Sluggers deposit a Ballantine Blast in the nosebleeds. The top of the lineup sets the table for the heart of the order. Corner infielders guard the line. A lumberjack with a bad wheel staggers down the line while a glovesman flashes leather. Where did these phrases come from?
Baseball is a sport with its own lingo and jargon — a colorful patois that’s developed over the years and millions of games. In The Baseball Thesaurus, a fascinating compendium of baseball terms, Jesse Goldberg-Strassler — broadcaster, storyteller, talker, voice — explains what baseball terms mean and how they came to be. Whether it’s Red Barber talking about the pea patch or Ernie Harwell discussing no-hitters, the language of America’s Pastime is brilliantly captured by Goldberg-Strassler.
“Baseball is more than just steroids and statistics,” says Goldberg-Strassler. “Baseball is personal, from the fans to the players to the lords of the game. Baseball is lived, breathed, and talked – whether astutely, poetically, or hilariously. The language of the game, from its wild slang to its sly witticisms, reflects how much we love it, and we love it dearly. Baseball is as local as an accent, and it’s spoken just as proudly.”
The Baseball Thesaurus is the first book published under the Lineup Books imprint from August Publications, publisher of Websites (ballparkdigest.com, springtrainingonline.com) and books. Ordering information for Kindle, Nook, iBook, Sony Reader and other eReaders can be found at the August Publications website.
“Our goal is to establish a solid book brand for sports fans, with regularly scheduled releases throughout the calendar year,” says publisher Kevin Reichard. “We’re really excited that the first book in the Lineup Books lineup is such a strong, readable and fascinating title.”
Who should read The Baseball Thesaurus? It’s for the media linguist whose job relies upon baseball jargon, the radio listener, the blog reader, the talk-show caller, the minor-league diehard, the Strat-O-Matic connoisseur, the seventh-inning stretcher, the stereotype breaker, the crank, the postgame fireworks enthusiast, the t-ball coach, the seamhead, the baseball Annie, the hot-stove moper, the bandwagoner, the purist, the casual rooter who enjoys a quick tidbit and has no need to attend both games of a doubleheader, and the fan who takes pride in scoring the game and teaching the tradition to others.
“For fans old and new, Jesse Goldberg-Strassler’s thesaurus is a romp. On first glance, it’s a primer on baseball’s peculiar taxonomy and traditions, but open any page and you’ll find lots more, including amusing anecdotes and witty wordplay from the game’s great characters. Goldberg-Strassler has built a dugout in which Al Capone, James Earl Jones, and George Carlin lounge happily alongside Dizzy Dean, Cool Papa Bell, and Zoilo Versalles. A lollygagger’s delight!” – John Lott, baseball writer, National Post, Toronto
“What an incredible resource – I can’t get over the amount of work – and the detail – that went into this book. A great window on baseball’s lexicon from days of yore – to the game today. This book won’t be far from my side next season.” – Dan Dickerson, Voice of the Detroit Tigers
“This book took five rewarding seasons of my time and energy to complete, riding buses down rural Midwest roads,” Goldberg-Strassler says. “It is meant to provide a companion piece to the game for the relaxed fan, an enjoyable quote or anecdote for when you need a smile, and the exact word a broadcaster/scribe is looking for when caught in a pinch. When I entered the baseball world, I discovered that I needed a book like this at my side – and so I created it.”
ABOUT JESSE GOLDBERG-STRASSLER
A native of Greenbelt, Maryland, Jesse Goldberg-Strassler graduated from Ithaca College in 2004. After broadcasting for the back-to-back Southern League Champion Montgomery Biscuits in 2006-2007, he joined the Frontier League Champion Windy City ThunderBolts in 2008 and was named a Runner-Up for Ballpark Digest’s Broadcaster of the Year. Goldberg-Strassler currently serves as the voice of the Lansing Lugnuts and writes about baseball for Ballparkdigest.com.
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