'Buffalos Chips' ( ]

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