What did that baseball player do at the plate? Why is everyone cheering? Baseball is as American as Apple Pie, but it’s not in everyone’s wheelhouse. If you have a kid who plays the minor leagues, not knowing the difference between a home run within the park and a triple play can take the fun out of your shared experience. This article hopes to provide some baseball terminology and find a way for you and your Little League player to enjoy the season together.

You have never caught a baseball, run to home plate, or even watched a baseball game in nine innings. Now your son has let you know his desire to join the local Little League team. So what do you do now? Do you just drop it off in practice and pick it up when it’s dinner time or get to work on some terms and get acquainted with America’s favorite hobby to invest in a better relationship?

I guess since you are still reading, you have decided to adapt on some terms and help your child become a better player. Good for you! Let’s start with ten basic terms heard during a typical Little League game.

Ace: the star pitcher of a team … hopefully his son.

Barrel: The part of the bat that is conventionally used to hit the baseball.

Base Hit: A hit that allows the batter to reach first, second, third, or home base, unless by “fielder’s choice.”

Fielder’s Choice: When the fielder allows the batter to reach first base to throw a runner at another base.

Foul Lines – The lines that extend from home base through first and third base to the outfield walls.

Complete count: it has three balls and two strikes.

Ground Rule Double – A hit awarded automatically by the umpires when the ball lands right and bounces out of play.

Knuckle Ball / Knuckler – A slow pitch with no twist that wobbles when approaching the batter.

Major Leagues (or “majors”): the American League and the National League.

Pinch Hitter or Pinch Runner – A substitute hitter or runner who enters the game to replace another hitter or runner.

Once you understand these terms and are wanting more, you can easily search for additional baseball terms on the internet.

So you’ve learned the terms and you’re ready for the big leagues … that is, hanging out with your kid and showing him you’re in the game. What is the next step?

Watch your child play ball, observe what he is doing, and discuss all the great contributions he made during practice or during his minor league game. His need for your undivided attention will be satisfied and he will know that you really care.

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