Novice’s Guide to Cheering at Your Kid’s Baseball Games
Use this handy reference to chatter from the bleachers like a pro.
I’ve spent a lot of time this spring at my son’s baseball games, sitting in a lawn chair, eating sunflower seeds, chit chatting with the other parents and of course engaging in the time honored tradition of yelling stuff to the kids. This ranges from general encouragement to more specific coach-type instruction. It occurred to me this is a specialized language that might be incomprehensible to the non-fan. Here then is a list of these common exclamations with brief descriptions. Cheer away!
That’s not you!
Encouragement to the batter after a called strike, implying that the pitch may not have been a strike and certainly wasn’t ideal for him.
Leave it up there!
Telling the batter to not swing at high pitches.
Pick him up!
Usually said with two outs and a runner on base, as if to say don’t strand the runner, do something productive.
Got to hop, (insert uniform number here, as in one-five, pronouncing each numeral)!
Typically yelled to a catcher or third baseman in a bunt situation, telling him to be ready to charge the bunt.
You’re right on it!
After the batter fouls one off, telling him that his swing timing is good.
Straighten it out!
Yelled after hitter hits one foul down the line.
At a critical juncture, telling the pitcher to find an extra bit of speed on his next pitch.
Having fun kid!
An attempt to lighten things up—touching on the quaint notion that despite the extreme pressure to perform there is a fun element somewhere within this pursuit.
Just like last time!
Reminding the hitter of the success he had in his last plate appearance.
Good place to miss!
After a called ball that just failed to catch the corner of the plate, based on the idea that the art of pitching involves being able to precisely locate pitches and miss the plate on purpose at times.
Come on Blue!
One in a long list of expressions of displeasure with the umpire. This one is relatively mild and acceptable. Others, less so. Variations include ‘Where was that, Blue?’ ‘It’s a great ballgame, Blue, you might want to watch.’ Beyond this, they get more harsh...and not recommended for youth ball.
Wear it, kid!
Suggesting to a player that he let himself be hit by a pitch for the good of the team.
Trade places with him!
With a runner on second, telling the batter that hitting a double will bring the runner home.
Now you’ve seen it.
This just tells the batter that even though the first pitch of an at-bat is a called strike, it has provided him a good preview for the next pitches and maybe helped him adjust his swing timing.
Shorten up and protect!
With two strikes, this tells the batter to swing at anything close to the strike zone (protect) and to take a more compact swing that will have a better chance of making contact.
Way to battle, kid!
Typically yelled to a hitter who has fouled off many pitches and possibly worked an unfavorable count to full.
Have a day, (insert uniform number here, as in one-five, pronouncing each numeral)!
General expression of support.
All day long!
After a player does something good, the implication that he will continue to do the same good thing for the whole game.
Go after him right here!
At a place in the count where there are two strikes, telling the pitcher to challenge the batter with a fastball in the strike zone.
Nothing too good now!
When the pitcher has the batter in a hole, with two strikes and no balls, this expresses the conventional wisdom to throw a pitch a good bit out of the strike zone in an attempt to get the batter to chase it.
It only takes one.
Every pitch is an opportunity regardless of the count, the score or previous failures.
Put a little dirt on It.
A call to be stoic after a player gets beaned, so as not to give the pitcher the satisfaction that the beanball hurt you.
Find a hole!
Reminding the hitter of the obvious goal of trying to hit the ball to a spot not covered by a fielder.