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Baseball Idioms for everyday English

Average: 3.5 (13 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:


I thought I would hit a home

I thought I would hit a home run as a superwiser. However then I realized I would strike out with this kind of job. I made a ball park figure for my experience, touched base with many different people and perceived where I'd be on the ball. With going to bat for me by my frends I played hardball and batted a thousand on my new job.

Re: Serge

You are genius!!! The story is excellent! Applause

Thank You for Idioms

I don't like this game, because I don't understand the rules - Why do they change their places? What is the purpose of this game? That's why it is difficult to remmember all these idioms. I think that I've never met them... Worried
But I strive:
I will play hardball to hit a home run( it's totaly madness). Silly
My friend goes to bat for me - he is on the ball. Big Grin
But I sometimes throw a curve ball and so I have strike out. Day Dreaming
After touching base I've understood that he has two strikes. On The Phone
Now I try batting a thousand, after I've got a ball park figure of my test. Smile