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Battery: Baseball Pitching Terminology

battery baseball terminologyThe battery in a baseball game has nothing to do with the lights or powering a Gator to drag the infield. You do see the battery for the entire game though.

Battery refers to the pitcher and the catcher. It is a term used to describe the two players as a unit. Announcers may use the term when announcing the starting lineups or telling fans about position changes. Each player by himself is called a battery mate.

The term battery was first used in the 1860’s. It was in reference to the battery of weapons and artillery power used in war. Battery is an old school term that isn’t used much in reference to the game today, but it still makes it way into broadcasts and baseball discussions.

While pitchers and catchers are only two men out of nine on the field, they work together the most and need to have the most trust and cooperation out of anybody on the defense. The other important tandem would be the shortstop and second baseman as they turn a double play.

The pitcher and catcher act most like a real battery since they touch the ball the most during the game and allow the game to progress. The catcher gives signs to the pitcher who proceeds to deliver the ball. If a pitcher and catcher are not on the same page, they get “crossed up,” and this can lead to heated arguments. Being crossed up is when a catcher calls for one pitch and the pitcher throws a different pitch. It is not fun expecting a curve ball at 78 MPH and getting a fastball coming in at over 90 MPH instead.

A successful battery typically means a more successful team. Not every pitcher wants to use the same catcher. Pitchers only have one or two options, but they may make specific requests to make the battery as fluent and working as possible. If Duracell or Energizer found a way to market themselves in baseball, this term could find its way back into mainstream baseball talks.

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