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Baseball Idioms for everyday English

Average: 3.6 (17 votes)

Baseball is considered America's favorite pastime, and as a result there are many idiomatic expressions which come from this great sport. If you are not familiar with baseball jargon, some very common idioms may be difficult to understand. Here are some of the most common expressions and idioms from the world of baseball:

  1. Hit a home run – to be very successful
  2. A ball park figure – an estimate
  3. Strike out – to fail
  4. Batting a thousand – maintaining a perfect record
  5. Play hardball – use extreme measures to ensure success
  6. Go to bat for someone – to aid or support someone
  7. Throw a curve ball – to do something unexpected
  8. Touch base – to communicate briefly with someone
  9. To have two strikes – to have the odds against you
  10. On the ball – very aware, responsible, and intelligent

This story about Sam, the car salesman, may clear up any questions.

Sam grew up in a very poor family and wanted to go to college, but he already had two strikes against him because he couldn't speak English very well and he had to work to help his family. After striking out as a chef, he hoped he would hit a home run as a car salesman. Sam did some research to get a ball park figure of how much he could earn and learned that if he really played hardball he could make over $100,00.00 a year. He asked his friend Paul, who worked at a car dealership, to go to bat for him and set up an interview with the owner. Paul knew that Sam was really on the ball and would make a great salesman. During the interview, the owner threw Sam a curveball and told him he would have to improve his English at EC before he could start working.
Two weeks later, Sam started selling cars and batted a thousand on his first day by selling a car to everyone he spoke to. Sam continues to touch base with all of his customers and enjoy the success that comes with being a fluent English speaker.

By Thomas Williams

Thomas Williams is a teacher at EC San Diego

Link: Sporting Idioms for Business

Now give your own example sentences using the above idioms: